Every year, my husband (whom we will call "Jaan"), asks for banana pudding for his birthday. It's simple and delicious, and easier to make than most cakes. I am also very bored of making banana pudding. To my pleasant surprise, this year, he asked for "a simple flat cake." Behold, a summery, nutty, and fluffy almond cake was born, and it was flat, too.
This cake is not only great for a small birthday celebration (it can be easily jazzed up with fresh whipped cream and lemon curd), but also tender enough for a decadent breakfast or tea cake. Serve it with a pitcher of lemonade or campari spritz (my drink of preference), and enjoy every bite. It's gluten-free, too.
Summer Almond Cake with Fresh Berries
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs, separated into whites and yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups summer berries or sliced fruit, for topping
- Confectionary sugar, for topping (optional)
- Unsalted butter or spray oil for coating the baking pan
- 8 or 9-inch round baking pan
- Electric mixer or stand mixer
- Three mixing bowls
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch round pan with butter or spray oil. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan (this will give the cake a nice toasted sugar coating).
- In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix together until completely smooth.
- In a second large mixing bowl, add the egg whites. Beat using an electric mixer or stand mixer until you've formed soft peaks. Slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
- In a third bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
- Add this flour mixture to the egg yolks. Stir to form a thick batter.
- Gently fold in the soft egg white peaks to the thick batter - incorporating about 1/2 cup of the soft peaks at a time. Make sure to fully incorporate the egg whites before adding more. You should have a smooth fluffy batter at the end.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake the cake on the center rack of your oven for 30 to 35 minutes (check a few minutes earlier if using a 9-inch round pan). The cake is done when it's golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides. Turn the cake out onto a serving plate.
- Once fully cool, garnish the cake with summer berries (raspberries, blueberries, currants, sliced strawberries) or stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries), and dust with a touch of confectionary sugar.