The cake has a chewy, dense texture almost like a cookie. It uses a lot of butter, eggs, sugar, and almond flavoring which gives it a rich taste. The top is crowned with sliced almonds that toast to a nice golden brown color.
Unlike conventional cakes, almond butter cake doesn't rise much. It bakes up moist and stays fresh for about a week at room temperature when stored in an airtight container. It also freezes well.
The simple ingredients like butter, eggs, sugar, flour, and almonds mean you probably have everything on hand to whip one up. Read on for tips on making the perfect almond butter cake.
Ingredients for Almond Butter Cake
These are the main ingredients you'll need:
- Butter - Use high-quality salted butter for the best flavor. Allow it to soften to room temperature before creaming with the sugar.
- Sugar - Granulated white sugar is commonly used. You can adjust the amount to make it less sweet if desired.
- Eggs - Eggs help bind the batter. Both whole eggs and yolks are used.
- Almond extract - This provides the signature almond flavor. Use pure almond extract, not imitation.
- Flour - All-purpose flour works best. For a gluten-free version, try using almond flour.
- Almonds - Sliced or slivered almonds are used to top the cake. Toasting them enhances the nutty flavor.
- Salt - A small amount of salt balances out the sweetness.
Other optional ingredients like orange zest, lemon juice, or almond liqueur can also be added to complement the almond flavor.
Steps to Make Almond Butter Cake
Follow these simple steps:
1. Prep the Pan
Grease a round 8 or 9-inch cake pan with butter or line the bottom with parchment paper. This prevents sticking. Dust the pan with flour if not using parchment.
2. Cream the Butter and Sugar
Beat the softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. This takes 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the Eggs and Extracts
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the almond extract and any other flavorings until combined.
4. Stir in the Dry Ingredients
Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the flour, salt, and any ground toasted nuts or almond meal. Mix just until combined, do not overbeat.
5. Transfer the Batter to the Pan
Spoon the thick batter into the prepared cake pan. Use a spatula to spread it evenly.
6. Top with Almonds
Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the top and gently press them in.
7. Bake the Cake
Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes until deep golden brown. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
Tips for Making the Perfect Almond Butter Cake
Here are some handy tips:
- Allow ingredients like butter and eggs to come to room temperature before using to help ensure proper creaming and binding.
- Toast sliced almonds in the oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool before using.
- Make sure to use fresh baking powder and soda. Test soda by adding a pinch to vinegar - it should fizz and bubble.
- Don't overmix the batter once the dry ingredients are added. Just until combined.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for even heating. Check at the minimum time, ovens vary.
- Cool the cake completely before removing it from the pan, for at least 1 hour. Run a knife along the edges to loosen.
- Store airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 2 months wrapped well in plastic then foil.
There are lots of easy ways to switch up this cake:
- Add 1-2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest to the batter.
- Use a mix of almond and vanilla extract.
- Substitute hazelnut flour or almond meal for some of the all-purpose flour.
- Mix in a tablespoon of almond liqueur or rum into the batter.
- Top with sliced fruit like peaches before baking.
- Glaze with an almond-flavored powdered sugar glaze.
- Sandwich together with lemon curd, whipped cream, or jam filling.
- Swap in different nuts like pecans or walnuts for the almond topping.
- Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or cardamom to the dry ingredients.
- For lemon almond cake, bake dollops of lemon curd directly into the batter.
Almond butter cake is delicious on its own but here are some serving ideas:
- Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with a simple glaze made with powdered sugar and milk or cream.
- Serve wedges with fresh berries, sliced fruit, or lemon curd on the side.
- Top slices with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an elegant dessert.
- For breakfast or brunch, pair it with coffee or tea.
- Bring it to gatherings as it travels well.
- Offer it after dinner with after-dinner drinks like coffee, tea, or port.
- Store almond cake wrapped well at room temperature for 3-4 days.
- For longer storage, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Freeze the cake for up to 2 months. Wrap it well in plastic wrap then foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
What type of almond butter should I use?
Look for a smooth, creamy roasted almond butter without added oils or sugar. Stir it well before using.
Can I use almond paste instead of almond extract?
Yes, substitute 1/4 cup almond paste and reduce the almond extract to 1/2 teaspoon.
What if I don't have cake pans?
You can make mini cakes or bars in a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners or a small loaf pan. Adjust bake time.
Can I use almond flour?
Almond flour has a much different texture but you can try substituting up to 1/2 cup for the all-purpose flour.
What causes a dry or crumbly cake?
Overmixing, inaccurate measuring, oven hot spots, or improper pan prep can cause dryness. Check for doneness early.
Why does my cake sink in the middle?
This can happen if it's underbaked. Try testing 5 minutes before the minimum bake time. Let cool completely before removing from pan.
How do I get clean slices?
Use a serrated knife and gentle sawing motion. Wipe the knife clean between cuts. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting.
Can I double the recipe?
Yes, the recipe can be doubled. Use two 9-inch or 10-inch cake pans. Increase bake time by 5-10 minutes.
With its chewy-crisp texture, moist and rich almond flavor, and pretty nutty topping, almond butter cake is sure to be a new favorite treat.
The simple ingredients mean you likely have everything on hand to whip one up anytime a sweet craving strikes.
Follow the tips above for almond butter cake success. Enjoy!
Almond Butter Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/3 cups sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In another bowl, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the almond extract and eggs.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Top with sliced almonds.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely before removing from pan.