The Best Almond Cake

Almond cake. Life is good.

Almond cake. Life is good.

So let’s say that your Super Bowl team just laid an epic egg had a disappointing game. (Sorry Denver, our Niners lost to the same guys a few weeks ago…sometimes you just get beat). Or let’s say winter “snowmageddons” or endless droughts have you down.  Or maybe you just want a good dessert. Well, have some almond cake. Trust us, this will make it all better….uhh, maybe Peyton will need two slices.

almondalmond1Anyway, this cake truly is the best almond cake we have tried. Usually, being the food geeks bloggers we are, we will try a number of takes on any given dish before we say we found the “best” recipe. But when Carolyn says “we can stop looking for other recipes”, she means it. And this recipe she adapted from Food52 is a real winner.

almond3almond4almond6And don’t be fooled by the somewhat basic appearance of this cake. It is moist, flavorful and easy to make. Think “big marzipan cookie as a cake”. Kids and parents love it. You can serve it at any time and with almost any topping. Ice cream? Check. Chocolate sauce oh yeah. Check. Toasted with jam at breakfast? Yes, life is good here at the farm….

almond7almond8almond9The last bonus here is that this almond cake is easy to make. You do the standard wet / dry approach to cake making, but most of the work takes place in the food processor (Carolyn’s big adaptation is moving more work to the processor and saving you some dishwashing time). The biggest challenge is finding the almond paste, but you should be able to get it at most markets. So really there is no excuse not to make this cake. Although looking at our post-Super Bowl wasitlines, we think there may be a few “excuses” to lose before we bake this again….

almond10Almond Cake:

(Adapted from Food 52)

Notes Before You Start:

  • The recipe has you combine baking soda and sour cream. You may notice that this changes the texture of the sour cream, not to worry, this is normal.

What You Get: Awesome cake.

What You Need: No Special equipment required.

How Long? About 70-80 minutes, but only about 15 minutes of active time. Anytime dish…with a little planning. But a perfect weekend dish, as you can eat this cake at every meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, softened, more for buttering pan
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 7 oz. almonds paste (usually 1 tube)
  • 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

Assemble:

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with buttered parchment paper.
  2. Mix sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. Sift the flour and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar. Add the almond paste in small pieces, processing until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg yolks and pulse until incorporated. Add the almond extract and sour cream mixture and pulse until incorporated. Now add the flour mixture and pulse until the flour is fully mixed into the batter (scrape down the sides with a spatula, if needed).
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the center of the cake does not wobble. Let cool in the pan. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve.
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29 thoughts on “The Best Almond Cake

  1. I hope it’s still warm … I will be over straight away. I bring some brilliant Swedish coffee with me. Almond cake .. LOoOoOOoOove it! We use our “filmjölk” in baking – similar but maybe not so firm and it makes the cakes so moist. I’m droll now – being bookmarked.

  2. Great minds think alike! I made (and blogged) about this cake last week!!! Great to know we were on the same wave length. Also, I made it with half brown sugar and half white (because I ran out of white) and I think it improved the texture (and longevity) of the cake ….though the crumb is darker (deceivingly healthy looking ha ha). It added to the moist chewiness and is an adaptation I think I’ll repeat next time.
    Cheers!

    • Very cool- thanks. We will try the brown sugar- we like the added flavor in many dishes.

      We may also try it with the moister almond paste mentioned in the earlier comment. We may have to make the paste ourselves, but have plenty of local almonds- so you may see a V2.0 of this cake….

  3. This looks great! I hope to try it out. My favorite banana bread recipe (my mom’s) calls for mixing baking soda and sour cream together too—the acid in the sour cream starts the baking soda reacting early, even before it hits the rest of the batter—and the result is a perfectly dense, but not too dense, quickbread/cake. This almond cake sounds like it’s in that perfect density sweet spot, too… :)

    (Actually, I usually substitute labne for sour cream in the banana bread, since it’s what I keep in the house, and that works out nicely.)

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