gluten free sugar free birthday cake

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Birthday Cake.

Happy Birthday to US! Today is our 3rd Birthday! Hooray! 

And of course… birthdays call for cake. LOTS of cake and when you turn 3… birthdays call for cakes shaped like this.

gluten free sugar free birthday cake

We were kind of (ok ALOT) excited when Merrymaker Mum came up with this healthy ‘sponge’ replacement cake last week for Australia Day with these amazing lamingtons. The obvious thing to do was to turn it into a gluten free, sugar free birthday cake. Because… duh!

The past 3 years have been absolutely AMAZING. We are so grateful that we can share our Merrymaker journey with YOU. You’re the reason we continue to publish delish recipes, to share inspo and info. All in the hope that you’ll read something and take action towards a healthier, happier life.

gluten free sugar free birthday cake

We love you. Thank you for celebrating with us! Now it’s time to party like it’s 1999 (or 2099?) with this gluten free, sugar free birthday cake!

If you make a fun birthday cake using our epic recipe… be sure to share a photo to social media with #makelifemerry! We LOVE seeing your creations!

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla

p.s YUM

gluten free sugar free birthday cake

The recipe below is equivalent to 1 x regular butter cake. So to make a ‘3’ we used 2 x the recipe and cooked them in round pans! Using the Women’s Weekly children’s party cake cook book template! Who else loves that book?! 

Get merry app

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Birthday Cake
Serves 16
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
stuff you need
  1. 2 cups blanched almond meal
  2. 1 cup coconut milk (canned)
  3. 1/2 cup butter (approx. 100g/3.5 oz.)
  4. 1/2 cup rice malt syrup (or natural sweetener of choice)
  5. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 1 tsp. baking powder (gluten free)
  8. 1 tsp. 100% vanilla extract
For the butter cream frosting
  1. 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
  2. 1/2 cup butter cubed (approx. 100g/3.5 oz.)
  3. 1/2 cup mixed berries (thaw if frozen)
  4. 2 tbs. rice malt syrup (or natural sweetener of choice)
  5. 1 tsp. 100% vanilla
Now what
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) slice tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine the almond meal, coconut flour and baking powder.
  3. In a blender or mix master, beat the butter and rice malt syrup together.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla, coconut milk and mix well. (Don't worry if it looks a little 'curdled').
  5. Pour this into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and gently mix together.
  6. Transfer into the lined tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly brown.
  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting into desired sized squares.
For the frosting
  1. In a high power blender or food processor whiz the coconut until buttery.
  2. Add the butter cubes and continue to whiz until smooth.
  3. Add the berries, whiz again! You should have a nice purple colour frosting.
  4. Last but not least, add the rice malt syrup and vanilla and whiz on super slow until combined.
  5. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cake and YUM!
  6. Keep stored in the fridge or you can freeze separate slices in the freezer!
Merrymaker tip
  1. Make your icing different colours: kiwi makes green, cabbage juice makes blue, mango makes orange etc. etc!
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Comments 37

  1. Hi girls, the cake looks great! Just wanted to let you know in the ingredients list under the sponge part it says 1/2 cup of butter is 100g and then under the frosting it says 1 cup of butter is 100g. Should the frosting one be 200g?

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  3. No worries! Oh, I totally forgot to say HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY!!!! Congrats on all you’ve achieved in such a short span of time. You must be so proud. Hope you’ve had an amazing day and “got your party on” 😉

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  7. Hi, we don’t have rice malt syrup what could I sub it with please? Would agave syrup work?
    Thanks and Happy Birthday ????????????????????????☺️

  8. i put the recipe into MyFitnessPal and, based on 8 slices per cake, it’s 522 calories per slice – quite hefty even for a third birthday celebration!

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    Hi Fiona, we don’t count calories. Plus in the one cake there is actually 16 serves (32 serves for the whole 3). So it would be around 260 calories if your calculations are right. The idea with these sweets is that you enjoy a small serving (not every day). We recommend a sweet treat once a week… because fun. And not sure what you think but knowing that every ingredient is real food with more calories is 100% better than a cake with less calories filled with fake sweeteners and toxic chemicals that cause havoc on hormones and gut health which in the end causes weight gain, auto immune issues etc etc. But again, this is our opinion so please feel free to not use the recipes, or stick to the savoury ones! Thanks! xx

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  12. Hi Ladies – Happy Birthday!. Just wondering if this recipe work if you substitute the almond meal for a nut-free alternative? If so, what would you recommend?

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  14. Good morning. I’ve just made this cake and last week made choc raspberry ganache cake and I’m finding them burning. This one I just put on 160 for 40 mins and the tops burnt again but my raspberry ganache one was very bitter because after the hour the burn had gone all the way through. Is there anything I can do to stop this 🙂

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    Hi Stephanie! Maybe your oven temperature is a little hotter! Lots of ovens vary and often are not the right temp! Next time you bake, keep an eye on it, and perhaps turn it down 10 degrees 🙂 For example, our Mum’s oven is 10 degrees off and takes a little longer to bake than ours!

  16. Hi ladies, do you think this would work with almond meal that hasn’t been blanched? Would I need to add any extra liquids? TIA

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    Hey Kelly! Hmmm… you might actually need to add a little more almond meal! As blanched is often finer! 🙂 🙂 But see how it goes as is… then use your judgement, it’s quite a thick batter that is spreadable 🙂

  18. Awesome! And happy birthday/anniversary girls! lol at how much you’ve achieved in three short years! So proud that you’re also fellow Canberrans (and disappointed you moved away to the GC!) Loving your work. xox #smashingcareergoals #happybirthday #gocanberrachicks

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  20. So I made this as an absolute cake novice and it was outstanding!
    Parents and boyfriend approved who really dislike my usual “healthy” sweet treats!
    I think I am going to have to have it again soon! 🙂

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  22. Hi. Making this for my sons 3rd birthday this weekend as we all loved the lamingtons and all your recipes! Just wondering if you have an idea of what we could use in the icing to make yellow as he’d like a yellow digger. Kylie ????

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    Hmmm! Good questions! Wonder if lemon/orange rind could help? Actually we’ve used a tiny bit of turmeric and it worked really well. But when we say tiny, we mean teeeenney weeeeny! So it dies not taste like curry cake hehee 🙂

  24. Hi! I am making this today for my little guy’s 1st birthday tomorrow. Just wondering how you got your coconut decorations into such perfect little circles?? Haha sorry for the weird question!

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    Good question! Our mum used a little measuring cup, and made an outline by pressing it into the icing, then filled the outline with coconut !:) Cool, huh?!

  26. Thank you! I actually didn’t see your reply in time but used that same method! Figured it out myself, haha yay me ????
    Except I went with stars rather than circles. Would post a pic if I knew how!
    Thanks for your reply.

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  28. Hi, this cake looks fantastic. I just as wondering if it would work as cup cakes?

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  30. Hi, I’d like to make this for my baby’s 1st birthday but she hasn’t had sugar or any sweet foods yet (apart from fruit) – could I substitute orange juice or some other fruit juice for the rice malt syrup? And if so, should I use the same quantity? thanks

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  32. Hi there, I’d like to make this cake for my sons birthday but it has to be nut free. Would it work with normal Self raising flour? Thanks

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