A warm slice of rustic vegan almond blueberry cake is just perfect for an afternoon treat, or anytime for that matter. The delicate cake layers create a light, moist dessert that is packed with flavour and so good that you’ll be reaching for another slice.
Why I Made This Recipe
We always seem to have blueberries at home, whether they are fresh from the local farm or frozen ones that we can pull out of the freezer to add to baked goods throughout winter. Our kids love them on pancakes and oatmeal so lately I’ve been trying to persuade them to eat them in baked goods as well and they adore this cake. I hope you will too.
Why You Should Make This
If you are looking for a heartwarming, cozy dessert, this pie-like cake will satisfy your cravings. Easy to make and safe for multiple food allergies. Comfort eating at its best!
Ingredients and Substitutions
To ensure that this recipe is allergen-friendly, I am using a couple of substitutions in place of egg and butter. Not vegan but still want to make this cake? Check out my ingredient substitutions to see how you can swap out ingredients to suit your own dietary requirements and my FAQ for more recipe info.
I always weigh my ingredients rather than use cup measurements. This ensures accuracy for every recipe and perfect results every time. I will be adding a more detailed post on this method of weighing soon as well as my handy conversion guide for US cup measurements.
All Purpose Flour: I am using all purpose flour (also known as plain flour) in this cake as it helps to create a slightly more dense structure that will hold up well against the blueberries. To make this gluten free, I recommend using a gluten free flour alternative such as Bob’s Red Mill 1-to1 Baking Blend or Otto’s Cassava Flour.
Almond Flour: The addition of almond flour helps add to both the flavour and the texture of the cake. Almonds are a key component of this cake so I do not suggest removing this ingredient from the cake.
Baking Powder and Salt: Baking powder helps the cake rise. Remember that baking powder adds PUFF to a recipe which is exactly what we want here. Salt is added to cut back on the sweetness, and also to enhance the flavours.
Sugar: I’m using white sugar in the cake batter. If you want a slightly caramelly undertone, you could sub with golden or light brown sugar. You can also substitute with coconut sugar. For the topping, I prefer to use turbinado sugar. If you can not find turbinado sugar, you can substitute it with any coarse brown sugar. The coarseness creates a nice crunch on the top of the cake.
Almonds: Sliced almonds are used to decorate the top of the cake and add an extra crunch.
Butter: I am using unsalted plant based melted butter to add fat to the cake. You can substitute with a light oil such as canola or coconut oil if you prefer or regular unsalted butter if you’re not dairy free or vegan.
Apple Sauce: my favourite egg replacer in baked goods is apple sauce as it provides moisture and acts as a great binding agent. If you are not vegan, feel free to sub with 2 eggs.
Buttermilk: I’m a huge fan of using buttermilk in my baked goods as it creates a light and fluffy texture with a little bit of tang that really elevates baking. Did you know that homemade buttermilk is really easy to make? For this recipe, use 3/4 of a cup (180ml) of milk (I used almond milk) and add 1 tbsp of vinegar (I used white vinegar) or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes and it’ll curdle (see below) and be ready to add to your recipe. While you can substitute with regular milk, I do highly recommend making buttermilk as the extra step is really worth it.
Flavourings: this cake really benefits from adding a few flavourings but you can sub them as you choose. I am using 1 teaspoon of almond extract and 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.
Blueberries: we always have blueberries on hand as our kids love having them with pancakes and oatmeal or even just as a snack. If fresh blueberries are not in season, you can substitute them with frozen blueberries. Allow them to come to room temperature before adding them to the recipe to avoid them going soggy.
How to Make Rustic Vegan Almond Blueberry Cake
Start by creaming the butter and sugar together to create a light and airy texture. I recommend using a stand mixer to make this cake so that you can add some of the ingredients while the batter is mixing. Mixing by hand with a hand mixer, wooden spoon or spatula will work just as well if you prefer to use those methods.
Next, we’ll add in the apple sauce and flavourings and stir until combined before starting to add our dry ingredients. You can do this in two or three stages. It’s really up to you. My preference is to NOT add all of the dry ingredients at once as that will create a heavier batter with the gluten being overactivated. To retain a light and airy texture, it is important to NOT overbeat the ingredients.
I suggest alternating between adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Add the buttermilk while the mixer is running (see the ingredients section for my easy method to make buttermilk). Add the remaining dry ingredients and give everything a final stir to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
Adding the blueberries
How many times have you added fruit to your baked good and they’ve disappointedly sunk to the bottom? That can lead to a soggy bottom (I’m channelling my inner Mary Berry here) and a bit of a mess. My top tip for adding fruit to any batter is to toss it in flour first. For this recipe, we are tossing the blueberries in one tablespoon of flour.
Coating the fruit in flour prevents it from sinking to the bottom of the cake while it bakes, as the coating helps to suspend the fruit in the batter. Perfect for ensuring you get an even distribution of fruit in every bite.
Building the Rustic Vegan Almond Blueberry Cake
Now we are ready to start building our cake in the cake pan. Make sure you have greased and lined the base with parchment paper and greased the sides (for easy cake removal). Spread half of the cake batter on the bottom of the cake pan. Then add the coated blueberries on top. You don’t need to push them down into the batter. Just let them sit on top, as shown below.
Finally spread the remaining cake batter on top, then sprinkle on the turbinado sugar and sliced almonds.
Bake at 350°F for 55 minutes until golden brown. Leave the cake in the baking pan to cool for 30 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate. Look how inviting that golden crust looks! Best enjoyed warm with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipping cream.
Let’s have a close-up look at our freshly sliced rustic vegan almond blueberry cake. I am obsessed with the golden crunch on top and the light, moist filling with evenly distributed berries. Delicious served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I really hope this has inspired you to try this cake.
This recipe makes one 9 inch round cake, with an average of 8 generous slices.
For homemade buttermilk, add 1 tbsp white vinegar to 180ml plant based milk. Allow curdling for 10 minutes before adding to the batter.
This cake is best enjoyed on the day of baking but will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Want more Fruity Dessert Recipes?
If you like fruity desserts, check out these family favourites:
- My zesty lemon drizzle muffins are always a winner (vegan)
- Make my easy no bake mini blueberry cheesecakes (vegan)
- Showcase your favourite fruit on this Summer Fruits Sable Breton Tart (dairy free)
Rustic Vegan Almond Blueberry Cake
For the cake batter
- 115 grams Plant Based Butter (unsalted)
- Additional butter for greasing
- 200 grams White Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract
- 100 grams Apple Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
- 160 grams All Purpose Flour
- 25 grams Almond Flour
- 7.5 grams Baking Powder
- 4 grams Salt
- 180 mililitres Vegan Buttermilk See notes for my quick recipe
- 300 grams Blueberries
- 1 tablespoon All Purpose Flour For dusting the berries
For the toppings:
- 30 grams Sliced Almonds
- 30 grams Turbinado Sugar See recipe note
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease the bottom and sides of the 9 inch cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment circle.
- Gather all your ingredients and equipment.
Making the cake batter:
- Cream together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- Add the apple sauce, the almond extract and vanilla bean paste and stir until combined.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. alternating between adding the buttermilk
- Add the buttermilk while the mixer continues to stir.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.
- Toss the bluberries in 1 tbsp of flour. This prevents them from sinking in the cake.
- Add half of the cake batter to the prepared cake pan.
- Add the coated blueberries then spread the remainng cake batter on top.
- Sprinkle on the turbinado sugar and sliced almonds on top.
- Bake at 350°F for 55 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before turning out on to a serving plate.
- Enjoy with a side of vanilla ice cream or whipping cream!
- This recipe makes one 9 inch round cake, with an average of 8 generous slices.
- Check out the full recipe post for substitution information. Turbinado sugar can be subbed with coarse brown sugar.
- For homemade buttermilk, add 1 tbsp white vinegar to 180ml plant based milk. Allow curdling for 10 minutes before adding to the batter.
- This cake is best enjoyed on the day of baking but will store well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Delicious served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
- I always weigh my ingredients rather than use cup measures. This ensures accuracy for every recipe and perfect results every time. I will be adding a more detailed post on this method of weighing soon as well as my handy conversion guide for US cup measurements.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 slice per serving with approximately 8 servings per recipe. Please note that nutrition information is calculated based on the ingredients in this recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons