Almond Cake

Almond Cake

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Almond Cake

So, a few days ago, I had a random craving for almond cake.  I have never made one before, but I decided that I needed to, right away.  So yesterday, I got to it!  I decided to use america's test kitchen's different approach for making the cake.  Most recipes I cam across use marzipan.  Don't get me wrong, I love marzipan, but I was afraid it would make the cake dense.  Although, it probably adds wonderful flavor.  The recipe I used, uses toasted ground almonds and almond extract instead. I  like the idea of the flavor coming from the almonds themselves, instead of a sweetened paste version.  Anyway! On to how fabulous this tasted!

Almond Cake
Almond Cake

This cake was everything my cravings were looking for.  It was sweet, moist, fluffy and amazing.  There is a lovely addition of lemon zest, which, I think, really adds more levels of flavor to the cake.  The almonds layered on the top give a wonderful crunch to the cake.  As well as a beautiful presentation!  This cake makes a wonderful adddtion to eat alongside coffee for a mid-morning snack, or, you could spruce it up a little and serve it for an easy dessert with softly, fresh, whipped cream.  Any way you want it, I won't judge if you eat several slices at once.  I mean- I may or may not have had two slices yesterday...


Almond Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups, plus 1/3 cup sliced almonds (blanched or unblanched)
  • 3/4 cup ( 3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) plus 2 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, divided
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil

Directions

Place the almonds in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring often, until the almonds are fragrant and golden, 5-8 minutes.  Set aside.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 300ºF.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Place 1 1/2 cups of the toasted almonds, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor.  Pulse 5-10 times until the almonds are finely ground.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In the now empty food processor, place the eggs, 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, and almond extract.  Process until very pale, about 2 minutes.  With the processor still running, add in the melted butter and oil in a steady stream.  Process until incorporated, about 30 seconds.  Add in the almond/flour mixture and pulse until completely combined, 4-5 pulses.  Transfer batter to prepared cake pan.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest.  Mix with your fingers until fragrant.  Sprinkle the top of the cake batter evenly with the remaining 1/3 cup almonds and then the sugar mixture.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the cake is springy when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.  Then, invert onto a wire rack, remove parchment paper from bottom, then place the cake right side up again.  Let cool for about 2 hours before slicing and serving.  Store, well covered, at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Source: Adapted from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2015

*I like to weigh my ingredients when the weight is provided.  I find it yields better results, but you don't have to weigh them.