Healthy Gluten-Free Paleo Vanilla Cake With Mixed Berry Jam (Perfect for babies + birthdays)

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My son's birthday was last month and one thing I knew for sure was that I did not want him to consume sugar-filled cake loaded with artificial food colorings, refined sugar, and other not-good-for-you ingredients.

And if you think this is being extreme, I'd like to remind you that a one-year-old should not be eating any of this junk to begin with.

A baby's gut is not able to tolerate these man-made food-like substances that are found in most conventional birthday cakes, not to mention the spike in blood sugar caused by all the refined white sugar and refined wheat flour.



And don't even get me started on the artificial food colorings that have been linked time and time again to behavioral problems in kids. It's just a big NO for me.

But also, I wanted him to have cake! I didn't want him to miss out on the tradition of eating cake on your birthday, and of course, I wanted pictures of him eating his first cake bite ever.

So what did this health-nut mommy do? I made my own homemade vanilla cake made with the cleanest of ingredients, perfectly healthy and safe for my kiddo but also delicious!


This healthy vanilla birthday cake is:

  • gluten-free
  • paleo
  • refined sugar-free
  • very simple to make
  • super yummy, even adults approved!

what you'll need to make this easy homemade healthy vanilla birthday cake for kids:

  • blanched almond flour - if you use ground down almonds the texture will be way off. Make sure to use fine blanched flour. I use Terra Soul's Almond Flour.
  • tapioca flour - I haven't tried a substitution and if you leave it out I do believe the cake will not be as soft and moist. I get mine in bulk from Amazon because it is cheaper than whole foods and we use it all the time.
  • pasture-raised whole eggs - try your best to avoid conventional eggs as they are not as nutritious as pasture-raised eggs.
  • maple syrup
  • vanilla extract
  • lemon juice
  • melted coconut oil
  • and almond milk - you can make your own almond milk using almonds, a blender, and a nut milk bag. Learn how to do that here.


cashew frosting that is naturally colored using fruits or veggies!

You can leave the cake naked and it will still taste great but if you want to go ahead and frost it, I've included my go-to cashew frosting that is naturally sweetened and colored using fruits or vegetables depending on what color you want to achieve.

green = a handful of spinach

purple = blueberries

red/pink = roasted beets, strawberries or pink dragonfruit powder

yellow = turmeric or mango

I hope you and your kiddos enjoy this healthy birthday cake and let me know below if you give it a try!


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Healthy Gluten-Free Paleo Vanilla Cake With Mixed Berry Jam (Perfect for babies + birthdays)

  • Author: Jen
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


A delicious + healthy vanilla cake with a yummy mixed berry jam layer in the middle that is perfect for special occasions! I made this as  birthday cake for my son’s first birthday and not only did he enjoy it, but so did the adults! Gluten free, refined sugar free, paleo!


  • 2 cups blanched almond flour (180g)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (30g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (2g)
  • 2 pasture-raised whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (78g)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (26g)
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (28g)
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk (41g)

For middle mixed berry jam layer:

  • 1.5 cups frozen berries of your choice – I like to use frozen mixed berries from Trader Joe’s
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

optional frosting: 

  • 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • fruits or veggies to color the frosting – spinach for green, blueberries for purple, beets/strawberries/or pink dragonfruit for red/pink, turmeric for yellow.


  1. Add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl (almond flour, tapioca, and baking soda) and combine. In a separate mixing bowl or measuring cup, combine wet ingredients – eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut oil, and almond milk. Pour wet ingredients into the dry bowl and mix until you have cake batter consistency.
  2. Pour batter into a spring-form pan, like this one, and bake in the oven at 350f for 15 to 20 minutes. Baking times vary depending on the oven so I recommend you check at the 15-minute mark with a toothpick – if the toothpick is dry and the cake looks golden brown it is ready. If the toothpick comes out wet, let bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Prepare the berry jam. To a saucepan, add berries, maple syrup, vanilla, and lemon juice. Heat over low/medium heat until the fruits are broken down and it resembles a jam. If it begins to bubble too much, lower the heat. Use a fork to mash the berries and help break them down. Set aside and let cool before adding to the cake.
  4. Once the cake and berry jam have cooled down – remove the cake from the springform pan and using a sharp knife, carefully slice the cake in the middle so that you have two halves: the top and bottom. Spread the berry jam on the bottom layer and then place the top layer back on. Let sit in the fridge until really cold before adding frosting.
  5. To make the frosting: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. It is really important that all ingredients for the frosting are at room temperature or else it will cause the melted coconut oil to solidify making the frosting clumpy. TIP: make the frosting the night before so that it has time to set in the fridge and get really thick before frosting the cake. Also, frost the cake once it has sat in the fridge for several hours so that it is really cold. If you frost a warm cake the frosting will melt.


  • make sure all frosting ingredients are at room temperature before combining or else it will cause the coconut oil to solidify.
  • if you can, make the frosting the night before so that it is super thick the next day.
  • frost the cake once it has chilled in the fridge for a few hours
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: desserts

Keywords: brthday cake, baby friendly, healthy, gluten free, cake, vanilla, berry,

with love + gratitude,

Jen ♥


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About Jen

A former registered nurse turned stay-at-home-mama, yoga teacher, and holistic health + wellness enthusiast. I share my homemade healthy recipes + natural living content to help women and moms live healthier and happier lives.

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