Love almonds? This Almond Cake is for you! A single-layer cake that is moist, tender and loaded with almond flavor. Serve as-is or top with berries and whipped cream.
I’m filing this recipe under: FAVORITE CAKE EVER. And yes, I have 957 favorite things, but this cake has immediately shot to the top of my list. If you’re almond-obsessed like me, you will love this!
This is a simple single-layer cake that is loaded with almond flavor thanks to a combination of almond paste and almond extract. This cake has a moist and tender crumb and it manages to be both dense and light at the same time. Although it is dense, it still has a slightly airy quality that makes you feel as if you can keep eating one slice after another.
This Almond Cake is versatile enough to be served on its own topped with sliced almonds and a sprinkle of sugar, or you can top it with berries and whipped cream; more on that below.
How To Make Almond Cake:
This cake batter is assembled in the food processor. It comes together in minutes! Here’s how to make it:
- Almond paste and sugar are pulsed in a food processor until finely ground.
- Add softened butter and process until combined.
- Add eggs and almond extract and process until combined.
- Sprinkle in flour, baking powder and salt. Give it a whirl until combined.
- Pour the batter into a greased and lined 8-inch round cake pan and bake.
Topping for Almond Cake:
Unlike a traditional cake, this cake does not get topped with frosting. I like to serve it one of two ways. Feel free to try one of these or get creative and top it any way that you’d like.
Sugared Almonds: Before baking, top the cake batter with sliced almonds and a sprinkle of granulated sugar. Serve the cake as-is or with a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s simple, but absolutely delicious (it’s my favorite way to enjoy this cake). It’s especially great alongside a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast or dessert.
Berries and Cream: This topping creates is a slightly fancier presentation. The cake is topped with jam, followed by whipped cream and a mound of fresh berries. Bake the cake as directed (without the sliced almond topping), then after cooling, top the cake with a layer of jam, homemade whipped cream and fresh berries. I add a little bit of cream cheese to the whipped cream to help thicken and stabilize it. It also adds a touch of tanginess that keeps the topping from being too sweet.
Feel free to get creative with the toppings for this cake. You can skip the jam, use flavored whipped cream, add other types of fruit, or even top the plain cake with a small batch of Strawberry Frosting, Vanilla Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting (scale down the vanilla buttercream and cream cheese frosting, as those are large recipes).
Lastly, let’s talk about a key ingredient in this recipe: almond paste.
What is Almond Paste?
Almond paste is primarily a mixture of ground almonds and sugar or sugar syrup. You can purchase it in tubes or cans in the baking aisle of well-stocked grocery stores. It should be soft, moist, and easy to break apart. The almond paste gets processed into the cake batter and adds texture and a sweet almond flavor to every bite of this cake. I do not recommend trying to substitute the almond paste with another ingredient.
- 4 ounces almond paste
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, increase to 1/2 teaspoon for a stronger flavor
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Sugared almond topping:
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Berries and Cream Topping:
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1/3 cup berry jam, I like raspberry or strawberry
- 2-3 cups fresh berries, larger berries cut into bite-sized pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Crumble almond paste into food processor bowl. Add granulated sugar and pulse until almond paste is finely ground. Add butter and process until smooth (it will turn into a ball; just keep processing until it smooths out). Add eggs and almond extract and process until combined, occasionally stopping the processor and scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Sprinkle in flour, baking powder, and salt, and process until blended.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. If using the sugared almond topping, top the cake batter with sliced almonds and 1-2 tablespoons sugar (I like to add half the almonds, sprinkle over half the sugar, then repeat with remaining almonds and sugar).
- Bake for 23-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the pan on a wire rack, cool 15-20 minutes, then carefully invert and place back on the rack to cool completely. If you are not using the berries and cream topping you can enjoy this cake while still warm, otherwise, cool completely.
Berries and Cream Topping:
- Combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth.
- With the mixer still running, slowly pour in the heavy cream down the side of the bowl. Continue beating, slowly increasing the speed and occasionally stopping and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Increase the speed and continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.
- Place the cake on a plate or serving platter. Spread the top of the cake with jam, spreading it to 1/2-inch from the edge. Top with whipped cream, followed by berries.
- This cake is best at room temperature, as it will be extra soft and tender.
- If topping with whipped cream and berries, I recommend doing so right before serving. If you have to assemble in advance, I would recommend doing so the day you need it. Keep refrigerated and bring to cool room temp before serving.
- Nutrition facts are for cake with sugared almond topping.
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping.