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Paleo Spongy Cassava Flour Vanilla Cake

Paleo Spongy Cassava Flour Vanilla Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free).jpg

I grew up with this kind of cake, which in my country we are called "panetela" it's very easy to do, and also a humble one, because it only needs eggs, sugar, and flour,  It`s most likely the Genoese one. My mom who it`s my inspiration used to make one after the other assured us we could have a dessert or breakfast ready, it is not very sweet, and we ate it by dipping it into the milk. Over time, I learned to do it and then taught my children to make it too.

It was my first reference when I had to do a cake, it`s very customizable. I have made it for a long time for every occasion I have sliced, and drunk it in syrup, with fruits, caramel, cream, chocolate, meringue, etc., and always came out perfect, my friends and family always ask to make it, also, when I was in the Dominican Republic I won a prize with my Amaretto Chocolate Cake.

The idea to make it healthy with cassava flour has been surrounding me all the time, yesterday 19th was my birthday Yaaay!  and I needed this in my life, the worst thing is that I waste everything, a thing that I don`t like at all, and you know it but if you don`t try you never will know right? but I am so happy because I did it and it`s so good!  😍 I think I'm back in my home now.

Paleo Spongy Cassava Flour Vanilla Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free).jpg

Cassava also known as Yuca is grown in many parts of South America, Central America, Caribe, Africa, and, Asia. It`s a root vegetable similar to other starchers such as taro, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, etc. naturally vegan, paleo, nut-free, grain-free, and gluten-free flour. It`s a great source for an alternative healthy diet and those with food allergies. Don`t be confused, cassava flour it`s not the same as tapioca flour, this last it`s made refining the cassava flour becomes starch with less nutritional value, the same happens in whole wheat flour when is refined and becomes white-purpose flour.

When you bake or cook with it, it`s similar to wheat flour, depending on the brand you get, the ratio for baking is 1:1, sometimes you need  3/4:1 or add 1 or 2 tablespoons. I only have been using two brands: Otto`s Natural Cassava Flour, and Terrasul Superfoods, I can say they are very good, but at the same time different. I absolutely love Otto`s because almost all the time it`s the same first proportion, the second one can be tricky, you need to add a little more, but in general, I like both.

This is my first attempt, keep close because I want to make it again, maybe I will change something, you can not expect that this will go up the same as the other one that has gluten, but the taste is the same, although every cake that has separate eggs yolks and eggs whites deflates a little bit.

I did not realize to make it in a small pan, like 8 inches that`s why it`s less high, so the next time I will.

Paleo Spongy Cassava Flour Vanilla Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free).jpg

Let me tell you another trick that I learned with my mom, never put grease on the walls of the pan in this kind of cake,  grease only the bottom of it, the issue is that the cake has to rise and hold onto the walls, so if you put grease, it can`t go up. 😉

Let's do it!


Paleo Spongy Cassava Flour Vanilla Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free).jpg
Preparation Time: 10 min
Baking Time: 40 min
Total Time: 50 min
The recipe makes 8-10 servings

  1. 1 cup cassava flour well sifted
  2. 5 eggs at room temperature, and separated
  3. 1/3 cup coconut milk or another nut milk warmed
  4. 4 tbsp ghee or butter melted + for greasing the pan
  5. 1/4 tsp pink or sea salt
  6. 3/4 cup coconut sugar, monk sugar, or any sweetener substitute divided in half
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. 1 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  10. 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional but it helps to sift the egg whites)
  11. 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  12. 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
Coconut Cream Frosting
  1. The cream of one chilled can of full-fat coconut milk.
  2. 2-3 tbsp honey or maple syrup (add more to your liking)
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Preheat oven to 325 F, grease an 8-inch spring pan, or as you can see in my pictures a 9-inch one, and I recommend putting parchment paper on the bottom only.

Put a pan with water on the bottom of the oven. The steam will help to cook the cake, as well as it won't allow it to burn before it is cooked.

First, separate the eggs into two different bowls. 

Sift the cassava flour, and measure again to have 1 cup, don`t pack it, mix with the baking soda and baking powder, and cinnamon if it is used. I added about 1/4 tsp turmeric to add color because the coconut sugar has a brown color, but you can skip it if you want.

Divide the coconut sugar or another sweetener, half of it goes into the egg yolks, with the milk, ghee or butter, and vanilla extract, and the other half into the egg whites.

In the other bowl add the egg whites with the cream of tartar, beat them until foamy, then slowly add the sugar until reaches the meringue form, and set aside.

With the same beater (don`t need to be cleaned) beat the egg yolks, butter, and sugar until everything is well mixed, pour in the milk, and beat again. Then add the cassava flour until everything is well combined.

Take a small portion of the egg whites and put on the egg yolks mixture, stirring to soften the thick batter, once is well incorporated, go slowly adding and folding the egg whites into the egg yolks, be careful and don`t let the eggs whites go down until you finish. This is the most important step to make, so fold it with patience.

Be careful pouring the batter on the cake pan, and tap it a little on the counter, once you do it, take it to the oven on the middle rack above the hot water pan.

Bake it between 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven temperature. Taste it when a taken pick inserted in the middle comes clean or doing a little pressure in the middle of it springs back.

Take it out of the oven, and let it cool before removing it to the pan, passing a knife for the edges to separate it.

Then, whip the coconut cream, and add honey, and vanilla until it`s well dissolved and has the consistency of frosting. Customize the cake to your liking.

Take the cake to the fridge to set the coconut cream.

Enjoy your preferred fruits, and syrups, or eat like that as part of your breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Notes: It can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

This color is due to the coconut sugar, I add a pinch of turmeric to change a little the brown color, but you can use another sugar that has a lesser brown color like a date or maple.

If you are not in Paleo and want to substitute the sugar for another sweetener, the proportion will be the same 1:1.

The Nutrition Facts is based on 8 generous servings.

Nutrition Facts Paleo Spongy Cassava Flour Vanilla Cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free).jpg

I want to see your creations! Follow me, tag, or pin the recipe when you do it.

Let`s Connect

XO Marta

Interested to see other cake recipes?



Remember that "Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one". Astrid Alauda.

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