March – Tender Almond Cake

I should explain that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Do I hear gasps out there? I know, it’s not a popular viewpoint.

Salt is another matter, I’ve yet to meet a crisp chip of any kind that I don’t immediately adore. But sugar, not so much. My first blog post was in late September of 2014 and, since that date, there have been exactly 5 recipes for desserts.

Working backward, the last one was in May of 2022: Overnight Croissant French Toast Bake with Coffee Rum Sauce

In May 2021: Sweet and Salty Cream Cheese Tart

In June 2015: Lavender Nut Cake

In December 2014: Raspberry streusel bars

And in November 2014 my mother’s secret recipe: Pot of Chocolate

Here is number 6, Tender Almond Cake. It’s not too sweet, both dairy and gluten-free. The recipe came from Salvatore Messina at the NY Times. It’s a keeper, good for dessert with some fresh fruit. But it’s also wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee in the morning or as an afternoon snack.

My pictures do not do it justice. If I wasn’t leaving for New Zealand in a few days I would make it again just for the pictures…it will have to wait until I get back. I wanted to get this recipe into your hands.

Almond Cake

Almond Cake

The recipe is similar to an Italian almond cake. However, he adapted it from a recipe for torta de Santiago the traditional almond cake from Galicia, Spain, using less sugar, no cinnamon, and more orange zest.


  • 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter (or butter substitute) for greasing the pan
  • 8 oz/227 grams of blanched almonds
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1-1/4 cups/250 grams of granulated sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Confectioners sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
  2. Pulse the almonds a few times in a food processor, then grind them, until they become a coarse meal. This will take 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Beat in the ground almonds, zests, and almond extract until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to another large bowl and thoroughly wipe and clean the bowl of the stand mixer.
  4. In the clean dry bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks on medium-high, for 1 to 2 minutes. Incorporate the whites into the egg yolk-sugar-almond mixture until no white streaks remain. Spread into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes clean.
  6. Cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it, then transfer it to a serving platter. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Tender Almond Cake

Tender Almond Cake

Tender Almond Cake

Tender Almond Cake

5 thoughts on “March – Tender Almond Cake

    • We just started our hiking trip today (Monday). We hike Mt Cook tomorrow. Raining here, but we brought the right gear so don’t expect the weather to bother us. And you had snow!!! Oh my! It’s a crazy weather year everywhere.

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