Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Twas the week before Thanksgiving and all over the internet, were recipes for pumpkin and pecan and chocolate and all sorts of heavy desserts….

Yes, I’m well aware that that didn’t rhyme at all and didn’t even have a decent rhythm to it, but by the time I typed out “Twas the week before Thanksgiving”, my brain had died out. I tend to take thinking minute by minute, obviously.

Seriously though, I figured I would give all of you a recipe for something a little lighter, something citrusy and not bogged down with 5000 calories. Mind you, if you’re anything like me, it just means one MORE dessert to eat during the holidays, not one DIFFERENT dessert. There is no way I can turn down my pecan pie or pumpkin pie or berry pie. So, I join the throngs of Americans who spend the later hours of Thanksgiving sleeping under a table somewhere, fork in hand, whipped cream smears on my chin and a happy smile on my face.

This cake is so easy to throw together and it really is such a nice change from the heavier things this time of year. The cake itself is moist, with a mild taste of both almond and lemon, along with the gentle crunch of sliced almonds on top. I got the original recipe from the cookbook “Luscious Lemon Desserts”. I changed it in that it didn’t have the almonds on it, I used lemon oil rather than lemon extract, which I don’t care for as it adds a bitter flavor to foods in my opinion, I added more vanilla as well as almond extract in the cake andddddd added a couple tablespoons of actual lemon juice to give it a very mild tartness. All in all, this was delicious and something I can see making year round.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon oil (if you absolutely have to sub lemon extract, use 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond paste, room temp
  • 1/4 cup (half stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup thin sliced almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a greased 8 inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease and flour the paper (or use a flour/oil combination baking spray). Sprinkle the sliced almonds evenly over the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, lemon juice, lemon oil, and extracts
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the room temp almond paste and the butter. If it doesn’t beat well at first, do what I did- get a potato masher and mush the dickens out of it. It worked great. 😀 Beat in the sugar until fluffy.
  5. Once the sugar, butter and almond paste are nicely blended, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended.
  6. Alternate adding in the flour mix and the milk mixture, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour), beating just until well mixed each time.
  7. Spoon the batter carefully over the almonds in the pan, then spread it evenly.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan, on a rack for fifteen minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a plate to finish cooling.
  9. When cool, sprinkle the top generously with powdered sugar and cut into wedges to serve.

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Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake


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Almond Pecan Praline Bread

Almond Pecan Praline Bread

You know how your parents always said that they didn’t have any favorites among their kids and they loved you all equally? They lied. We ALL play favorites. Not intentionally, not maliciously, but we do it anyway. It’s human nature. With people (your kids or whoever), you can love them all just as MUCH, but there are always people you click with differently..better..on a deeper level somehow. That’s the same reason you end up with a spouse or partner. You…just…click.

It’s no different with foods. Everyone has favorites. Foods or flavors that just click with you. Most of us (the normal ones anyway) love chocolate and will use any excuse to eat it. Others love vanilla anything. Put something with lemon or other citrus in front of yet another person and they will devour it. What’s one of mine? Other than all of the above lol?

Almond. Not so much the actual nut To me, they tend to be rather flavorless and I don’t like the texture, though slivered or sliced and toasted is a whole different story. but no, I mean things flavored with almonds. be it almond extract, almond paste, almond filling, marzipan, whatever, I absolutely love anything with almond flavoring. And I add it to as many things as I can think of that it will go with.

One of almonds favorite places to call home is in my stomach in baked goods. Cookies, yeast breads, coffee cakes, muffins and on and on. It’s yummy in all of them. My favorite way is in a quick bread. We love quick breads here anyway (keep my husband away from my Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or nobody else will get any.) so making one with almond flavoring in it was a natural for me. But I couldn’t leave well enough alone and added some praline pecans to this one.

This is just a basic quick bread. The fun comes from the almond flavoring and the pecans. They totally make this bread. Spread this bread, still slightly warm from the oven, with raspberry, cherry or apricot jam and you will be in heaven. Those fruits are so complementary to almond. This is great for dessert, breakfast, a snack or just cause you’re darn cute and deserve a slice or twelve.

Almond Pecan Praline Bread With An Almond Glaze

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 14 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces praline pecans
  • GLAZE-
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk (more or less as needed to make drizzling consistency)
  1. Grease and flour 5 mini loaf pans. You can also use cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all your dry ingredients, except for the pecans
  3. In another bowl or a large measuring cup, combine your wet ingredients.
  4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and dump in the wet ones.
  5. Mix JUST until combined. As I’ve said before, don’t overbeat quick breads and muffins. You will end up with tough tunneled bread.
  6. Fold in the pecans, then spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake at 350 until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pans on wire rack for about ten minutes if you plan on then turning them out or just leave them in the pan on the rack until completely cool if giving them away… though I’m not sure why you’d do that.
  9. To make the glaze, just combine everything in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the cooled breads.
  10. Eat. Say Yum!

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Oh The Things I Do For You

I mean… seriously? Who else will, out of love for you, make the noble sacrifice of frequently working with butter, sugar, cream and all things decadent? Who else, out of love for you, would practice over and over again, making treats JUST so that I could blog about them here for your pleasure? Who else, out of that great enduring love for you, would torture herself eating creations filled with said butter, sugar and cream, JUST so that I could then describe to you what it tasted like? No one else! No one I say! Ok, maybe a few other bloggers but they too do it out of a great love for you! It has nothing, nothing I say, to do with the idea that we like shoving gooey, rich creamy treats in our gaping maws! Perish the thought! It’s that love thing… yeah, that’s it. The love thing.

You believe me, right? *bats eyes innocently* Continue reading