Apr 16

Heavenly Moist Almond Cake

in Uncategorized

Back in February I found a recipe for an almond cake that used olive oil in it. Intrigued, I saved the recipe and then forgot about it.
The other day I was trying to decide what to do with the last 3 Meyer lemons that my mom had given me from her tree (now they’re all gone! *sob!*) and had a vague recollection of reading a recipe that included lemon zest and juice, so I went to my saved recipes and re-found the recipe for the almond cake.
The recipe calls for lemon or orange zest and orange juice, but I decided to go lemon all the way. The finished cake was divine.
There are so many reasons why I would make this cake again. For starters it is so soft and moist that it melts in your mouth.
The flavors of almond, citrus, and olive oil make a beautiful flavor medley. And finally, the smells that will waft from your kitchen while it’s baking are heavenly. The cake is a beauty, so if you need a dessert that will impress and is nice and Springy, this is the cake!

Moist Almond Cake (Torta di Mandorla)

From Gina DePalma, pastry chef of Babbo restaurant (via Serious Eats)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup blanched or natural almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Grated zest of 1 medium lemon or 1/4 a medium orange
1/2 cup lemon or orange juice

For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
A few drops of fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup sliced, blanched almonds, toasted and cooled

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt to thoroughly combine them and set aside.

3. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk them lightly to break up the yolks. Add the sugar to the bowl and whisk it in thoroughly in both directions for about 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is a bit lighter in color and has thickened slightly, about 45 seconds. Whisk in the extracts and zest, followed by the orange juice.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk until they are thoroughly combined; continue whisking until you have a smooth, emulsified batter, about 30 more seconds.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake the cake for 30 to 45 minutes, rotating the cake pan halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning. The cake is done when it has begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, springs back lightly when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Allow the cake to cool for ten minutes in the pan, then gently remove it from the pan and allow it cool completely on a rack.

7. While the cake cools, make the glaze. Melt the butter over medium heat in a small, heavy saucepan. When the bubbles subside, lower the heat and watch the butter carefully, swirling it in the pan occasionally to distribute the heat. When the butter begins to turn a light tan color and smells slightly nutty, turn off the heat and let the butter sit. It will continue to darken as it sits.

8. While the butter cools, sift the confectioner’s sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk until completely smooth but thick, then slowly whisk in the butter. Taste the glaze and add a few drops of lemon juice to balance the sweetness. Stir in the toasted almonds. Spread the almonds and glaze onto the top and sides of the cake and let it sit until set and dry.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

K and S April 16, 2009 at 6:03 pm

this sounds so good! I am bookmarking it :)


duodishes.com April 16, 2009 at 6:55 pm

We’ve had this before. It is undoubtedly a delicious cake.


Bob April 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Heh, I do that all the time, writing down recipes and then forgetting them. The cake looks great though, I love almonds and citrus.


Kelly April 17, 2009 at 5:30 am

Would it matter if you used sea salt or just table salt instead of kosher salt? I have no idea where to buy kosher salt from. Do you think the taste would be different?

This looks so good!

And if I were to use self raising flour instead of all-purpose and baking powder, do you think that would be ok?


ttfn300 April 17, 2009 at 6:30 am

wow, i want some right now!!!


LollyChops April 17, 2009 at 7:10 am

This looks like the perfect thing to have for breakfast. How about you mosey on over to Texas with a few pieces. I’ll make the coffee!


Fuji Mama April 17, 2009 at 7:51 am

Kelly — You could use table salt instead of the kosher salt. If your curious about the differences, this is a good brief explanation: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/kosher-vs-table-vs-sea-salts/index.html

You might be okay using a self-raising flour. You would omit the baking powder, like you mentioned, but you would also need to adjust the salt. If you try it, let me know! The only thing to be aware of is self-raising flours contain the equivalent of anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt, so the quantities might be slightly different. I’m not sure how this will affect the ultimate product, if at all, but it would be a fun experiment!


Fuji Mama April 17, 2009 at 7:52 am

Lolly– PERFECT idea! :-)


The Food Librarian April 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

This is so beautiful! It is a perfect cake for tea!


Tangled Noodle April 18, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I have more recipes than I could possibly make even if I tried something new each day for years! Still, it’s fun and every once in a while, you remember you have a fantastic one and you’re inspired to finally make it. The end result is this gorgeous pieces of deliciousness!


MsGourmet April 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm



twospoons April 23, 2009 at 9:15 pm


This sounds perfect, I’ve got lemons coming out of my ears and some oranges too. Can’t wait to make this – thanks so much for the recipe!


Melissa @ For the Love of Health April 24, 2009 at 10:51 am

Wow! That looking sooo good! :-) I am going to take a whirl at this one sometime.


Reeni♥ April 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm

What a gorgeous cake! It looks truly scrumptious!


Danielle May 31, 2010 at 12:29 am

Wow, so delicious! I just made this and couldn’t be happier. It’s so wonderfully dense and moist, and with the icing i would recommend a couple of shavings of orange zest, it really makes all the difference. I also used a mixture of fresh orange and lemon juice. Thanks for the recipe! :)


clara June 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I have raw whole almonds. is it ok to toast and grind them as sub for the sliced almonds?


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