20 May 2008

Almond Cake

ALMOND CAKE {GATEAU AUX AMANDES}: I think my pantry has been learning old tricks from the washing machine – you put two socks in and only one comes out…. you place a packet of almonds in the pantry and they vanish – coincidence I THINK NOT!

To avoid ‘the hunt of humiliation’ the only logical solution was to get their 1st – buy the almonds and use them right away. Which in my case in not difficult as I am a big fan of this nut.

The original recipe for this cake comes from Thomas Keller’s cookbook ‘Bouchon’, and uses almond paste and amaretto. I first tried this recipe using 2 substitutions : almond essence & ‘masse d’amande’ – a very thick French almond butter made with ground almonds, soya beans and sugar.

My cake turned out wonderfully moist & flavourful – which got me to thinking. If others wanted the same results & didn’t have access to this almond paste, it would be useful to know how to make it from scratch. Thus I have created a homemade recipe, which makes a little extra almond paste that you can keep in the fridge and use as a spread on toast – delicious dear diary!

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See link ‘Almond cake‘ below for the recipe:


  • 200g (7oz) almond paste*** (see my recipe below) or use ‘masse d’amande’
  • 55g (1/4 cup) white sugar
  • 110g (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond essence
  • 45g (1/3 cup) white flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 40g sliced sweet almonds for decoration
  • icing sugar for dusting the cake

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F
  2. Grease & flour an 24 cm (11 inch) round baking pan.
  3. Cut butter  into small pieces and let come to room temperature.
  4. Combine the almond paste and sugar – beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Now add the softened butter and mix for an additional good 5 minutes.
  6. Next add the honey, then the eggs ONE BY ONE, and finally the almond essence, mix well.
  7. In a separate bowl combine the flour &  salt. Gradually add to the almond mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX at this point.
  8. Bake in the oven for approx. 25 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown and a tooth pick come out clean when you poke the cake.

TOASTED ALMOND DECORATION : while the cake is in the oven, using a large non-stick frying pan, gently toast / brown the sliced almonds. Be CAREFUL not to BURN them!  Set aside to cool.

Remove the cake from the oven, let sit to cool for at least 5 minutes. Remove from the cake pan and set on a cooling rack. When the cake is cool place on a serving plate, sprinkle the top with the toasted almonds, and using a small sieve, dust the top with a thin layer of icing sugar.

*** Homemade ALMOND PASTE Recipe***

  • 175g (1 generous cup) whole almonds
  • 12 tablespoons slightly warm water
  • 6 tablespoons oil (almond oil or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Put the water into the blender 1st, then the whole almonds and mix. Next gradually add the oil and finally the sugar. You will need a powerful blenderf to make this very thick smooth butter. My recipe makes approx. 330g of almond butter in total, of which you will need 200g for this recipe.


Do not store this cake in an air tight container! If air cannot circulate around the cake the almonds will go soft –  and we don’t want that!!! It is a fine line between not letting your cake dry out and letting it become too moist.

    3 Responses to “ALMOND CAKE”

    1. Marjorie Says:

      It is amazing what one can do with almonds and the fact that this cake has some in it and as a topping, is jusy great. Since I had the pleasure of baking this with you and loving it, I can now use your version and enjoy it all over again. I especially like the idea of knowing how to make the almond paste from scratch!! Amazing photos as usual as they make you want to “get baking”! M x

    2. Erika (SWEET PEA) Says:

      Glad you like the new version!
      The almond paste turned out very well, makes all the difference to the recipe, plus it is better for you as it is homemade 🙂

    3. Sophie Says:

      Your blog features a delicious array of recipes; the way you’ve chosen to present your recipe collection is admirable.

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