Dessert, Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Chinese Five Spice Almond Cake

You’ve seen this cake before. I make it in myriad variations, always splendid. Recently I attended the Tiger Beer Chinese New Year Pot Luck, organized by Ms. Jackie and Sir Ken. This was my offering, an almond cake topped with plums and five spice powder. I’ll be making this version again, well before next Chinese New Year.

Thanks to everyone who came, ate and conquered. It was a splendid afternoon!

Kick it,


  • 1 9-ounce jar Plum Preserves

  • 2 tablespoons Five Spice Powder

  • 1 tablespoon Brandy

  • 9 tablespoons Brown Rice Flour

  • 6 ½ tablespoons Tapioca Flour

  • 4 ½ tablespoons White Rice Flour

  • 2 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder

  • ¾ teaspoon Xanthan Gum

  • ¾ teaspoon Salt

  • 3 Eggs

  • 1 cup Sugar

  • ¾ cup Oil (Coconut, Safflower, Sunflower, Rice Bran...)

  • ¾ cup Coconut Milk

  • 2 teaspoons Almond Extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the plum jam, five spice powder and brandy. Spread this mixture in the bottom of your cake pan.

  3. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Don’t be lazy, this is an important step.

  4. In yet one more bowl (no complaining, this cake is worth three bowls) whisk the eggs and sugar until light and frothy. They should increase in volume by at least half and become thick and bubbly. Whisk hard for a few minutes.

  5. Add the oil, coconut milk and almond extract to the egg mixture and stir to combine.

  6. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet bowl, make sure to break up and insurgent clumps.

  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan, covering completely the plum jazz at the bottom.

  8. Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until it is set in the center and a knife inserted comes out clean.

  9. Allow the cake to cool for 10ish minutes in the pan. Then, place a cooling rack over the pan and flip the cake so that it is sitting upside down on the rack. Pop open the lock on your springform and remove the hardware from your cake. Peel off the parchment paper (carefully now, it will be hot) and let the cake cool completely. Or not. Just eat it.