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 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 41 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 melted coconut oil
  • 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 cake pans 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.

Video

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




    29 comments
    1. Stacy Feldmann
      July 16, 2022 AT 2:58 pm

      5 stars
      Hello! I just made this as a double layer cake sandwiched with your cream cheese frosting. We whizzed up the oat flour ourselves with gluten free oats and otherwise threw a handful or so of roughly chopped pistachios into the batter. It was divine!! We topped your cream cheese frosting with extra roughly chopped pistachio and chopped fresh strawberries. I only have the tiniest bit of the cake left. It was polished off by the whole party- 6 adults and 2 children. Thank you for a super recipe. We will use it again and again.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 18, 2022 AT 10:41 am

        Yay! I am so happy that you and your guests enjoyed this recipe. The pistachios & strawberries sound like a delicious addition, that you for sharing! I appreciate you coming back and leaving your review + star rating, it means so much.

    2. DJ
      June 30, 2022 AT 11:32 pm

      1 star
      I really wanted to like this cake. I did not use the rainbow sprinkles, perhaps as a result the cake was not sweet enough to me it tasted like a bowl of oatmeal. The consistency also looked like a whole grain batter and not a cake batter. I frosted it with the cheesecake frosting recipe which had to be doctored up and I put organic raspberry jam in between the layers. I’ll see at the birthday what guests have to say about it tomorrow. It definitely tastes healthy but that’s about it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 1, 2022 AT 12:30 pm

        Hi DJ – did you change anything else in this recipe?

    3. Bridget
      June 25, 2022 AT 9:29 am

      5 stars
      Tried this for my first daughters 3rd birthday last month and it was a hit with everyone! Doubled it to make a taller cake.
      Planning on making it for my other daughters 1st birthday this weekend. I don’t have all purpose flour or almond, just oats and whole wheat. Could I sub whole wheat or try to go for fully oat? Wondering if anyone did either and it it turned out well

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 27, 2022 AT 12:36 pm

        Hey Bridget – I’m so glad to hear that it worked out for you! I haven’t tried subbing the flour so I’m not sure how it would turn out. I would probably recommend subbing the whole wheat since using only oat might make it a bit dense. Let me know how it goes!

    4. Margaret
      June 12, 2022 AT 5:35 pm

      5 stars
      I made this recipe for my husband’s birthday in May. I used chocolate chips instead of sprinkles, and made cupcakes. I used the chocolate frosting recipe from this website. The cupcakes were so yummy! My husband loved them. I highly recommend this recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 13, 2022 AT 9:38 am

        So glad you and your husband loved it! Thank you for leaving a comment and review, I so appreciate it.

    5. divya
      April 15, 2022 AT 10:51 am

      Hi there! Thanks for the delicious recipes! Can I serve the birthday cake without any frosting? No one enjoys frosting in our family.🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 15, 2022 AT 4:36 pm

        Hi, Divya! I don’t see why not! You could serve it with some fruit and whipped cream if you prefer!

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