Vanilla Tigernut Birthday Cake

Did you know there are cakes out there that you can wholeheartedly and guiltlessly enjoy? Yep, it’s, like, a REAL thing! I know what you’re thinking, “Aren’t cakes are filled with tons junk? ” Also, yep! They usually have all the bad stuff that we hate to love – processed sugars, flours, preservatives (from boxed goods), and all sorts of other unnecessary ingredients.

After looking at hundreds of cake recipes throughout and after culinary school, I recognized that most cake recipes require CUPS of sugar. After a while, this just started to makes my insides cringe and twist – I just recently read that the average American person consumes over 150 pounds of sugar every year! EEEK!!  Eventually, I got to thinking. Why can’t there be a delicious cake out there for those who don’t want to have all that sugar? Why aren’t there cakes out there that don’t require gluten or processed wheat flour? After all, cakes are often used in joyful celebrations and special occasions, so shouldn’t cake be something we can enjoy eating without the regret afterwards?

It seemed reasonable to come up with a special recipe that would take into account dietary restrictions/preferences while still being absolutely delicious. After a few weeks of playing in my kitchen, I finally came up with a recipe that optimizes enjoyment without the guilt! The greatest part about it is that I used tigernut flour, which is a  root vegetable (not a nut, despite the name) and is gluten-free. I substituted processed sugar for the sweet taste of maple syrup and opted out of dairy too because it can equally be a troublesome culprit for bodily inflammation and digestive problems.

Are you getting excited yet? Well, here goes.. a tigernut, coconut oil and maple syrup cake that is gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, and dairy-free. Time to indulge!

The recipe below makes ONE 8” cake. While making this very special cake for a friend, I made a three layer cake and tripled the ingredients on the recipe list.

Cake ingredients:

  • 2 ½ c tigernut flour (can sub almond flour)
  • ½ t baking soda
  • ½ t Himalayan salt
  • 2 free range eggs
  • ¼ c coconut oil, melted (grass-fed butter would be a nice sub)
  • ½ c maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • organic berries for topping/layering
  • flowers for topping (optional)

Frosting ingredients:

  • 1-2 regular can of organic coconut cream cooled in the fridge overnight*
  • splash of maple syrup
  • splash of vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350˚ and line/grease pans. This is for an 8” cake.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and give a quick mix. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, and then add the rest of the wet ingredients. Combine the bowls. Separate the batter evenly to baking pans and cook for about 25 minutes, or until done and toothpick comes out clean.

Wait for the cake to cool for at least 10-15 minutes to take it out of the tin. Wait until the cake is fully cooled (not warm!) before you frost. If the cake is warm, the frosting will melt very quickly as it’s made from coconut.

For the frosting, place mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for at least 5 minutes. Take just the cream out of the can which will be at the very top and use the watery part for another purpose (smoothies?). Pour the coconut cream in the cold mixing bowl and whip until it’s light and fluffy. Sweeten with a splash of maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Decorate by topping the cake with the coconut cream, berries and flowers.

*If you forgot to put the coconut cream in the fridge, put it in an ice bath for at least 20 minutes. It gets very cold quickly and won’t freeze like it would if you try to put it in the freezer. Also, I like to make extra so that I have plenty to work with, and have some extra if possible for dipping other fruit in.



  1. Stephanie

    Hi there, just wondering if it’s possible to use an egg substitute for this recipe and what the best one would be. My son is celebrating his birthday this months but his sister is mostly AIP. Any help would be appreciated.


    1. gldnoctopus

      Try using a flaxseed egg substitute. Rule of thumb, one regular egg sub is 1 T ground flax seeds with 3T water or milk of choice (for cakes I like to use a non-dairy milk). So, for this recipe, you’d need 2 T ground flax seeds with 6 T liquid. Similarly, you could use a chia seed egg. Same ratio but make sure flaxseeds or chia seeds are ground and let them soak in the liquid for a few minutes. This will allow the mix to become gelatinous and “sticky” to hold the cake together. LMK if you have any other questions or need any other recommendations. xo


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s