Whether you’re hosting guests, or you are the guest, giving or serving baked goods will help everyone feel welcomed.
Loaf cakes are often easy to make and travel with, and they are excellent for either dessert or breakfast. Fragrant and moist, this almond cake is a crowd-pleaser. I like to contrast its sweetness by serving it with a dollop of yogurt, sour cream or crème fraiche.
This time of year, it’s nice to turn on the oven for what I call “bonus heat.” A warm house… The smell of almond cake baking in the oven… Friends and family visiting… What more could you ask for?
Other loaf cakes to consider:
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Almond Host Gift Cake
- 1 1/4 cups (156 grams) almond meal (also known as almond flour). Blanched or with skins is fine
- 3/4 cup (42 grams) all purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup whole milk, warmed to room temperature
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (depends on how subtle or pronounced like the flavor)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (not table salt)
- Pre-heat oven to 325 F (160 C)
- Line a standard size loaf pan with parchment paper and spray with vegetable or olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated
- Beat in milk and almond extract until fully incorporated. These are your wet ingredients
- Finely chop almonds and set aside
- In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. These are your dry ingredients
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients, one-third at a time to the wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl after each dry ingredient addition to ensure proper mixing. Mix only until dry ingredients are fully incorporated
- Spread half of the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. Evenly sprinkle the chopped nuts on top of the batter. Evenly spread the other half of the cake batter on top of the nuts
- Place the loaf pan on top of a cookie sheet or sheet pan to protect the bottom of the cake from burning. Bake for 65-70 minutes. Check at the 60-minute mark. If the top of the cake is browning too much, gently tent aluminum foil over the cake for the remainder of the baking time. A toothpick should come out clean when it is done. Let it fully cool before serving. It’s even better the second day, if you can wait. (tip: It also freezes well, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil.)