This simple and light gluten-free peach cake is made with almond and cassava flours, perfectly spiced with cinnamon and cardamom, and bursting with juicy peaches! It’s a cinch to make, and your family and friends will love it!
I adore ripe summer peaches and I love cake, so let’s face it: this fresh peach cake recipe was destined to happen. This tender cake tastes like the best parts of summer, and it’s just sweet enough that even a picky Asian mother-in-law won’t be able to resist eating a slice!
If you’ve been craving a peach dessert but looking for one with a healthier twist, I’ve got you covered!
- Use a kitchen scale! I measure out the dry ingredients and ghee by weight because it leads to consistently replicable results. (I use this kitchen scale.) Pro tip: If you hit the “metric” button in the printable recipe card below, you’ll find the gram measurements for the ingredients.
- Ingredients should be ready to go! Take the time to measure and prep all the ingredients ahead of time. This way you won’t forget anything and the baking process will go super smoothly.
- Don’t substitute ingredients! Baking is a science and paleo baking requires you to be even more nit-picky. And before you ask: if I haven’t tested out an ingredient substitution and noted it in the ingredients section below, this means I have no idea if it’ll work. As always, if you make a successful ingredient substitution, please leave it in the comments section.
- Baking pan substitutions! I use a 9-inch round cake pan for this recipe, but an 8-inch square pan will also work. I don’t have a 9-inch springform pan, but that would be perfect for this recipe and you won’t need to line it with parchment paper.
Peach Cake Ingredients
- Peaches: This recipe calls for 1 pound of ripe peaches—about 2 large peaches. I know it’s kind of a pain, but I prefer to peel the peaches and cut them into ¼-inch slices for this cake. Don’t choose super soft peaches (or sub frozen or canned peaches) because your cake will turn out too mushy. No peaches? You can substitute nectarines, plums, or other stone fruit.
- Finely ground almond flour: Stone fruit pairs well with almonds so I like to use some almond flour in this recipe to keep things paleo and gluten-free. And no, I haven’t tried making a nut-free version of this cake (yet!).
- Cassava flour: I use cassava flour to replace all purpose flour—it lightens the batter, and the resulting crumb is delicate and tender. The brand of cassava flour that gives me the most consistent results is Otto’s cassava flour. I haven’t tried using tapioca or arrowroot powder in place of it, but let me know if it works for you.
- Spices: I use a combination of ground cinnamon and cardamom in this cake but you can use one or the other depending on your preference. Ground cardamom is pretty strong so I wouldn’t use more than ¾ teaspoon in this recipe.
- Baking soda: In place of baking powder, I simply use some baking soda combined with lemon juice as the leavening agent.
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Ghee: I like using ghee in place of unsalted butter in my baked goods because the milk solids (which are problematic for some people) are removed. If you don’t tolerate ghee, you can use refined coconut oil, sustainable palm shortening, or vegan butter.
- Maple sugar: This is my preferred granulated paleo sweetener but you can substitute coconut sugar if you don’t have any on hand. Looking for a low carb substitute? You can use 1 cup of granulated allulose, but make sure to cover the cake with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes of baking because it browns quickly.
- Large eggs: I haven’t tried an egg-free version of this cake so I’m not sure if you can use an egg substitute.
- Full-fat coconut milk: If you don’t have any on hand, any other non-dairy milk will work!
- Lemon zest and lemon juice: Adds a nice citrusy punch and the juice is needed to activate the baking soda.
- Pure vanilla extract: I love using vanilla extract in this cake, but almond extract is also fab.
How to make peach cake
Heat oven and mix the dry ingredients
Heat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
Prepare the cake pan
Lightly grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with ghee.
Trace the bottom of the cake pan on a piece of parchment paper and cut it out (Pro tip: Leave longer flaps at the tops and sides to help with cake removal). Place the parchment round in the greased cake pan and set it aside.
Make the batter
Add the softened ghee and maple sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if you’re using a hand mixer).
Use the paddle attachment to cream the fat and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until it’s lighter in color and fluffy. Don’t rush this part!
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, coconut milk, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla.
Beat the mixture on medium speed for 30 seconds or until combined. (Psst! It’s okay if the batter looks curdled at this point!)
Next, add half the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
Add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in any dry flour with a spatula.
Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, carefully fold ⅔ of the sliced peaches into the batter.
Transfer the batter to the parchment-lined baking pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining peach slices. (For practice, I arrange the slices on a 9-inch plate beforehand to see what looks best before I top the cake.)
Bake the peach cake
Pop the pan in the oven and bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool and serve
Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before depanning.
Cut the cake into 8 slices and top with non-dairy vanilla ice cream or whipped coconut cream if desired!
How to store leftover peach cake
Store leftover cake in a sealed container or wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Looking for more paleo cake recipes?
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Fresh Peach Cake (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free)
- 1 cup finely ground almond flour
- ¾ cup cassava flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ cup ghee softened (and extra ghee for greasing the pan)
- ⅔ cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound peaches peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼-inch slices
- Heat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and kosher salt. Set aside.
- Lightly grease the sides and bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with ghee. Trace the bottom of the cake pan on a piece of parchment paper and cut it out (Pro tip: Leave longer flaps at the tops and sides to help with cake removal). Place the parchment round in the greased cake pan and set it aside.
- Add the softened ghee and maple sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer). Use the paddle attachment to cream the fat and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until it is lighter in color and fluffy. Don’t rush this part!
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, coconut milk, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla. Beat the mixture on medium speed for 30 seconds or until combined. (Psst! It’s okay if the batter looks curdled at this point!)
- Next, add half the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the rest of the flour and mix until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in any dry flour with a spatula.
- Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, carefully fold ⅔ of the sliced peaches into the batter.
- Transfer the batter to the parchment-lined baking pan and smooth the top with a offset spatula.
- Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining peach slices. (For practice, I design a 9-inch plate with peach slices to see what looks best before I top the cake.)
- Pop the pan in the oven and bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and cool completely. Cut the cake into 8 slices and top with non-dairy vanilla ice cream or whipped coconut cream if desired!
Michelle, this looks AMAZING and beautiful! Question for you: if I made and baked this on Friday, could I tightly wrap it up, and serve for dessert on Sat? I find it easier to make desserts the day before a dinner with friends. Thanks so much for the recipe!
Michelle Tam says
Hi Christine! I think paleo baked goods taste the best on the day you bake them so I would make the cake on Saturday—it’s okay to leave out at room even if you bake it in the morning. That being said, you can make a trial cake early this week just to test it before you serve it to company!
Thank you, Michelle. One last question: with these flavors, what would you say about adding a small amount of toasted chopped walnuts into the batter (like maybe as much as a 1/4 to 1/3 cup) right *before* folding in the peaches. (We just LOVE our toasted chopped nuts in desserts 🙂
Regina Chan says
It should be fine!
Loved this not-so-sweet peach cake! Can’t wait to try again with the right ingredients. I didn’t have cassava flour so I subbed 1:1 (metric) tapioca flour. Also used a scant tsp of cinnamon and for me personally it was still too much but I managed to eat two pieces anyway :)! Also subbed a couple of swipes of microplaned nutmeg for the cardamom. Not sure if it was the tapioca flour or something else but the cake rose so much it covered up my sliced peaches I topped the cake with. I ended up doing a peach upsidedown cake since it didn’t want to come out of the pan.It was beautiful and delish. Will try again with sweeter peaches! Love me anything fruity! Thanks Michelle!
Deb H says
Hi, this looks easy and delicious. I was wondering if I could swap out coconut oil for ghee as I am also dairy and soy free.
Regina Chan says
Yes Michelle mentions that you can sub refined coconut oil for ghee in the post.
Can we sub the cassava flour with another flour?
Also can we sun the eggs with flax eggs?
Regina Chan says
Hi Sandy! Michelle mentions in the post she’s not sure about substitutions other than ones for ghee. If you’re successful in these substitutions, please comment so everyone else can benefit!
I made the peach cake according to the recipe and it’s delicious. Next time I think I will dice the peaches that is folded into the bater. This will distribute the peaches throught with more peaches in every bite. I also thinkk this will be just as great with pears since cardomon goes very well with pears. Will try it when pears are in season and will let you know.
This looks delicious! My daughter’s birthday is coming up and I think this will be perfect for her!!!!
Have you tried any cake with toasted oatmeal flour?
Regina Chan says
All of Michelle’s recipes are paleo and grain-free.
Nicolette Navarro says
I used refined coconut oil and I’m having a lot of trouble creaming it. Maybe it’s OK that it is not creamed but more still in liquid form? Could be because my kitchen is so hot so my coconut oil is melted.
Michelle Tam says
Oh no! You should chill the coconut oil so it’s solid before you cream it with the sugar. I’m not sure the texture will be the same…
Thanks for the great recipe! I didn’t have the cassava flour so I used a gluten free flour blend instead and it came out great. I also cut the sugar in half. The batter was still light, fluffy and yummy! I divided the batter into two loaf pans and topped each with 8 slices of peaches for garnish and portion markers. I will make this again…maybe with plums next time.