Healthier Gluten-Free Funfetti Cake Recipe

Celebrate with this moist and DELICIOUS gluten-free funfetti birthday cake with almond and tapioca flour. It’s naturally sweetened with honey, sweet potatoes, applesauce & maple syrup.

How to make the best gluten-free funfetti birthday cake with almond and tapioca flour and naturally sweetened with honey, applesauce, sweet potatoes, and maple syrup.

Now more of your guests can join the celebration and enjoy a slice of my gluten-free funfetti birthday cake at your next birthday celebration. The spongey, moist, gluten-free funfetti cake is naturally sweetened with honey and applesauce, and is gluten-free with almond and tapioca flour. The fluffy frosting is naturally sweetened with sweet potatoes and maple syrup and made without powdered sugar. It’s a dream to frost and pipe with and won’t melt at room temperature like many naturally sweetened frostings.

At the end of this post, I share a sugar comparison between a slice of traditional funfetti birthday cake and my gluten free funfetti cake recipe.

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love This Gluten-Free Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

  • It’s naturally sweetened with sweet potatoes, maple syrup, applesauce, and honey.
  • The frosting is fluffy, creamy, and perfect for piping and frosting a layered cake.
  • It is moist and flavorful without a processed white sugar overload.

Ingredients & Substitutions

For the Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting:

White Sweet Potatoes: If you can’t find white sweet potatoes, you can use regular orange sweet potatoes or even butternut squash as a substitute.

Cream Cheese: To make it dairy-free, you can use a dairy-free cream cheese alternative made from tofu or nuts. Make sure it’s a cream cheese substitute suitable for frosting.

Maple Syrup: Replace it with agave syrup, honey (if not strictly vegan), or a sugar-free syrup if needed.

Milk: Almond milk is mentioned as a favorite, but you can use any dairy-free milk like soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk if you want a non-dairy option.

For the Funfetti Birthday Cake:

Eggs and Egg Whites: You can try using flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water per egg) or aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) as egg substitutes. Keep in mind that this may affect the texture slightly.

Unsweetened Applesauce: Mashed bananas or pureed pumpkin can be used as a replacement for applesauce. Use an equal amount.

Honey: Substitute honey with maple syrup, agave nectar, or a plant-based liquid sweetener for a vegan version. Be aware that this may change the flavor slightly.

Almond Extract: If you don’t have almond extract or want to avoid almond flavor, you can use vanilla extract or any other flavor extract you prefer.

Almond Flour: Replace almond flour with a gluten-free flour blend if you want to avoid nuts. A blend like rice flour, sorghum flour, or a commercial gluten-free flour mix should work.

Tapioca Flour: Substitute tapioca flour with arrowroot starch or potato starch in equal amounts.

Baking Powder: Ensure your baking powder is gluten-free. You can also make your own by mixing 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar.

Sprinkles: Look for gluten-free and dairy-free colorful sprinkles if you have dietary restrictions. Many grocery stores offer these options. Remember to check the ingredient labels and adapt the substitutions to your dietary needs and preferences. Gluten-free and dairy-free substitutions are widely available, making it easier to accommodate different dietary requirements while still enjoying a delicious gluten-free funfetti birthday cake.

How to Make My Gluten-Free Funfetti Birthday Cake Recipe

Step 1. Steam the Sweet Potatoes

Peel and chop two medium-sized white sweet potatoes. Steam them until fork tender. Allow to cool before making frosting.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 2. Make the Frosting

Combine all the frosting ingredients in a food processor. Mix on high speed until all the ingredients are smooth and well combined. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to frost the cake. The frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge if needed.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 3. Mix the Wet Cake Ingredients

Combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, egg whites, honey, applesauce, vanilla, and almond extract) in a mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk until all the eggs are well-combined.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 4. Add the Dry Cake Ingredients

Add all the dry cake ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt) to the bowl. Mix with a whisk until well combined. Pour the sprinkles into the mixing bowl and gently mix until well combined.

Step 5. Pour into Pans

Line your pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter evenly between three 6″ pans, two 8″ pans, or one 9×12″ pan.

Bake at 350ºF  for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Adding wet ingredients to muffin batter.

Step 6. Stack the layers

Place your first cake layer on your rotating cake turntable or serving plate.

Spread an even layer of frosting on top of the first cake layer. You can use three scoops with a medium-sized cookie scoop for consistency. Repeat for the second layer and third layers.

Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 7. Apply the Crumb Coat

Apply a thin layer of frosting to the sides of the cake. This layer is meant to fill in any cracks or crevices. Wipe any crumbs off your spatula before putting it back into your bowl of frosting. Place your cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set.

STEP 8. Apply the Outer Frosting

Apply a thicker layer of frosting to the sides and top of the cake using your spatula. Gently turn the cake on the turntable to evenly spread the frosting on the sides of the cake.

As an option, you can use a scraper to create decorative horizontal lines in the cake by holding the scraper at an angle to the cake and gently turning the cake.

Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 9. Add the Sprinkles

I recommend using Gluten-Free Sprinkles with All-Natural Food Coloring. Transfer your cake to your serving plate. Spread a towel under the serving plate to catch extra sprinkles.

Generously pour the sprinkles onto the side of the cake about 2 inches from the bottom. Use your hand to press the sprinkles into the frosting gently. Tilt your cake plate slightly to shake off excess sprinkles onto the towel.

Spread more sprinkles all over the top of the cake and gently press them into the frosting.

Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.
Mixing cranberries into muffin batter.

Step 10. Apply the Frosting Swirls

NOTE: You’ll need at least an additional 1/2 batch of frosting if you’d like to add these eight decorative swirls to the top of the cake.

Insert a jumbo star frosting tip into a pastry bag and fill it with the remaining frosting. Create a frosting swirl near the edge of the cake by gently pushing the frosting in a circular shape and then gradually moving to the swirl’s center and lifting it to create a peak. Create swirl #2 on the opposite side of the cake. Then visually center swirls #3 and #4 between swirls #1 and #2. Then fill in the gaps with swirls #5-8 for a total of 8 swirls.

Gluten Free Funfetti Cake Recipe Notes

Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives: If you or your guests have nut allergies, make sure to choose a nut-free gluten-free flour blend to replace almond flour. Always double-check that the flour blend you use is labeled as gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains.

Sweetener Choices: The original recipe uses honey for sweetness, but you can adapt it to your dietary preferences. Use maple syrup for a vegan version or agave nectar for a milder flavor. Adjust the sweetness level to your liking. Taste the batter before baking and add more sweetener if necessary.

Dairy-Free Frosting: To make the cream cheese frosting dairy-free, choose a plant-based cream cheese alternative and use a non-dairy milk (e.g., almond milk, soy milk) in place of regular milk.

Frosting Texture: If the frosting is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a little more milk. If it’s too thin, you can thicken it by adding a touch more cream cheese or refrigerating it briefly.

Sprinkles: When using sprinkles, make sure to choose ones that are gluten-free and dairy-free if needed. Specialty stores or online retailers often offer these options.

Baking Pans: Use round cake pans that are at least 8 inches in diameter. You can also use smaller pans if you want to make a multi-layer cake. A piece of parchment paper cut to the size of the bottom the pan will help with sticking.

Testing Doneness: Since gluten-free cakes can be a bit delicate, be sure to test for doneness with a toothpick or cake tester. Insert it into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is ready.

Cool Completely: Allow the cake layers to cool completely in the pans before attempting to remove them. Gluten-free cakes can be more fragile when warm. place on a wire cooling rack to allow it to cool faster

Frosting Technique: For the best presentation, apply a thin layer of frosting (a “crumb coat”) to the cake layers first and refrigerate briefly. This helps trap any loose crumbs before applying the final layer of frosting.

Decorations:  Get creative with cake decorations! You can add extra sprinkles on top, arrange fresh berries, or use edible flowers for a beautiful and festive appearance.

Storage:– Store the finished cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Gluten-free cakes can dry out more quickly, so proper storage is important to maintain moisture.

Serve at Room Temperature:  Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow it to come to room temperature, which enhances its flavor and texture. With these tips and notes in mind, you’ll be better equipped to successfully make a delicious gluten-free funfetti birthday cake that accommodates various dietary needs and preferences. Enjoy celebrating with your guests!

Is My Funfetti Birthday Cake Healthier Than a Traditional Cake?

A slice of traditional cake has roughly 64 grams of sugar per slice. And it’s made with processed white sugar, powdered sugar, and processed white flour. A slice of my cake has roughly 18 grams of sugar. And it’s made with natural sweeteners, including sweet potatoes, maple syrup, unsweetened applesauce, and honey. It’s also gluten-free with almond and tapioca flour.

Although my cake is a much healthier option, it is still a treat and should be eaten in moderation 🙂 But now you can accommodate more guests who may have food allergies.

Room Temperature: If you plan to consume the cake within 1-2 days, you can store it at room temperature, ideally in a cool and dry place. Make sure to cover it with a cake dome or a large airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing odors.

Refrigeration: For longer storage or if the cake has a perishable frosting (e.g., cream cheese frosting), it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. Place the cake in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap to maintain freshness.

Individual Slices: If you have leftover slices, you can wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This makes it easy to grab a slice when you want one without exposing the rest of the cake to air.

Freezing the Cake: If you want to store the cake for an extended period (beyond a few days), consider freezing it. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. Place the wrapped cake in an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag for extra protection. Label the container or bag with the date to keep track of freshness. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Thawing Frozen Cake: When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen cake, transfer it to the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain the cake’s texture and moisture.

Frosting Touch-Up: If the frosting appears slightly dull or dry after storage, you can gently smooth it with a spatula or add a fresh layer of frosting before serving to restore its appearance.

Fresh Decorations: If you’ve used fresh berries or other perishable decorations, consider adding them just before serving to keep them looking their best.

Can I use regular all-purpose flour instead of almond and tapioca flour?

The recipe is specifically designed to be gluten-free, so using regular all-purpose flour would not be a suitable substitute. However, you can experiment with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, but the texture and flavor may vary.

Can I make this cake without eggs?

Yes, you can make this cake egg-free by using egg substitutes like flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water per egg) or aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas). Keep in mind that the texture may differ slightly.

How can I make the frosting dairy-free?

To make the cream cheese frosting dairy-free, choose a plant-based cream cheese alternative and use a non-dairy milk (e.g., almond milk, soy milk) in place of regular milk.

Can I make this cake in advance?

Yes, you can make the cake layers in advance and store them in the freezer. Wrap them tightly to prevent freezer burn. Frost the cake when you’re ready to serve.

Can I use different flavors for the cake or frosting?

Absolutely! You can customize the cake and frosting flavors to your liking. Experiment with different extracts or flavorings for a unique twist.

Do I need to use a special type of sprinkles for this cake?

It’s recommended to use gluten-free and dairy-free sprinkles if you have dietary restrictions. Many specialty stores or online retailers offer these options.

Can I reduce the sweetness of the cake?

Yes, you can adjust the sweetness by reducing the amount of honey or maple syrup used in the cake batter. Taste the batter before baking and add more sweetener if needed.

How do I know when the cake is done baking?

To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the cake is ready.

Can I use different frosting techniques to decorate the cake?

Absolutely! Feel free to get creative with your frosting techniques. You can pipe intricate designs, use food coloring to tint the frosting, or simply spread it evenly for a classic look.

Can I make cupcakes instead of a whole cake with this recipe?– Yes, you can use the same batter to make funfetti cupcakes. Adjust the baking time; it will likely be little bit shorter for cupcakes compared to a full cake. For best results start checking for doneness after 15-20 minutes. These FAQs should help address common questions and concerns when making the gluten-free cake recipe . Enjoy your cake and the celebration!

How to make the best gluten-free funfetti birthday cake with almond and tapioca flour and naturally sweetened with honey, applesauce, sweet potatoes, and maple syrup.

Healthier Gluten-Free Funfetti Cake Recipe

Celebrate with this moist and DELICIOUS gluten-free funfetti birthday cake with almond and tapioca flour. It's naturally sweetened with honey, sweet potatoes, applesauce & maple syrup.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 16
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 13 minutes

Ingredients
  

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 cups white sweet potatoes (steamed and cubed)
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk (almond milk is my fave)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Funfetti Birthday Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sprinkles

Instructions
 

Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Peel and chop two medium-sized white sweet potatoes. Steam them until fork tender. Allow to cool before making frosting.
  • Combine all the frosting ingredients in a food processor. Mix on high speed until all the ingredients are smooth and well combined. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and store it in the fridge until you're ready to frost the cake. The frosting can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge if needed.

Funfetti Birthday Cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  • Combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, egg whites, honey, applesauce, vanilla, and almond extract) in a mixing bowl. Mix with a whisk until all the eggs are well-combined. 
  • Add all the dry cake ingredients (almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt) to the bowl. Mix with a whisk until well combined. Pour the sprinkles into the mixing bowl and gently mix until well combined.
  • Line your pans with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter evenly between three 6" pans, two 8" pans, or one 9×12" pan.
    Bake at 350ºF  for 27-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Place your first cake layer on your rotating cake turntable or serving plate.
    Spread an even layer of frosting on top of the first cake layer. You can use three scoops with a medium-sized cookie scoop for consistency. Repeat for the second layer and third layers.
  • Apply a thin layer of frosting to the sides of the cake. This crumb coat layer is meant to fill in any cracks or crevices. Wipe any crumbs off your spatula before putting it back into your bowl of frosting. Place your cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the frosting to set.
  • Apply a thicker layer of frosting to the sides and top of the cake using your spatula. Gently turn the cake on the turntable to evenly spread the frosting on the sides of the cake.
    As an option, you can use a scraper to create decorative horizontal lines in the cake by holding the scraper at an angle to the cake and gently turning the cake.
  • I recommend using Gluten-Free Sprinkles with All-Natural Food Coloring. Transfer your cake to your serving plate. Spread a towel under the serving plate to catch extra sprinkles. 
    Generously pour the sprinkles onto the side of the cake about 2 inches from the bottom. Use your hand to press the sprinkles into the frosting gently. Tilt your cake plate slightly to shake off excess sprinkles onto the towel.
    Spread more sprinkles all over the top of the cake and gently press them into the frosting.
  • NOTE: You'll need at least an additional 1/2 batch of frosting if you'd like to add these eight decorative swirls to the top of the cake.
    Insert a jumbo star frosting tip into a pastry bag and fill it with the remaining frosting. Create a frosting swirl near the edge of the cake by gently pushing the frosting in a circular shape and then gradually moving to the swirl's center and lifting it to create a peak. Create swirl #2 on the opposite side of the cake. Then visually center swirls #3 and #4 between swirls #1 and #2. Then fill in the gaps with swirls #5-8 for a total of 8 swirls.

Video

YouTube video

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 6gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.004gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 209mgPotassium: 117mgFiber: 2gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 2513IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 109mgIron: 1mg
Keyword birthday cake, first birthday, funfetti, gluten-free pancakes, naturally sweetened, sweet potato frosting
Did you make this recipe?Please let me know in the comments below how it turned out 🙂

Responses

  1. Irene Avatar
    Irene

    5 stars
    I was little skeptical about the sweet potato resisting but it is DELICIOUS!!! Perfect amount of sweetness and it was easy to spread and pipe on he cake. Thank you for helping eat less sugar 🙂

    1. Nicole Bonilla Avatar
      Nicole Bonilla

      No worries, Irene…I was skeptical at first too! That’s awesome you gave in a chance 🙂

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was little skeptical about the sweet potato resisting but it is DELICIOUS!!! Perfect amount of sweetness and it was easy to spread and pipe on he cake. Thank you for helping eat less sugar 🙂

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