When I was a child, my mother baked most of her desserts from scratch. We were blessed that she was such a great cook and baker! However, I recall that occasionally she would buy a Sara Lee pound cake and serve thick slices of that with fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries and either cream or ice cream. Yum!
Later in life, I discovered that Sara Lee’s cakes were not all that great, and I came to prefer baking my own.
It had been quite some time since I baked a pound cake, and I got to wondering how it would turn out if I made one with almond meal. It is rich, buttery, dense, yet not too heavy, with a distinct almond flavor. In a word: WOW.
Note: The first time I made this, the cake took a really long time to bake, and I wondered if it would firm up in the middle or if there was not enough flour in the recipe. It will become firm, given enough time in the oven. If the top begins to brown and the cake is still jiggly, lower the oven temperature to around 320º F to prevent it from getting overly brown.
Almond Pound Cake
13 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¾ superfine sugar
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp. vanilla yogurt thinned with water to milk consistency
½ tsp. almond extract
¾ cup flour (I used white and whole wheat pastry)
¾ cup almond meal
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1) Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
2) Mix in eggs, yogurt, and almond extract until blended. Don’t worry if the mixture looks lumpy; it will smooth out later.
3) In a small bowl, combine flour, almond meal, salt, and baking powder. Stir the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
4) With a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into a well-buttered standard sized loaf pan. The batter will not fill the whole pan. Level the batter out with the rubber scraper.
5) Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350º F until a cake tester comes out clean. The cake will not rise very high, unless you use a smaller loaf pan (such as 5-¾” x 3- ¼”). I only had the larger size, and it works fine.
6) Remove pan to a cake rack, and cool for 10 minutes or so before turning the loaf out onto the rack. Cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife. Serve with fresh strawberries or raspberries and whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. Or melt some apricot jam in a saucepan with a little water and a couple of drops of almond extract, and spread the glaze over the cooled cake.