Tag Archives: almond cake recipe

Almond Cake With Italian Meringue Buttercream — Aka My Wedding Cake

A simplified version of my incredible wedding cake.
A simplified version of my incredible wedding cake.

When I wed years ago, the dress, the setting, and the food were of utmost importance, of course.

But what was absolutely paramount was the cake.

After all, with my enormous sweet tooth known far and wide, my family and friends fully expected a wedding cake to remember.

I am happy to report they were not disappointed in the least.

Just how unforgettable was this moist almond cake adorned with the silkiest Italian meringue? With nary an ounce of shame, many of the guests will attest that they indulged in not one, not two, but even three slices that evening.

Leftover cake? I was lucky to claim just the top tier as my own. Every other piece was devoured.

And if you think I tucked that top away for a year to languish in my freezer, forget about it. I took it to my parents’ house the very next day, where my family, new husband, and I demolished it with gusto. Moreover, when Mother’s Day rolled around the next year, I had the baker who made it recreate it in a smaller size to give to my mom because that’s just how good it is.

One for the ages, if there ever was one, this cake was made by professional baker Nancy Kux, who used to own Nancy’s Fancies in San Carlos. I had sampled quite a few cakes from other bakers. But none had us scraping the box for every last crumb and lick of frosting like hers did.

My actual wedding cake was four tiers. This is a home-version that's two layers.
My actual wedding cake was four tiers. This is a home-version that’s two layers.

This is not a light, fluffy, airy cake, but one that has a little more heft to it. It is buttery, tender, and full of almond flavor. It stays moist for quite a while, too, whether you store it in the fridge for a couple of days or freeze for a couple of months. As one wedding guest swooned about its Italian meringue buttercream: “This is better than whipped cream!” Indeed, it is. When enjoyed at room temperature, it softens like butter on the tongue, leaving behind a caress of sweetness.

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Nancy Silverton’s Polenta Cake with Brutti Ma Buoni Topping

A cake for nut lovers.

A cake for nut lovers.


Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.

In my case, I always do. I’m the person who won’t even dive into a box of See’s candies unless it’s “nuts and chews.” For me, it’s M&M’s with nuts all the way. And I can happily munch on almonds by the handful, day or night.

This is a cake that appeals to nutty folks like me.

“Polenta Cake with Brutti Ma Buoni Topping” is from “Mozza At Home” (Knopf), of which I received a review copy. It’s the newest cookbook by Nancy Silverton, the chef who helped kick-start the modern-day artisan bread revolution. She’s also the chef/co-owner of Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, and Chi Spacca, all in Los Angeles.

As Silverton writes in the book, this cake is the happy marriage of a classic polenta cake, and a traditional meringue and nut cookie called brutti ma buoni, which means “ugly but good.”



Personally, I prefer “distinctive” over “ugly” because I think that’s what this bumpy-topped cake is, owing to a profusion of almonds and hazelnuts mixed with egg white, honey, vanilla and orange flower water that’s strewn over the cake before it finishes baking.

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Yigit Pura’s Spiced Hazelnut-Almond Mirliton Cake

Yigit Pura's sublime cake that's flavored with warm spices and nuts.

Yigit Pura’s sublime cake that’s flavored with warm spices and nuts.


There’s no shame in going simple. Not even during the holidays.

Take this lovely cake, for instance.

“Spiced Hazelnut-Almond Mirliton Cake” is the easiest cake recipe in San Francisco Pastry Chef Yigit Pura’s repertoire. But that doesn’t mean it’s not special.

On the contrary, it’s everything you want in a cake — moist, airy and delicately fragrant. It’s a most elegant, light spice cake imbued with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and citrus zest. It’s also gluten-free, owing to the fact that it’s made with hazelnut and almond flours, which are roasted in the oven to really bring out their wonderful nuttiness.

The recipe is from Pura’s debut cookbook, “Sweet Alchemy” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

Would you believe this is gluten-free?

Would you believe this is gluten-free?

Pura, the inaugural winner of “Top Chef: Just Desserts” and the owner of San Francisco’s Tout Sweet patisserie, has created a book that builds on the fundamentals as you go along. Learn how to make Citrus-Scented Panna Cotta and Blood Orange, Grapefruit & Campari Gelee. Then combine both in a gorgeously layered Negroni Creamsicle. Learn how to make a basic Crepe Cake. Then add on Vietnamese Cinnamon Brittle, Butterscotch Sauce, Orange Flower Water Diplomat Cream and Bosc Pears Roasted in Caramel & Indian Spices to create the knock-out Layered Crepe Cake Brulee.

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Yummy Supper’s Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes That Are — Well — Yummy

You won't be able to resist these tender little cakes.

You won’t be able to resist these tender little cakes.

If we do eat with our eyes first, then I must gain 10 pounds every time I lay eyes upon Erin Scott’s luminous food photos.

The creator of the blog, Yummy Supper, serves even up more temptation now with her similarly named new cookbook, “Yummy Supper” (Rodale), of which I received a review copy.

Scott of Berkeley, who as a teenager grew up a stone’s throw from Chez Panisse, describes herself as a “gluten-free omnivore.” She may have celiac disease, but she doesn’t let that define her or limit her ability to enjoy delicious food.

In fact, all it takes is a cursory look at her blog or cookbook of 100 recipes to see that. Both are filled with vibrant, seasonal dishes that carry a fresh California sensibility and aren’t too fussy.

That’s what drew me to the recipe for “Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes.” Well, that and the fact that I love anything with almonds. Or in this case: almond flour.

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Scandinavian Gold Cake for Easter

Pretty enough for Easter.

Pretty enough for Easter.


I admit that when I think of Scandinavia, the first thing that pops into my mind is furniture.

All that blond wood. All those sleek designs. The timelessness of it all.

This cake has similar characteristics. It’s covered in classic white. It has no superfluous flourishes that get in the way. And it’s satisfying in a way that you’ll never tire of.

“Scandinavian Gold Cake” is from the new paperback edition of “The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion”KingArthurCookbook

The sizable book contains more than 350 recipes that span everything from breakfast treats to fried doughs to crackers to Viennoiserie.

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