Almond cake doesn’t sound fancy. It’s not really. It’s easy to make with things you may already have on hand in your pantry.
BUT.. it tastes fancy! I made this a few weeks back for my aunt’s birthday. It is dense and chewy and buttery and nutty and fantastic. My own birthday is in a few days and I just may have to make it again for myself. It’s that good. (Except there are so many other things on my ‘to try’ list. . .choices, choices.)
Birthdays were always a big deal when I was growing up. Not in a crazy birthday party, gift bag, bazillion dollar way like I see people do for their kids these days. In a simpler way that made me feel special and doted on. Usually mom woke me up and there were some birthday presents to open first thing in the morning before school. In grade school there was always a special homemade treat to take in and share with the class. My favorite was the cupcakes made in ice cream cones.
Later, dad would bring me flowers and maybe a balloon when he got home from work. My dad was the first man to ever bring me flowers. As it should be, I suppose. (He still brings them to me regularly!) That always made my night. Then we were off to dinner at the restaurant of my choice which was usually Asian of some sort. As a teen I got to bring one friend of my choice to dinner, too.
When dinner was over we headed home to meet my grandparents and aunt and uncle, etc, and have the homemade birthday dessert I had chosen and open a few more birthday gifts. I was never much of a plain cake girl so I usually requested something else. A lot of times it was this chocolate mousse that my aunt makes.
A full day of being made to feel special. Birthdays are supposed to be like this in my mind. And my family and husband do a tremendous job of still making me feel special. I, of course, try to return the favor.
This makes an excellent birthday cake alternative for an almond lover. I found several versions of this cake online and after reading a few I decided on the following combination. I think it might even be delicious with a handful of chopped maraschino cherries thrown in the batter. (I love those little artificially flavored beauties.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
In a 350 degree oven toast the slivered almonds. Should take about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow the almonds to cool.
Mix sugar and melted butter together. Add eggs, almond extract, vanilla extract, salt. Mix well. Add flour. Stir in 1/4 cup of the slivered almonds.
Spray an 8″ spring form pan with non stick spray. Pour batter in pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup almonds. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.
Allow to cool completely. Release from pan and slice into 8 slices. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. (Or even some ice cream!)