Looking for the perfect keto vanilla cake? You’ve come to the right place! Tender and moist with plenty of sugar free buttercream, it’s the ideal dessert for birthdays or any keto celebrations.
I have a whole slew of keto birthday cake recipes already, so why am I adding one more? Well, I recently realized that there was a glaring oversight that I needed to address.
That wonderful selection of cakes does not include a classic keto vanilla cake. What the heck? There is a keto chocolate cake, and a beautiful marble cake. And there are more outlandish flavors like keto caramel cake and even margarita cake.
But until now, no plain vanilla. Seriously, what was I thinking???
What’s your favorite flavor?
Given a choice, I almost always lean toward the more chocolatey desserts. I can’t help myself, plain vanilla just seems so… vanilla!
But then I make some and taste it, and almost without fail, I say “This is really good! Why don’t I make this more often?”. Really, my chocoholic tendencies blind me to other delicious flavors sometimes.
And this keto birthday cake was so rich and moist, with the best sugar free frosting, it won me over quickly. I can’t say that vanilla will ever become my favorite flavor. But it certainly deserves an honourable mention.
Especially when it’s decorated so beautifully with sugar free sprinkles!
How to make keto vanilla cake
This is a basic keto almond flour cake with plenty of vanilla. If you would prefer coconut flour, please make sure to read the FAQ! Here are my best tips for getting it right:
- Grease and line the pans. The best way to prep round cake pans is to grease them generously and line them with parchment. This ensures that the bottom of your cakes don’t stick to the pan.
- Use finely ground almond flour. When people say that almond flour is grainy, it’s usually the brand that’s the issue. I prefer Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour, as they are so fine, they make cakes with perfect crumb.
- Don’t skip the protein powder. If you want a truly light and fluffy keto birthday cake that rivals conventional cakes, the protein powder is a must. It helps lighten the cake and make it hold together better.
- Cream the butter properly. Just like conventional cake, you want to spend some time creaming the butter with the sweetener. This helps whip air bubbles into the cake batter, again making it lighter and fluffier.
- Room temperature eggs. Don’t forget to let them sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes! All your effort creaming the butter will go to waste if you add cold eggs.
- Let cool in the pan. Let the cake layers sit and cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping them out. They will be too fragile until they cool a bit and firm up.
How to frost keto birthday cake
There are so many ways to frost and decorate a keto birthday cake, and you certainly aren’t limited to vanilla. Here are some great ideas:
- Keto Swiss Meringue Buttercream: This is what I used for my cake and it’s truly the silkiest, smoothest keto vanilla frosting you can make. You will need about 1.25 times the recipe if you want to pipe rosettes on the top of the cake.
- Keto Chocolate Frosting: This easy frosting is smooth and creamy. You will need about 1.5 times the recipe for this cake.
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Caramel Frosting: The frosting from these cupcakes would be delicious. You would probably need 2 times the recipe for this cake.
- Nutella Frosting: My homemade Keto Nutella is fabulous in buttercream frosting too! You will need 1.5 times the recipe for this cake.
Frequently Asked Questions
Use my Keto Chantilly Cake recipe as the base for a coconut flour version and simply spread the batter into 2 cakes pans, rather than 3. Skip the almond extract and use another teaspoon of vanilla instead.
You can make the cake layers dairy free easily by using egg white protein in place of whey and coconut oil in place of the butter. The frosting is dairy based, however. You could try the dairy free chocolate frosting from my keto chocolate mayonnaise cake.
Gluten is a protein and in its absence, another dry protein powder helps baked goods rise and hold their shape. I do not recommend skipping it, nor do I recommend collagen or bone broth protein.
Heavy cream will weigh down this cake so you’re better off doing half water and half cream.
You can make them yourself but they are definitely labor intensive. I recommend these sprinkles from Good Dee’s.
A cake like this with rich, creamy frosting, is best stored in the fridge. But I personally like to eat it at room temperature, so I let mine sit out for a bit before serving. The cake and frosting both hold up well, and it can be refrigerated for up to a week.
The cake layers can be made ahead and frozen for up to two months, tightly wrapped up. Freezing frosted cake is harder since the frosting can be easily squashed, but it can be done. You can also cut it into slices and freeze those.
More delicious keto vanilla recipes
- Keto Vanilla Ice Cream
- Mini Keto Vanilla Bean Scones
- Easy Vanilla Pudding Pops
- Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
- Vanilla Mug Cake
- Keto Vanilla Rhubarb Custard
Keto Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 2 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ cup whey protein powder or egg white protein powder
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup granulated Swerve Sweetener
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup unflavored nut milk
Frosting and Garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease two 8 inch round metal baking pans well. Line the bottoms with parchment paper and grease the parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, protein powder, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sweetener until lightened and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated, then beat in the vanilla extract.
- Add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the nut milk. Divide the batter among the prepared baking pans and spread to the edges.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and the tops are just firm to the tough.
- Remove and let cool in the pans 30 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges and flip out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Frosting and Garnish
- Prepare the frosting according to the directions. Reserve about ½ to ⅔ cup of the frosting for piping decoratively.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or plate. Spread the top with one-third of the remaining frosting. Place the second layer on top and spread the top with another third of the frosting. Spread the sides with the final third.
- Use the reserved frosting to pipe rosettes or stars around the edge of the top of the cake. Sprinkle the top with 1 tablespoon sugar free sprinkles.
- To add sprinkles to the side of the cake: Set the cake plate on a clean counter. Pour sprinkles into your hand and gently press around the bottom 1 to 2 inches, letting any that don't stick fall onto the counter. Turn the cake as you press more into the bottom.
Jamie K says
How the heck do you click off on these ridiculously HUGE ads that obscure the entire page view? I cannot even read the recipes because of these ads. I love your recipes, so this makes me sad, lol. I want you to make all the $$ you can, girl, but I bet you are losing people with these ads. They disappear for a couple seconds, and come back with a different dress that I would never buy, lol.
Okay… can you grab screenshots. Because that’s not supposed to happen and the ad network can tweak. Also… what browser are you using? Is it updated? I am on my blog constantly both on phone and desktop and don’t have this issue.
Nannette Tate says
Can I make this vanilla cake as a sheet cake instead of layers?
Absolutely! Check out my cannoli sheet cake for pan size and baking time guidelines. This cake is a bit different so it may take more or less time. Keep your eye on it. https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/keto-cannoli-sheet-cake/
Carolyn miller says
Can l make a sheet cake with ths recipe?
Sure… but I can’t guide you how long to bake it for. Use one of my other sheet cakes as a reference but keep your eye on it!
Donnie Huybrechts says
Hello from Belgium. I don’t have any whey protein powder on hand but how many eggs or egg whites could I use to replace it or should I use something else ?
I can’t wait to try this as I’ve tried some other recipes of yours and they were ALL winners!
YOu cannot use egg whites to replace protein powder or you throw off the wet/dry ingredient ratios. Skip it if you must but please understand that the cake will not rise as nicely.
My son helped me make this for my birthday yesterday. It was amazing!! I haven’t had cake in so long. It was perfect!
Shelby Delos says
To make this almond flavored would I substitute all of the vanilla for almond extract or only part of it?
Only part of it. Reduce vanilla in cake to 1 tsp and in the frosting to 1/2 tsp. Add 1 tsp almond extract to the cake and 3/4 in the frosting. Almond extract can be quite strong.
I made this using only Bochasweet as the sweetener. It came out perfect and tastes amazing. I made a whipped cream icing with powdered Bochasweet and together, these made an incredible cake my husband loves…and he doesn’t eat keto baked goods because they’re either bitter or have the weird cooling effect. At Christmas, I thought Allulose would be the answer, but no. Yuck. And I have a dog so no xylitol.
If you get Bochasweet from their site (at $12.99/lb.) and order $50 worth, it’s cheaper than Amazon and you get free shipping. It’s comparable in price to allulose and the King Arthur sweetener. I’m sharing this here because I found out about Bochasweet on this site because Carolyn uses it in many recipes. And now it’s my new go-to sweetener.
Anyway, this cake is great and I’m so excited that I have a second go-to dessert recipe! Carolyn’s coconut cream pie is the other one, and I followed the recipe exact with that one but experienced no weird cooling from the erythritol. If you haven’t tried it, it is so worth it. So is her pie crust (link is in the recipe) that I use for all pies and quiches now.
Hi Carolyn, Merry Christmas, I know your busy with the holidays, (: but when you get time could you give me your advice about which would be better tasting for the cake, the whey protein powder or the egg white powder? I am meaning, are they interchangeable with eachother or do you prefer one or the other for baking? Thanks for your expertise.
I’m not Carolyn but I tried both. The egg white powder had just a little bitter flavor and the whey powder made the cake a bit dryer and denser. I prefer the whey, personally.
Hina Edhi says
Will soy whey work with the recepie
Can’t resist a delicious, homemade vanilla cake, especially when it’s keto-friendly! It’s moist & a hit with the family!
katerina @ diethood.com says
Such an amazing Keto Birthday Cake! I am in love! Can’t wait to try it!
Matt Taylor says
Yes! This keto vanilla birthday cake is awesome. Your Keto recipes are always so amazing. This one tastes great and is a perfect low-carb birthday dessert.
Dana Racine says
I love a classic vanilla cake, and let me tell you this cake… mmmm… it’s the perfect taste & texture. The Swiss meringue buttercream is a beautiful texture to work with, great for piping too. A++
I am so happy to hear that! Thank you.
Hi. Is Egg White Protein Powder a modified protein? (i.e., will drieg egg white powder work as a subsitute?)
Dried egg white will work.
I’d love to make cupcakes from this recipe. Recommendation on baking time? Thanks!
I have plenty of other keto cupcake you can use as a guide.
I just made cupcakes using this recipe today and went 18 mins. I could have probably pulled them at 16 or 17. Regardless, came out incredibly – beyond my expectations!
Thanks for the timing, that’s good to know!
Cannot wait to try this!! Thank you!!
Carolyn, is whey protein isolate interchangeable with whey protein powder in baking?
Pretty much, yes! Especially in cakes and muffins.
Super excited to try yet another of your fabulous recipes Yay Carolyn!!!
Ooo…super EXCITED to try this!! Another option for Team Vanilla!! 🙂