This is one sweet little cake. Dense, rich and full of almond flavor with a crunchy, candylike topping.
I went through a phase in my early twenties where I became obssesed with recipes that called for almond paste. Once I discovered the rich almond flavor it added to pastries, cookies, and cakes I was hooked. If you haven’t baked with almond paste before, you don’t know what you’re missing.
In addition to the almond paste you’ll need some all-purpose flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, cream of tartar, milk, unsalted butter (ignore the 4 sticks above – you’ll only need 2), eggs, a lemon, and a bag of slivered almonds.
We’ll start with the topping. Grab a small saucepan and in goes 1/4 cup unsalted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 cup slivered almonds, and 1 tablespoon of milk.
Simmer this over low heat until the butter has melted then remove from the heat and set it aside for later.
On to the cake. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. All-purpose flour, cream of tartar, and salt and set the mixture aside for now. Cream of tartar is a strange little ingredient that has always been in my pantry but I’ve never really thought much about. I was surprised to find out it comes from a naturally occurring substance in grapes and is a byproduct of the winemaking process. Who knew?
And, this concludes the educational portion of this post. Let’s get back to cooking.
You can use your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer. In either event, mix together 3/4 cup softened unsalted butter and the almond paste.
Add the sugar and beat till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Next, you’ll add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and about 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
Add the vanilla and mix till combined.
Dump in the dry ingredients, all at once.
Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Transfer the batter to a 9″ springform pan that you have generously coated with non-stick cooking spray. Don’t forget to spray the sides of the pan as well as the bottom. Smooth out the surface of the cake with a rubber spatula.
Now we’re going to do something cool. This is how you’re going to get that yummy, candylike almond topping. Sprinkle the surface of the cake with 1 tablespoon flour.
Try to cover the surface as evenly as you can.
Spoon the almond topping evenly over the top. Bake the cake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
It’s ready to come out of the oven when a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.
Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Look how amazing the almond topping looks. It tastes even better.
Carefully remove the sides and bottom of the springform pan and transfer the cake to a serving dish to cool completely.
Rinse and drain some fresh raspberries. There’s just something about the flavor of almond that calls out for raspberries.
A dollop freshly whipped cream finishes it off perfectly.
Almond Crunch Pound Cake
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3.5 ounces 1/2 a 7 ounce tube almond paste
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream and fresh raspberries for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottoms and sides of a 9" springform pan generously with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine all topping ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine 1-1/2 cups flour with cream of tartar and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Add butter and almond paste to the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix until well combined. Add sugar and continue beating for a few minutes until light and fluffly. Beat in eggs one at a time, being 1 minute after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and mix till combined. Add dry ingredients all at once and beat for another minute.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour over the surface of the cake and spoon the topping evenly over the top.
- Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until cooked through. Cake is ready when toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from springform pan and carefully transfer to a serving dish to cool completely.
- Slice and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and some fresh raspberries.