Almond Cake

Two of Alice Waters’s basic tenets are “cook simply” and “eat seasonally.” You’re two for two with this almond cake recipe of hers, seeing as there’s nothing complicated about it and you can top it with whatever your preferred in-season fruit.–Alice Waters with Patricia Curtan, Kelsie Kerr, and Fritz Streiff

LC Even Better Note

Yes, cook simply and eat seasonally are words to live by. If you buy your eggs from local producers whose practices are organic, humane, and environmentally sound, even better.

Almond Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • Makes one 9-inch round cake


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons (10 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs, room temperature


  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • 2. Butter a 9-by-3-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the paper and dust the pan with flour, shaking out the excess.
  • 3. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • 4. Stir together the almond paste and sugar until the almond paste is in very small pieces. Or, more easily, pulverize together in a food processor or stand mixer.
  • 5. By hand or in a stand mixer, beat the unsalted butter until lightened. Add the almond-paste-and-sugar mixture to the butter and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl repeatedly to ensure that all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
  • 6. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • 7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • 8. Turn the cake out of the pan and remove the parchment paper. Serve the cake plain or with sliced fruit and whipped cream.

Cake Variations

  • For a sheet cake, prepare a half-sheet pan as above, pour in the batter, smooth the top, and bake for about 40 minutes.
  • For 24 individual mini-cakes, bake in muffin tins that are buttered, lined on the bottom with small parchment circles, and floured as above. Fill each cup two-thirds full and bake for about 30 minutes.
  • To dress up this cake, spread it with a thin layer of apricot or raspberry jam. Sprinkle it with toasted sliced almonds and dust with powdered sugar.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Raye Tiedmann

Mar 19, 2007

Anyone can bake this luscious almond cake, because the main ingredient, almond paste, is easily found at any good local grocer. This cake is less dense and, perhaps, not as rich as other almond cakes I’ve made. The cooking time was just about perfect. I made it in a 9-inch baking pan but next time I’ll try it as muffins. A suggestion: I’d add about another teaspoon of almond paste to the batter the next time to kick it up. Of course, it’s wonderful from the oven, but it also keeps well. You could serve it with fresh fruit , lemon curd, or just with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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