Little Lemon Almond Cake

Last week, my mom turned 73, and she and our nephew Roman, who was in town visiting for the week, came over for dinner. Roman got his own batch of chocolate cupcakes, but since Genny isn’t a chocolate fan, I decided to whip up this little, four-serving lemon almond cake for her. I’m pleased to say she really enjoyed it.

This makes one single-layer, 6-inch cake, so you could easily double the recipe for a two-layer cake. The cake itself is a denser cake that is better paired with drizzle-style icing than a buttercream frosting, but you could still frost it with buttercream if you prefer. This cake would also be great with some whipped cream and fresh berries.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • Zest of 1/2 one medium lemon
  • About 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4-5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Toasted flaked almonds, for decorating

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 6-inch round cake pan, line with a parchment circle, and lightly grease the parchment.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until very well-blended. Add egg, almond extract, and lemon zest and beat well to combine, scraping the sides of your bowl a few times.

Add flour and milk alternatively in two batches, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 18-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the drizzle icing, combine powdered sugar, almond extract, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a small bowl. Mix until smooth, adding more lemon juice as necessary to reach a thick but pourable drizzling consistency. Pour over cake and spread with an offset spatula so drizzle just starts to drip down the sides of the cake. Add toasted flaked almonds, if desired.

Store, covered, at room temperature for 2-3 days. Makes 4 servings.

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Almond Cake for Date Night – Serves Two

almond-cake-for-date-nightMike and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary this year. We married one week after graduating college – because, why wait? – and are now those boring married people whose “date night” means a Saturday night catching up on the TV shows we’ve recorded during the week.

For last night’s date night, I whipped up this adorable little almond cake. It’s perfect for two, yielding two slices of cake for each of us. The icing is just an almond glaze, topped with sugar-toasted almonds, which are much easier to make then they may sound. Next time, I may slice the cake in half and add some pastry cream or raspberry filling between the layers.

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk

For the toasted almonds

  • 6 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the almond glaze

  • About 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 6-inch round cake pan with baking spray, line it with a parchment circle, and spray the parchment.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until very well-blended. Add egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined.

Add flour and milk alternatively in two batches, beginning and ending with the flour and beating until completely combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 18-22 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cake to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While your cake cools, prepare your toasted almonds. Place almonds in a small bowl and add sugar and water, mixing well to coat. Place in a saute pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes until almonds start to turn a light golden brown. Almonds will start out looking wet and will appear dry when they are almost done. Remove from heat and pour onto a plate to cool completely before using.

Once your cake and almonds are cool, make your almond glaze. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl and add almond extract and water, stirring until smooth. You want a thick glaze consistency, so you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar to thicken it. Pour glaze over cake and top with toasted almonds.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 4 servings.