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Best Ever Moist Almond Cake

4.89 from 18 votes

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The best moist almond cake! This cake is perfect served with seasonal fruit, or simply with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Includes a gluten-free variation.

Cake on a white plate, topped with fresh cream and mixed fresh berries.

I’ve been busy testing almond cake recipes, in search of the one.

By “the one,” I mean a simple almond cake recipe that tastes great served plain as a snack, in the morning with tea or coffee, or as a dressed-up dessert with cream cheese icing and fresh summer berries.

This lovely, fragrant almond cake is it. Made with almond paste and butter, it’s definitely one to bookmark when the baking urge strikes.

Just like a basic t-shirt, this great cake goes with everything!

Almond cake ingredients:

Make this cake with a handful of ingredients.

Fruits to pair with almond cake

Almond cake is a perfect to pair with seasonal fruits that come and go all year long:

  • Lemon, orange and other citrus
  • Rhubarb
  • Peaches, plums and nectarines
  • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries (all the berries, basically)
  • Apples and pears
Almond cake on a white plate, topped with icing and mixed fresh berries.
Almond cake goes with fruit, especially colorful fresh berries.

What flavors go well with almond cake?

Almonds pair well with so many fruits. Especially stone fruits, because they’re actually related to them botanically: Peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and even apples.

Stone fruit pits are also the source of bitter almond flavoring, which is used in extracts, liqueurs and baked goods.

The pits contain oils that are used to produce almond flavor extracts, each kernel harboring a small amount of prussic acid (a/k/a potassium cyanide).

But don’t worry — we’re talking trace amounts that are destroyed when heated during the manufacturing process.

Cake and a piece of cake on a white plate, topped with cream and mixed fresh berries.

Finally, my cake recipe research narrowed down to a handful of delicious contenders.

I made an almond cake with olive oil (no butter) that turned out with a chiffon-like crumb that was dry and more crumbly than I wanted.

Next, I tried a recipe from Diana Henry, whose almond cake calls for marzipan (basically the same as almond paste but sweeter with more sugar) and fruit baked right in.

Ultimately, I landed on what turned out to be my favorite, a cake from Samin Nosrat’s book Salt Fat Acid Heat.

As a side note, If you haven’t picked up Samin’s book already, do it now! It’s a little treasure for anyone obsessed with food and learning how to cook instinctively.

A cake topped with cream cheese frosting and berries on a plate.

After making the cake a few times and making some of my own tweaks, I’m happy to share a few benefits of this recipe:

  • Instead of using ground almonds or almond flour, the cake is made with a mixture of almond paste and all purpose flour. This creates a fluffy cake with moist texture.
  • If you’d like to use almond flour, I suggest substituting half the amount of all purpose flour (1/2 cup) with almond flour. Because the cake is based on almond paste, using all almond flour would make a very dense cake.
  • The method of dribbling eggs into the butter while the processor is running — essentially making an emulsion — is a genius move.
  • Another thing to love about making this cake is that you can mix the batter in a food processor.

The cake batter turns into a lusciously smooth mixture that bakes up lovely and soft-textured.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor, mix the batter with an electric mixer instead, first breaking the almond paste into crumbs with your hands.

Gluten-free almond cake

This cake can be made entirely gluten-free, if you like. I’ve made this cake using a gluten-free flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour and it turns out perfectly.

A slice of cake topped with cream and raspberries on a dessert plate, with a fork.

I have a feeling you’re going to fall in love with the texture and intense almond flavor of this cake! Try it as a tea cake or alongside your favorite seasonal fruit.

Tips for serving and storing almond cake:

  • If you bake the cake but don’t plan on serving it right away, keep it well wrapped for a day or two.
  • After topping the cake with cream cheese glaze, keep the cake refrigerated and bring to room temperature. Add the berries just before serving.
  • The cake tastes amazing as is, but feel free to jazz up the batter with fresh lemon zest and/or a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract or vanilla extract.
  • Instead of berries and the glaze I used, you can decorate the cake with lightly sweetened sour cream or simply dusted with powdered sugar and sliced almonds.

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Best Ever Moist Almond Cake

Karen Tedesco
This is the best almond cake recipe! It has a moist, velvety crumb, and it's perfect to serve plain with powdered sugar and fresh fruit, with or without a creamy glaze on top. This cake is easily made gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour blend for the all purpose.
Print Pin
4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine Baking
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Makes one 9-inch cake

  • 1 cup (130 g) all purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 room temperature eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 7-ounce (212 g) tube almond paste, crumbled into small pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups (275 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Topping

  • 4 ounces (125 g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) softened butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (150 g) powdered sugar, sifted through a mesh strainer if lumpy
  • 1-2 cups (444 g) mixed blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries

Instructions 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  • Pulse the almond paste in a food processor until it’s broken into even pieces. Add the sugar and process for 30 seconds, until the mixture appears fine and sandy textured.
  • Add the butter and process for a full 2 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the workbowl if necessary.
  • With the machine running, slowly dribble in the egg. You want the mixture to emulsify and become thick, blended and creamy.
  • Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl. Place a strainer over the bowl and sift the flour mixture over the batter. Fold gently to mix, just until the flour is incorporated.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the top springs back lightly.
  • Cool the cake 20 minutes, then release the sides of the pan and cool completely on a rack.

Make the topping

  • Beat the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the salt and sugar and beat until creamy. Refrigerate until it's time to serve the cake.
  • Spread the topping over the cake and decorate the top of the cake with the berries. Serve.

Notes

  • If you’d like to use almond flour, I suggest substituting half the amount of all purpose flour (1/2 cup) with almond flour. Because the cake is based on almond paste, using all almond flour would make a very dense cake.
  • Wait until the cake is completely cool before topping with the icing.
  • After icing, the cake can be lightly covered with plastic and refrigerated, but add the berries just before serving.
  • Serving ideas: Instead of berries and the glaze I used, you can decorate the cake with lightly sweetened sour cream or simply with powdered sugar and sliced almonds.
  • Store the plain (no icing) cake at room temperature, wrapped in plastic for 3-4 days. Refrigerate the iced cake one day.
Adapted from a recipe in Salt, Fat, Acid Heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 77g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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7 Comments

  1. The recipe sounds great, I like using homemade almond paste.
    Can I substitute almond flour instead of a gluten free flour mix?

    1. Hi Cheryl, I haven’t tested this cake recipe using all almond flour. You could try replacing half the amount of all purpose flour (1/2 cup) with almond flour and see how you like it.

  2. Can I use a block of almond paste usually used when rolled out to ice a tradional Christmas cake as we dont have tubes in Ireland?
    I presume the nutrition info is per 100g & not 1g as stated above?
    Thankyou

    1. I’m not familiar with blocks of almond paste, but as long as it’s not marzipan and you use the same volume it should work fine!
      The serving is corrected to one slice.

  3. 5 stars
    I bake a lot and am always trying new recipes. I always make a new recipe as written the first time before tweaking. I made this cake today exactly as written (ok, I’ll admit that I added a little vanilla to the batter). The instructions were excellent and the cake was a huge hit with my husband and sons. Even my Italian MIL was impressed! I served it with some beautiful berries and whipped cream. Next time I’ll add some toasted almonds for a bit of crunch. GREAT RECIPE! No tweaks needed!! Thanks for sharing!

  4. carol weber says:

    This cake came out beautifully! I love the rich color, the moist crumb, and delicious flavor. We had it with sweet georgia peaches and yummy local blueberries. We ate half the cake the first night! Thank you for the great recipe Karen! Will be making it again for my 91 year old mother’s birthday this year. She’ll love it!

    1. Hi Carol! That is the sweetest review ever! I’m sooo happy you tried the cake, and definitely jealous of your peaches 🙂 Happy birthday to your mom! xo