This almond cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote creates a rich, buttery, dense (in a lovely way) cake made with almond paste and eggs. The sweetly tart cake is perfectly offset by the simple compote. And both can be made in advance. Our sorta dessert!
Almond Cake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 1 H, 25 M
- Serves 6 to 8
- For the compote
- 1 pound strawberries, rinsed and hulled
- 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed
- 1 lemon, preferably organic
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- For the almond cake
- Butter and flour, for the pan(s)
- 7 ounces almond paste
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz), cut into small pieces and chilled
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons amaretto, plus additional for brushing
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- Kosher salt
- For serving
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup crème fraîche, whipped to soft peaks
- Make the strawberry-rhubarb compote
- 1. Choose about 1/4 of the smallest strawberries (4 oz | 112 g) and slice them lengthwise into quarters. Set them aside.
- 2. Cut the remaining strawberries into roughly equal halves or quarters. You should have 2 to 3 cups. Toss them in a medium saucepan.
- 3. Use a paring knife to pull away and discard the strings that run along the length of the rhubarb stalks. Cut each stalk into 3/4-inch lengths. You should have about 3 cups. Toss them in the saucepan.
- 4. Use a grater or Microplane and grate 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the pan and then squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice into the pan. Add the sugar and stir to coat the fruit.
- 5. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves and the fruit releases its juice. Bring to a boil and cook for about 4 minutes to reduce the liquid a little.
- 6. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until the rhubarb has softens, about 2 minutes. Don’t worry if the rhubarb begins to fall apart.
- 7. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the reserved strawberries. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- 8. Cover and refrigerate the strawberry-rhubarb compote until cold, at least 3 hours and up to several days. (Any extra compote is delicious for breakfast, especially with a dollop of thick yogurt or crème fraîche.)
- Make the almond cake
- 9. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour four 4-by-1 3/4-inch-high miniature springform pans or butter and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch round cake pan. If using the 8-inch pan, line its bottom with a circle of parchment paper.
- 10. Place the almond paste and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Begin to beat the mixture on low speed to break up the almond paste. Increase the speed to medium and process until the paste is broken into fine particles, 2 to 4 minutes.
- 11. Add the butter and mix until the mixture is airy and light in color, stopping and scraping the sides as necessary, 4 to 5 minutes total. It’s important to mix long enough or the cake will be overly dense.
- 12. Mix in the honey, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- 13. Add the amaretto, flour, and a pinch of salt and mix just until combined.
- 14. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan(s) and smooth the top. If using small springform pans, bake until the cakes are golden and spring back when pressed, about 15 minutes. The cakes will not rise much. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool. If using a single 8-inch pan, bake until the cake is golden and springs back when pressed, about 25 minutes. The cake will not rise much. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
- 15. Unmold the cake(s) onto the rack, remove the parchment paper, and invert each cake again so the top is facing upward. Brush the top of the cake(s) with amaretto and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. The cake(s) can be stored, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
- Serve the almond cake with strawberry-rhubarb compote
- 16. Cut each small cake in half or cut the large cake into wedges. Serve with a dollop of whipped crème fraîche and the strawberry-rhubarb compote. Originally published April 19, 2004.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This almond cake recipe with strawberry rhubarb compote was surprisingly marvelous. I knew it would be tasty. I mean, how can you possibly go wrong with almonds, strawberries, and rhubarb?
But the cake had me confused as to what to expect. There is so little flour in the recipe and no rising agent. The presentation of the cake is certainly not razzle dazzle, but what it lacks in luster it definitely makes up for with flavor. Despite being very dense in texture, the cake still felt light and moist. The cake almost has the texture of a classic English pudding. Which is remarkably pleasant and even better the next day. My husband keeps raving about this, so I am pretty sure I will be making it again.
I made the compote in the morning and the cake in the afternoon. I would recommend covering your stand mixer when combining the almond paste and sugar as it wants to fly! It took 27 minutes to bake through. The top of the cake is very shiny once baked. It's a small cake. We got 8 smaller servings and it was still totally satisfying with the compote and crème fraîche.
I have served it with both crème fraîche and whipped cream. Both are delightful.
We also have lots of the compote left over, which from some other recipes might be a downside. But definitely not here. I am making waffles to go with it this weekend! And if there is any left after that, perhaps shortcakes, and maybe we'll just use it to top some ice cream.
This recipe is definitely a winner in my humble opinion.
The strawberry-rhubarb compote clinched the decision for me to test this almond cake recipe. I was lucky to get the most perfect local strawberries. The topping is a winner in itself—I would give it a 10. The almond cake is easy to make and doesn’t have a zillion ingredients.
You do really want to beat that butter so that the batter becomes nice and light colored. I baked the batter in an 8-inch cake pan and I left it in the oven for about 32 minutes to get it golden and springy. The resultant cake is super moist and lovely—it's essentially the essence of almond paste. It's quite sweet, so I think the mascarpone offsets that nicely. I also found that eating a small sliver is quite enough—a little goes a long way with this decadent dessert. I would say there were 12 servings as the cake is rich and pretty sweet.
Because the recipe made an ample amount of compote, I saved some to mix with Greek yogurt for a perfect snack. It would also be good on waffles! Or ice cream!
The finished almond cake was very moist and had the taste of almonds. The taste was very nice—the crème fraiche and the compote were both reasonably tart in taste and these contrasted nicely with the moist sweet cake.
I would suggest letting the compote cool overnight in the fridge.
This almond cake was easy to make but does not have a traditional rise. The rise comes from the 2 eggs. The compote adds a lot to the dessert.