A Well-Behaved Coconut Almond Cake {Paleo, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb}

A dear friend is coming for a visit this week who tends to veer towards a minimal carbohydrate lifestyle, and I realized my love of a dense, satisfying cake need not be sacrificed on the altar of low-carb diets. Xylitol, sometimes known as birch sugar, is used here with success. It has fewer carbohydrates than standard sugar, and (as an added bonus) benefits dental health, blood-sugar issues, and even prevents ear infections. As this is a natural sugar alcohol, excessive consumption may cause a temporary laxative effect, yet the amount of xylitol used in this recipe is small and in harmony with the digestive systems of my taste-test crew. And the low-glycemic coconut nectar lends a bit of moisture and mild sweetness. 

The use of almond meal helps to boost nutritional content above and beyond a standard cake, while keeping within the boundaries of a lower-carb treat. Almonds are a fantastic source of fiber and vitamin E, which both help to prevent certain types of cancer along with heart disease.

Ice cream (my favorite non-dairy number can be found here), or a handful of fresh raspberries, make a delicious addition to this cake. Enjoy with good friendship and cheer. 

A Well behaved Coconut-Almond Cake

Yield: 8 wedges

*As always, choose organic for ultimate nutrition, flavor and health


1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup xylitol
4 cups large flake, unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking soda
1 teaspoon each: nutmeg and cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
5 eggs
4 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons rum
1/4 cup coconut nectar
3/4 cup sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil and line a 9-inch round cake pan. 

In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond meal, xylitol, coconut, and coconut flour. Add baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extracts, rum, and coconut nectar. While stirring, add wet ingredients to flour mixture. Combine well.

Transfer to prepared cake pan and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake for 45 minutes until lightly browned and center springs back when touched. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

"You Only Live Once, Lick the Bowl" -Eat. Say. Love.

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