Think of this as an early little Christmas gift.
Why give a Christmas gift when December’s barely gotten started?
Well, just because I knew you were going to need it.
I sure do! A cake that’s moist, tender and incredibly delicious, while at the same time being one-bowl, no-mixer and just-a-few-minutes-to-throw-together is exactly what I need at this time of the year.
Don’t wait till the 25th to give me this one, I’ve got all sorts of get-togethers and occasions coming up and people who I’d love to surprise with a special treat.
I need it now!
And I thought perhaps, you were in the same boat, so it’s comin’ your way today! Merry Christmas!
That’s about all I’m writing today friends because, just like you, I’m trying to wrap my mind around Christmas and the fact that’s it’s not waiting on me.
I admit, I’m a bit more behind than usual because, instead of doing lots of baking and decorating over the long Thanksgiving holiday, we did something infinitely better. We were incredibly blessed to welcome a new baby boy into the family! More on that coming up… but with a few minutes to spare, I think I might throw together a French Almond Cake!
Disclosure: Since I have some really sweet French friends like Paule and Barbara and Monique (as close to French as you can get), I thought I better confess the real deal, as I don’t want to get into any kind of trouble with them or have la gendarmerie (the French police) arrest me for a counterfeit cake. So, here’s the scoop: I kind of made up this recipe, but I did base it on my French Grandmother’s Lemon Yogurt Cake which is a favorite of ours and really truly is French. I just changed up the flavors a bit, added almond flour, almond extract, a sliced almond topping and a shower of powdered sugar.
Now I’m clean. Sort of …
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- ¾ cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour (meal)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ¾ cup sunflower oil, grape seed or canola oil
- For the glaze:
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¾ cup powdered sugar plus more for sprinkling, if desired
- ½ cups sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F (175˚C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray, rub inside surface of pan with a paper towel to cover evenly with the spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.
- Place almonds in a small baking pan. Spread to a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until just beginning to turn pale golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Combine the orange zest, orange juice, powdered sugar and extracts in a small bowl for the glaze. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended.
- Add the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt and extracts, mixing to just combine.
- Add the oil and stir well. Don't worry, at first it will seem to separate, but keep stirring till smooth. This might take 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. Be careful not to over bake. Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; then turn it out of the pan onto the rack.
- While cake is still warm, using a pastry brush, gently pat the glaze all over the cake. Just keep going over the cake till the glaze is gone. Some of it will drip off, but most of it will soak in. Sprinkle almonds over top of cake while glaze is wet and pat gently. Allow cake to cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired and serve.