Don't be fooled by the plain appearance of this cake! It may not look like anything special, but trust me, this is one of the best cakes that I have ever had! It's rich and dense and sweet and buttery and it has a wonderfully complex almond flavor that is highlighted by just a hint of vanilla. I don't know if it is possible for a cake to be perfect, but this one comes pretty close!
The "secret" ingredient that makes this cake great is almond paste. I can usually find almond paste hidden next to the pre-made pie fillings in the baking aisle of my local grocery store. Almond paste can be a bit pricey, but this cake is totally worth spending a little money.
You'll need a stand mixer to make this cake. It really isn't possible to break up the almond paste finely enough by hand. And even though this cake is really good on its own, I usually frost it with a bit of almond buttercream frosting. The frosting brings out the almond flavor of the cake even more while adding a bit of extra sweetness.
This recipe is adapted from the almond cake recipe posted on David Lebovitz's blog:
Almond Paste CakeNotes:
1 c (140 g) all-purpose flour (divided)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz almond paste
1 1/3 c sugar
1 c butter (room temperature, cubed)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
6 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 recipe almond buttercream frosting (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 325º.
2. Place 3/4 c (105 g) of flour into a small bowl. Add the baking powder and salt and whisk until everything is well combined. Set aside.
3. Place the remaining 1/4 c (35 g) of flour, the almond paste, and the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixture until the almond paste is finely broken up and the mixture looks kind of like wet sand.
4. Add the cubed butter, the vanilla extract, and the almond extract to the almond paste mixture. Beat the mixture until it is smooth.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the almond paste mixture until the two are well combined.
6. Spread the finished batter evenly along the bottom of a well-greased 9 x 9 square cake pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake the cake for 60 - 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan. Once the cake is removed from the pan, frost it with the almond buttercream frosting, if desired.
- Sometimes, I split this cake horizontally to make two layers, and then spread some strawberry jam in between the two layers before frosting the cake. The almond flavor of the cake really pairs well with the berry tartness of the jam.