Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Simple Moist Almond Cake

We are on the cusp of berry season, strawberries are just finishing up, but a few blueberries and blackberries are hitting the stands.  We’ll get some raspberries around here, but not too many.  And of course, there are the other fruits like peaches and plums just starting to make an appearance.  All the hues from the fruit add so much color to the farmers market, coming out of the green of early spring crops to the rich blues, purples, pinks and oranges of the start of summer. 

In preparation for berry season, I thought I’d pull out a recipe from my files that is the perfect showcase for good berries.  I’ve been making this for years.  Versions of this appear in all sorts of community cookbooks – I don’t know where mine came from originally.  But this simple cake is moist and rich with almond flavor, and very easy to whip up.  You can keep the ingredients around easily, and any time you pull in a big berry haul from the farmers market, you’ve got an elegant dessert minutes away.

I made this again recently to photograph and triple-check the recipe and served it to my official tasters.  I explained that I wanted to post it as a vehicle for the upcoming berry season, and they, unprompted by me, immediately began to rattle off the many, many ways this cake could be served.  Of course, the berries and cream alone, or the berries slightly cooked and mashed with sugar or honey as a sauce.  Topped with ice cream.  Drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled with toasted almonds.  Sliced peaches macerated in sugar to let the juices flow. Sliced strawberries tossed with a little amaretto.  And in the fall, stewed pears or apples, or dried fruits poached in wine.  Not only was I impressed with my friends’ creativity, but I inadvertently made my point – one simple dessert, with a million variations, is a treasure of a recipe to have in your back pocket.

Simple Moist Almond Cake    

You’ll find almond paste in a can in the baking aisle.

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

8 ounces almond paste

3 eggs

¼ teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1/3 teaspoon baking powder

Powdered sugar

Almond Whipped Cream (see recipe below)

Fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Crumble in the almond paste, add the eggs and almond extract and beat until smooth.  Add the flour and baking powder and beat until thoroughly combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed and a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes, the carefully remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, topped with whipped cream and berries.

Serves 8

Almond Whipped Cream

You can substitute any liqueur to complement the fruit you are serving with the cake.

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 Tablespoon Amaretto

2 Tablespoons powdered sugar (or to taste)

Pour the cream and the amaretto into a large bowl and begin whipping with an electric mixer.  Drizzle in the sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.


9 comments to Simple Moist Almond Cake

  • Emily Noonan

    I just made this cake, but only have a hand mixer. I beat the batter for a long time at the step where you incorporate the almond paste, eggs, and almond extract. However, I couldn’t get the batter to be perfectly smooth. A lot of the almond paste stayed in little crumbles. How can I avoid this in the future? Should I just add the almond paste to the creamed butter and sugar, and then add the eggs and extract? I’m hoping it still comes out edible, despite the lumps:)

  • Its fine if there are some bits of almond paste. Crumble it into bits before srinkling it in the batter. Hope this worked out for you!

  • Emily Noonan

    Thank you for the advice! This cake is super delicious, by the way.

  • […] brown sugar packed. Zest an entire lemon over a measuring cup of a generous ¼ cup of milk. Beat in two eggs. Stir in 1 ¼ cup of almond flour with ¾ all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder and a […]

  • Ms.NinaBee

    I like the recipe….but i think because of the type of almond paste i used it turned out a bit too runny….it took forever to bake through!!

    For the second batch i upped the amount of flour in the batter….

    Great cake though

  • Sorry you had a problem. The almond paste I have always used comes in a tin or a roll and is a very firm and solid. It crumbles with your fingers.

  • […] bites are made really moist with the addition of almond paste. A  bite-sized version of my Simple Moist Almond Cake. Nice tart cherry is a great pairing with almond – if you use big Bings, you might want to snip […]

  • C Brudz

    I made this the day before Christmas. It was a hit and tasted even better the day after.
    My cousin who never likes to take home sweets took a couple slices when she left, and my mother told me to make it again for her birthday.
    My tube of almond paste was 7 oz instead of 8. I used the food processor to break it up before adding it to the butter/sugar. I added an extra 1-1 1/2 T of flour to compensate, cut the sugar slightly to 2/3 c, and baked it in a springform pan.
    A very classy dessert, delicious and easy to make.

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