Think of this Almond Olive Oil Cake like you would that little black dress in your closet. Dress it up or dress it down and it can go anywhere. Who needs to serve a many layered cake thick with icing after a big meal, your guests will probably say “just give me a sliver”. This almond cake, on the over hand, is perfect to serve your guests even after a big Italian meal. I know because not one of my guests has turned down a big slice. They even say “yes, please” to a scoop of vanilla bean gelato on the side.
This moist and delicious cake with its touch of citrus is terrific without the toasted almonds and the brown butter glaze topping but don’t skip it. The topping adds a wonderful texture and flavor to the cake just as your favorite necklace is the finishing touch on your little black dress. The cake is not complicated to make and is a real crowd pleaser. To me, it makes the perfect ending to any meal you serve to family or friends…not too fancy but memorable.
Almond Olive Oil Cake With Brown Butter Glaze
Almond Olive Oil Cake
Preheat the over to 350 degrees
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. almond flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. plus 1 Tbsp. olive oil (extra virgin but not one that is too peppery)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon or from 1/4 of an orange
- 1/2 c. orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or other orange liquor (optional)
Grease and flour a 9 inch springform pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined. Crack the eggs into another mixing bowl and whisk lightly to break the yolks. Add the sugar to the bowl and whisk it in thoroughly for about 30 seconds. Add the olive oil and whisk until the mixture is a little lighter in color and has thickened slightly, about 30 – 45 seconds. Whisk in the extracts, zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier, if using. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until the batter is smooth and emulsified, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 30 – 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to make sure it browns evenly. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a rack. In the meantime, make the glaze.
Almond Brown Butter Glaze
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 c. confectioner’s sugar
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 1/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice or to taste
- 1/2 c. sliced, blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
Melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. When the bubbles subside, lower heat and watch the butter carefully, swirling occasionally. When the butter begins to turn a light tan color and smells slightly nutty, remove from the heat and let sit. The butter will continue to darken as it sits. While the butter cools, sift the confectioner’s sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the milk until completely smooth then slowly whisk in the butter. Taste the glaze and add a few drops of lemon juice at a time to adjust the sweetness to your taste. Stir in the toasted almonds. While still on the cooling rack, spread the glaze over the top and let it drip down the sides. Let it sit until dry and completely set before slicing.
This cake was inspired by the wonderful pastry chef, Gina DePalma. She left our world much too young but not before sharing many of her wonderful Italian dessert recipes. You will see lots of adaptions of her wonderful recipes on the internet. I decided to share my version of her olive oil cake as I start my sixth year of blogging as a “thank you” to all of you who have been such faithful and loyal friends here at Back Road Journal. Once you try this tasty Italian dessert, you too may think of it as the “little black dress” among your dessert recipes. Take it to a picnic, a backyard BBQ, a pot luck supper, serve it to your friends at a Sunday brunch or even at a romantic dinner party. If you would like to dress it up a little, add a dollop of whipped cream, a scoop of gelato or with some macerated fruit along side. It is a simple Italian dessert and yet it is oh so very delicious.
“Thank you” and come back to visit soon.