Made with vanilla cake layers, cream cheese frosting, and caramel sauce in between, this easy delicious keto cake recipe is the tastiest low carb and gluten-free cake that you can make for celebrations like birthdays.
Ingredients and substitutions
Blanched almond flour - I tried to make this keto vanilla cake with a blend of almond and coconut flour, but it turned out too dense and it didn't rise that much. So, I decided to stick with almond flour only as it gave a great result, making my cake layers, light, moist, and with a nice crumb.
Xanthan gum - If you avoid using xanthan gum, be prepared for your sponge cake to be more crumbly and lacking in the elasticity that helps to cut and stack cake layers without breaking them.
Baking powder - Even though we beat eggs a lot to make our low carb cake rise, baking powder is a must here.
Eggs - Use large eggs at room temperature.
Salt - Adding salt to the eggs will help to stabilize the emulsion while bringing a flavor balance to the cake.
Vanilla - Obviously, we need some vanilla to make a low carb keto cake. It not only gives the vanilla flavor, but also removes a possible eggy taste.
Sweetener - I used an erythritol and stevia blend from Sukrin, but you can use Swerve, allulose, or xylitol (NOTE: Xylitol can be deadly to pets! So, if you have one, don't let it lick the cake crumbs from your plate!). Also, you'll need a granulated sweetener to make the cake layers and powdered sweetener to make the frosting.
KETO CARAMEL SAUCE - No one can deny that vanilla and caramel are meant to be together. That's why I decided that a thin layer of caramel in between the cake layers would be perfect. You can, however, use other fillings instead. You can use store-bought sugar-free strawberry jam, sprinkle on some low carb chocolate shavings, or use the fresh berries of your choice.
Cream cheese - Use cold, full-fat cream cheese.
Heavy cream - Your heavy cream should be cold and have at least 36% fat.
Step by step directions
For the caramel
Place the sweetener into a saucepan with a thick bottom and heat over a medium-low heat. When it becomes golden and bubbly, add the butter and cook whisking continuously until fully melted. Then, cook for a couple of minutes or until deep golden. Slowly, with a thin strim, add the heavy cream while whisking constantly. When done, check the consistency. It should be pourable, but thick enough to cover the back of the spoon.
Leave to cool down in a saucepan for 10 minutes, then pour into a container and let come to room temperature before using as a cake filling. Don't try to cool it down quickly, as it can split. You can read the full recipe, including what can go wrong and how to fix it, over here >> KETO CARAMEL SAUCE.
For the sponge
Place the eggs, salt, and powdered sweetener in a big mixing bowl. Beat on high using a hand mixer for 10-12 minutes or until tripled in size and pale yellow. Lower the speed to low and add vanilla and olive oil one tablespoon at a time, then beat for 10-15 seconds.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture in three batches while gently folding with a rubber spatula until no dry ingredients are left in between.
Pour the batter into an 8-inch cake pan or springform with the bottom lined with parchment paper and bare walls (no cake pan release! the batter needs a grip on the cake pan's walls in order to rise). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top and the toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes. Then, run a blunt knife against the wall of the pan to release the cake. Place on a cooling rack to cool down to room temperature.
Frosting and assembling
Place all the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fully combined and thick, with a matte finish. Reserve ⅓ cup for decoration.
Cut the completely cooled sponge cake in half and place the top layer of the cake on a serving plate, cut side up. Spread an even layer of the frosting on top.
Pipe a thick border along the edges of the cake, creating a dam that will hold the caramel filling inside the cake. Pour the caramel sauce into the middle and spread evenly. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the frosting on top and spread, covering the caramel.
Place the second layer of the cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting on the top and the sides of the cake.
Decorate with the reserved frosting and freezer-dried raspberries, if desired.
Carbs in sugar-free keto cake
You can have a cake and eat it too on a keto or low carb diet! This is going to become your go-to keto birthday cake recipe, I promise. The taste, the texture, everything is there without too many carbs. You can cut the cake into 10 pieces with only around 4g net carbs per piece!
Wrap a completely cooled sponge cake in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months. Before assembling the cake, thaw in the fridge overnight.
Assembled cake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Put it in a cake box or cover it with a cake cover to prevent it from losing moisture and absorbing other flavors in the fridge.
Yes, you can! Bake your sponge and cool it down completely. Then, wrap it tightly in a plastic wrap to prevent losing moisture and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
More low carb recipes
Gluten-free keto carrot cake recipe
Easy keto birthday cake
- 8-inch (20cm) cake pan or springform of the same size
- 2 cup 200g almond flour
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 ½ baking powder
- 5 medium to large eggs 50-55g each at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup 100g granulated sweetener such as from Sukrin, Swerve, or allulose
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp 30g extra mild olive oil
- 9 oz 400g cream cheese cold
- 4 tbsp 40g powdered sweetener
- 1 cup 60g heavy whipping cream cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Freeze-dried raspberries optional
For the caramel
- Melt the sweetener in a medium saucepan with a thick bottom over a medium-low heat.
- When completely melted and golden-brown, add the butter and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until fully incorporated. If the mixture separates, remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until combined again. Return to heat.
- Then, slowly add the heavy cream while stirring. Cook for around 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking the consistency. The sauce is ready when it covers the back of the spoon in a thick layer.
- Leave to cool down in a saucepan for 10 minutes, then pour into a container and let come to room temperature before using as a cake filling.
For the sponge
- Preheat the oven to 180C (355F). Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20cm) cake pan or springform with parchment paper. The walls of the pan should stay untouched!
- Sift the almond flour, xanthan gum, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Then, whisk to combine and set aside.
- Place the eggs, salt, and powdered sweetener in a large mixing bowl. Beat on high using a hand mixer (or stand mixer with a whisk attachment) for 10-12 minutes or until tripled in size and pale yellow. Lower the speed to low, add vanilla and olive oil one tablespoon at a time, and beat for 10-15 seconds.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mixture in three batches while gently folding with a rubber spatula until no dry ingredients are left in between.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan or springform and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top and the toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes. Then, run a blunt knife against the wall of the pan to release the cake. Place on a cooling rack to cool down to room temperature.
Frosting and assembling
- Place all the frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until fully combined and thick, with a matte finish. Reserve ⅓ cup for decoration.
- Cut the completely cooled sponge cake in half and place the top layer of the cake on a serving plate, cut side up. Spread an even layer of the frosting on top.
- Pipe a thick border along the edges of the cake, creating a dam that will hold the caramel filling inside the cake. Pour the caramel sauce into the middle and spread evenly. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the frosting on top and spread, covering the caramel.
- Place the second layer of the cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- Decorate with the reserved frosting and freeze-dried raspberries, if desired.
This website, https://heretocook.com, offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculators such as Cronometer.com and MyFitnesPal.com
Hi. Your equipment says (2) 8” round springform. Is this a typo?
I read the blog and it seems like these measurements are for (1) 8” springform round cake… that you directed to cut in have to make it a layer cake.
I highly doubt 2 cups of almond flour will yield 2 8” cakes. Also for my knowledge why did you chose to use 5 large eggs for this recipe? I thought there was coconut flour hence the large quantity but what does this do for the 1 cake round? Thank you
Hi Jahmila! It's not a typo. There're two types of cakes out there - butter-based (common in the US) cakes and foam-based cakes (common in the EU). My keto birthday cake is a foam-based cake which means that you use eggs to create volume by beating them with sweetener for 10-15 minutes, and then you carefully fold in the flour and other dry ingredients. Because of the egg foam, this type of cake doesn't need the same amount of flour to fill the cake pans. The air in the egg mixture will expand during the baking process. It will lift your cake and make the cake layers fluffy and soft. I hope you find my answer helpful.
Ahhh I see. Yes thank you for that explanation. I really didn’t want to waste any ingredients as I am trying to test recipes for my birthday cake (May 30).
I will test it out today on 6” pans as I can eat all that cake lol.
One more question, so will I cut both cakes into halves for the filling? Making it a 4 layer as opposed to a 2 layer?
When you make an 8" cake, you bake everything in one springform pan (There was a mistake in the equipment section of the recipe card, I'm sorry for that! I've fixed it!). Then, you need to cool down the sponge completely, before cutting it in half. Don't try to cut it into 3-4 layers, they will be too thin and difficult to handle.
Okay excellent. Thank you so much. Running to get the 8” springform now.
I just out the first recipe I’m testing into the oven and I am going to start whipping the eggs in with my KitchenAid mixer. Very excited. I will tag you
I saw your stories. Thank you for tagging me! It's always interesting to see how others make my recipes. I want to mention two things that I noticed in your stories.
When whipping the eggs in a stand mixer, you should use a whisk attachment. A paddle attachment can't whip the eggs good enough to create all that volume we need for a tall sponge.
Also, did you spray the walls of the springform pan with non-stick spray or something similar? If yes, this can be the reason for the sponge not rising in the oven, or rising but not as much as it should. The walls should stay untouched.
The baked sponge should be close to 2.5" or 6cm tall.
Just wanted to circle back here and let you know the cake taste delicious! My cake didn’t get as high as yours but I’m sure there are factors interns of oven, or maybe I needed to beat eggs longer than 15 min. It has the crumb & density I like.
I used let over keto caramel I used for an order this last weekend, but will try your version just because:)
Thank you again for your help!
I'm glad you like the recipe!
Just saw your comment Anna. Yes I started with the whisk but it wasn’t touching the egg mixture much so I switched. I will just try to get a new whisk that works better.
Yes it pulled away from the wall and I would say it was about 2 inches.
Thank you again