Simple homemade morning sweets are designed to be enjoyed on the weekend. With just a few minutes to produce decadent results, you still have the entire morning to enjoy perusing newspapers, going for a walking, or sipping a hot cup of tea, contemplating how to spend the day.
And while I am an avid collector of cookbooks, the majority of the recipes I love, save and return to again and again, as they never disappoint, are ones that have been given to me by family and friends whom I trust know a thing or two in the kitchen. So in February when I had the opportunity to spend some time with the delightful owner of Distinctive Beach Lodgings, whom I had the opportunity to meet during my stay in Gearhart, Tracy Hooper, she shared a recipe with me that she thought I might enjoy. She was right.
Her Almond Cake recipe epitomizes simply luxurious. In less than 10 minutes the batter is ready to be placed in the oven, and in less than an hour, you have a rich, almond treat to pair with your morning of leisure or with a friend or two for an afternoon catch-up session. A very dense cake, you won’t need more than a few bites to satiate your palette, which is ideal, as the intent is to eat quality, not bulk up with simply more. After all, we all need to indulge our sweet tooth every now and again. 😉
These two images capture my attempt when this original post was shared, using small loaf pans, about 4-5″ in length. I have included the bake time for the change in size in the recipe.
Scrumptious and with individual serving sizes (generous ones to be sure), this is a great alternative to one large cake.
Update on the timelessness of this recipe. Having the delightful opportunity to be invited to Tracy’s home in spring 2023 in Portland, for dessert, she served her Almond Cake, and isn’t the presentation gorgeous?! I could not help but snap a few pics which she kindly let me do. I have included the baking times for a round cake such as the one you see below. And the blueberry touch is a lovely fruit to pair this cake with.
~adapted from Tracy Hooper via Allyson Brooks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 pound unsalted butter
- 1 cup almond paste (recommended brand Solo)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons flour (cake flour recommended)
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Chambord (raspberry liqueur) Kirsch (strawberry liqueur) works as well
Toasted Almond Topping
- 1/4 cup sliced, raw almonds found in the baking section
- Cream butter and sugar with hand mixer or standing KitchenAid mixer. Add almond paste and beat until blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, continuing to beat.
- Add flour, salt and liqueur. Beat until blended.
- My quick trick: to remove all lumps if any still exist, pour batter into a food processor and pulse 5-10 times until nearly smooth, some small lumps are going to be just fine).
- Butter sides and bottom of either 5 mini loaf pans (as used in the post), or an 8″ cake pan. Use parchment paper on the bottom (or it will stick no matter how much butter you use).
- Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes (for the mini loaves), and 40 minutes for the 8″ cake (such as the one seen in the image).
- Remove and let cool (5-10 minutes).
- Invert the cake pans to release.
- Top with powdered sugar, raspberries, and toasted almond slices (see recipe below or by roasted in the store).
Toasted Almond Slices
- Using a jelly roll pan, place in one layer raw almond slices (found in the baking section) on the pan.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 4-7 minutes, until golden brown.