Italian Almond Cake

(from jerseyjenny’s recipe box)

Almond cake may be a simple and humble Italian dessert, but it’s also remarkably versatile and a natural make-ahead dessert.

Do not substitute low-fat or nonfat milk for the whole milk. Blanched almonds are almonds without their skin. Be careful not to overtoast the almonds or the cake will have a dry, crumbly texture. You can substitute 3 cups whole blanched almonds for the slivered; increase their oven toasting time to 11 minutes and their processing time to 30 seconds in step 2.

This recipe was published in our cookbook The Best Make-Ahead Recipe.

Source: Cook's Illustrated E-Notes April 2007

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Serves 8 people

Categories: Cook's Illustrated, cake, dessert, nuts


  • 14 ounces blanched slivered almonds (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar (8 3/4 ounces)
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup cake flour (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with vegetable oil spray, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

  2. Spread the almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until very lightly toasted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes (do not overtoast); let cool completely. Process the almonds, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the salt in a food processor until very finely ground with a texture that resembles flour, about 10 seconds. Add the flour and baking powder and pulse to incorporate, about 5 pulses; set aside.

  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating briefly after each addition to incorporate. Add the ground almond mixture and beat until just incorporated. Add the milk and beat until just incorporated.

  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is puffed and golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.

  5. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan and let the cake cool to room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

  6. To Store: Remove the cake pan bottom and wrap the fully cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. (If frozen, let the cake thaw completely at room temperature, 2 to 4 hours.)

  7. To Serve: The cake can be served at room temperature or warmed. To warm the cake, unwrap it and place on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

  8. To Serve Right Away: Let the cake cool at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.

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