Can you have your cake and eat healthfully, too? Thanks to more variety in the flours that are available to us, it is possible.

Almond flour (sometimes labeled “fine-ground almond meal”) is available in most supermarkets, and it has advantages for making cakes that are higher in protein and fiber, and lower in carbohydrates. Another advantage: Almond flour is high in magnesium and Vitamin E.

Now, no one is saying that cake is a health food. Even using almond flour instead of wheat flour and skipping the high-fat icings won’t cut calories down to zero. But using a nut-based cake as a base for fresh summer fruit can make a slice of cake a small indulgence.

The other advantage to this simple almond-flour cake is how well it works with seasonal fresh fruit. You can top it with strawberries in spring, with blueberries, blackberries or slices of peaches in the summer and fresh figs in early fall.

If you want to make it fancier, you can dice more fruit, mix it with a little honey and use it to top the slices. But from the reactions I get when I serve it, most people like it just the way it is.

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Almond cake with summer fruit

Adapted from Note: You can swap out the butter for coconut oil if you’d like to make it dairy-free, but the calories will be slightly higher.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup softened butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh fruit, such as halved strawberries or figs, peach slices, blueberries or blackberries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs and softened butter or coconut oil with a mixer on medium speed. (There may be a few little lumps of butter.) Turn off the mixer, and add the maple syrup, almond and vanilla extracts, cider vinegar, almond flour, baking soda and salt. Beat on low speed until all the flour is combined. The batter will be thick.

Spread the batter in the prepared springform pan. Place the fruit around the top of the batter, lightly pressing in.

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cake inside for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before releasing the springform pan and removing the cake. Gently turn over to peel off the parchment paper, then place fruit-side up on a cake plate.

Servings: 8. Per serving (using butter): 359 calories; 25g fat; 85mg cholesterol; 179mg sodium; 15.5 g sugar; 22.7g carbohydrates (4.2g dietary fiber); 9.9g protein.