Healthy Birthday Cake

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The best healthy birthday cake that’s made with a combo of oat and almond flour and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It’s fluffy, moist, gluten-free, dairy-free and a great healthier option for a birthday party or any celebration!

In honor of Liv’s second birthday, I wanted to share a healthy birthday cake recipe! I shared a smash cake recipe last year but I wanted to share a cake recipe that kids (and adults!) of all ages could enjoy!

A cake sitting on a cake stand. The cake is iced in white frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. A slice has been cut and is being removed, exposing the 3 layers of funfetti cake with cream cheese frosting in between the layers.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This recipe is almost as easy as making cake from a box… almost!
  • It’s made with just 10 simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
  • It’s a great base recipe that can be customized with mix-ins and frostings.
  • This cake is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free but still absolutely delicious!
A 3-layer slice of healthy birthday cake with layers of cream cheese icing and topped with rainbow sprinkles sits on a plate with a fork.

Birthday Cake Made Healthier

In most traditional birthday cake recipes you’ll see white flour, white sugar and butter or vegetable oil, but in true EBF fashion I decided to make an upgraded birthday cake that’s gluten-free, dairy-free and free of refined sugars thanks to a few substitutions.

  • almond and oat flour to make this cake gluten-free I swapped white flour for almond and oat flour. The combo of the two results in super fluffy, light cake!
  • maple syrup – I swapped white, refined sugar for my favorite natural sweetener, maple syrup.
  • coconut oil – instead of using vegetable oil or butter we’re using coconut oil, which adds healthy fats and isn’t as processed as some of the alternatives.
Ingredients in bowls measured out to make a healthy birthday cake: maple syrup, salt, coconut oil, dairy-free milk, baking soda, oat flour, eggs, vanilla, almond flour, almond extract and sprinkles.

Here’s What You Need

  • eggs – make sure your eggs are at room temperature before baking this cake. I won’t get into the science behind it but it’s key for a fluffy cake! Also, if your eggs are cold the coconut oil will harden up when combined. I haven’t tested this recipe with a vegan substitute like flax eggs, so I’m not sure how the cake will turn out. If you decide to try a vegan version let me know in the comments below!
  • pure maple syrup – the natural sweetener in this cake. I haven’t tried other sweeteners, but I bet any liquid sweetener would work as a substitute.
  • dairy-free milk –  any dairy-free milk works but I used unsweetened almond milk (make your own almond milk or use store-bought).
  • coconut oil – make sure your coconut oil is in the liquid state. You can heat on the stovetop or microwave for a few seconds until melted if necessary. Feel free to sub with any oil of choice or melted butter.
  • vanilla extract and almond extract – delicious flavor enhancers that round out this cake and adds that true birthday cake flavor.
  • blanched almond flour – I recommend using blanched almond flour because the skins have been removed so you’re left with a fine-texture, light colored flour that works perfectly for cake.
  • oat flour – you can make your own oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a food processor or you can buy oat flour from the store.
  • baking soda – to help the cake rise.
  • salt – to bring the flavors of the cake together.
  • rainbow sprinkles – I used supernatural rainbow sprinkles. They’re free of artificial dyes and are gluten-free and vegan.
tip!
I added sprinkles to this cake but chocolate chips would be delicious as well! 
Side by side photos of a three tier birthday cake on a cake stand before and after being frosted and decorated.

How to Make Healthy Birthday Cake

In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients – the eggs, maple syrup, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract and almond extract. Make sure the mixture is fully combined and smooth throughout before moving on to the next step.

In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients – almond flour, oat flour, baking soda and salt. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula until just combined and smooth. Try not to over-mix or your cake will be too dense. Gently stir the sprinkles into the batter.

Spray your cake pans with cooking spray or coat with coconut oil and then pour the cake batter into the baking dishes. Bake at 350ºF for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. You’ll know the cakes are done when you insert a toothpick into the center and it comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then carefully remove each cake and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cake has cooled to room temperature, frost, top with more sprinkles and enjoy!

Overhead photo of a cake on a cake stand. The cake is iced in white frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. A slice has been cut but not removed.

Using Different Size Cake Pans or a Cupcake Tin

  • 8 inch pans: This batter will make enough to fill two 8 inch cake pans. If using two 8 inch pans, bake for 20 minutes until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • 4-inch pans: If you want to make a mini cake using three 4-inch cake pans, you’ll bake for 20-25 minutes and you will have batter leftover! I used this recipe for my daughter’s birthday cake and was able to make three 4-inch layers for the cake and 5 cupcakes with the leftover batter.
  • Cupcakes: You’ll want to bake these for 15-20 minutes in paper liners. The recipe makes about 17 cupcakes.
  • Square pan: I haven’t tested it, but I bet you could also make this cake in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan. I’m not sure about the bake time, but I’m guessing 20-30 minutes.

Healthy Birthday Cake Variations

As I mentioned, this cake is a great base recipe that can be customized with different mix-ins and frostings! I used rainbow sprinkles as a mix-in and for topping and frosted the cake with my healthier cream cheese frosting, but the options are endless. Here are some ideas:

  • switch up the frosting – both my healthy chocolate frosting or peanut butter Greek yogurt frosting would be delicious paired with this vanilla cake. Also, you can’t go wrong with a classic buttermilk vanilla frosting. If going the store-bought route, my favorite healthier store-bought frosting is Simple Mills vanilla frosting.
  • swap the sprinkles – instead of sprinkles chocolate chips would be a delicious mix-in and topping! I bet mixing in fresh or frozen blueberries for a fruit-themed cake would also be delicious.
A slice of birthday cake on a plate, laying on its side.

Can You Make This Cake Ahead of Time?

Yes! This cake can be made 1-3 days in advance. To make ahead of time, let the cake layers cool completely and store them in the fridge, covered until you’re ready to assemble and serve. Alternatively, you can frost and decorate the cake and store it covered in the fridge until ready to serve!

How to Store Leftovers

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container on the counter for 1-2 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. I haven’t tried freezing this cake, but I would imagine it would freeze just fine either frosted or unfrosted. If you’re making this cake ahead of time for a special occasion and want to store it in the freezer, I would store the individual layers separately in an airtight container or bag (I love my Stasher bags). The day before you’re ready to serve, let the layers thaw in the fridge then assemble and decorate as desired!

More Cake Recipes to Try

The Most Popular Dessert Recipes

Be sure to check out all of the dessert recipes here on EBF!

Healthy Birthday Cake

4 from 15 votes
The best healthy birthday cake that's made with a combo of oat and almond flour and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It's fluffy, moist, gluten-free, dairy-free and a great healthier option for a birthday party or any celebration!
A cake sitting on a cake stand. The cake is iced in white frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. A slice has been cut and is being removed, exposing the 3 layers of funfetti cake with cream cheese frosting in between the layers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 slices

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup dairy-free milk, I used unsweetened almond milk
  • cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour, packed
  • 1 cup oat flour, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup rainbow sprinkles, plus more for topping

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray three 6-inch cake pans with cooking spray or coconut oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, maple syrup, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract and almond extract until fully combined and smooth. Set aside.
    Wet ingredients for birthday cake in a mixing bowl.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, add your almond flour, oat flour, baking soda and salt and mix well. Set aside.
    Dry ingredients for birthday cake in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula until just combined and smooth. Stir sprinkles into the batter.
    Cake batter in a bowl. A spatula rests in the bowl alongside some rainbow sprinkles that have yet to be mixed in.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dishes and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
    3 cake plans filled with cake batter, ready to go into the oven.
  • Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes. Remove cake from pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
    Three cake rounds cooling on a cooling rack.
  • Once cake is at room temperature frost it with your favorite frosting and top with additional sprinkles if you prefer.
    A white cake stand with 3 layers of birthday cake stacked on top. There is cream cheese icing between the layers.
  • Cut cake and serve.
    A cake sitting on a cake stand. The cake is iced in white frosting and topped with rainbow sprinkles. A slice has been cut and is being removed, exposing the 3 layers of funfetti cake with cream cheese frosting in between the layers.
  • Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for about 5 days.

Notes

  • 8 inch pans: This batter will make enough to fill two 8-inch cake pans. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • 4-inch pans: If you want to make a mini cake using three 4-inch cake pans, you’ll bake for 20-25 minutes and you will have batter leftover! I used this recipe for my daughter’s birthday cake and was able to fill the three 4-inch pans and make 5 cupcakes with the leftover batter.
  • Cupcakes: You’ll want to bake these for 15-20 minutes in paper liners. The recipe makes 17 cupcakes.
  • Square pan: I haven’t tested it, but I bet you could also make this cake in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square pan. I’m not sure about the bake time, but I’m guessing 20-30 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice Calories: 255kcal Carbohydrates: 34g Protein: 4g Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 7g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 56mg Sodium: 241mg Potassium: 29mg Sugar: 22g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy birthday cake

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    8 comments
    1. Marina
      November 20, 2021 AT 3:37 am

      5 stars
      I did this cake as a muffin version for my birthday last weekend and it was absolutely delicious 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 22, 2021 AT 10:47 am

        Oh yay! So happy to hear this cake was success and I love that you turned it into muffins. Such a great idea! Thanks for the review, Marina. I really appreciate it!

    2. Lucy
      November 13, 2021 AT 12:50 am

      Can I use Bob’s Red Mills egg replacer instead of eggs? Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 15, 2021 AT 3:41 pm

        Hey Lucy – I haven’t tried it so not sure how the cake will turn out. Let me know if you decide to try it!

    3. Maria D
      November 10, 2021 AT 8:24 am

      5 stars
      Hi from Ireland, thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I baked buns today using this recipe as a trial run for a birthday cake on Saturday for my very nearly two year old. They turned out really well. The texture is great and they’re very filling. I converted the recipe to the metric system as I had no measuring cups but even then it worked really well.

      I iced it with the linked cream cheese frosting. The combination is perfection. Adult and toddler approved! My go to birthday cake recipe now.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 10, 2021 AT 10:46 am

        Ah yay! So happy to hear this birthday caked was a success, Maria! Thanks so much for trying it out and coming back to leave a review and star rating. I so appreciate it!

    4. Rebeca
      November 3, 2021 AT 12:57 pm

      I want to say this cake looks incredible and definitely will try it.. I wanted to ask if I could exclude the almond extract not a favorite of mine or can I substitute?
      Thank you,
      Rebeca

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 4, 2021 AT 8:09 pm

        You can skip it! 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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