I have the happy task of researching and baking desserts for an upcoming post concert reception for our chamber music group. We’re doing a concert of all Scandinavian music (November 2 and 3 if you are in Minnesota) and thought it would be a nice break from the usual cookies and punch to have some Scandinavian themed treats.
So I went to Ingebretsen’s, this awesome store in Minneapolis for all things Scandinavian, and the nice ladies there said Swedish Almond Cake was the answer!
Having now made 2 test cakes, I can wholeheartedly say they are right. Swedish Almond Cake IS the answer!
I had to do some tweaking to the recipe as the first cake was good but a little on the dry side. I looked at a bunch of recipes and took the parts that looked the best from each one to come up with what I think is the ultimate almond cake.
Here’s what you need:
Flour, Sugar, Butter, Egg, Baking Powder, Vanilla, Almond Extract, Milk, Salt, Sliced Almonds, and Slivered Almonds.
To be authentic, I bought the official Half-Round pan of the traditional Swedish Almond Cake but you could make this in a regular 9 inch cake pan and slice it into wedges. You could also double the recipe and bake it in a Bundt pan.
Whatever pan you use, you absolutely need a can of Baker’s Joy non-stick cooking spray. I had stopped using sprays for baking because I don’t like that weird aerosol aftertaste that the other brands have. This spray, however, is not only a joy but a something of a miracle. It has no odd flavors and even with all those little ridges in my pan, the cakes came out cleanly every single time. I’m sold.
This cake is pretty simple and easy to assemble. You don’t even need a mixer…go old school with a big bowl and whisk.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter and set it aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine 1¼ cups granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1½ teaspoons almond extract. Please, please, please spend the few extra bucks for REAL vanilla and almond extracts and not imitation flavorings.
Add 2/3 cup milk and whisk to thoroughly combine.
In a food processor (I’m using my mini sized one) or blender, grind up 1/2 cup of slivered almonds. You want very small bits (like crumbs) but not totally pulverized dust.
In a separate bowl, add the almonds to 1¼ cups flour and ½ teaspoon baking powder. Whisk to combine all of the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the big bowl of wet ingredients and stir to combine.
Pour in the slightly cooled cup of melted butter and stir until the batter is mostly smooth.
You might need to alternate between a spoon and a whisk to get it mostly lump free.
Spray your pan with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour it thoroughly. Spread 2 Tablespoons of sliced almonds in the bottom of the pan. This will be the top of the cake.
Pour the batter in on top of the almonds. To protect the cake (and also because the round pan is a little tippy), I put the cake pan on a sheet pan for baking.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. The top of the cake will split but that’s okay since it’s really the bottom of the cake. BE SURE TO TEST WITH A SKEWER OR LONG TOOTHPICK because even after the cake splits, the center can still be a little bit gooey. The cake is done when golden brown and the skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Then gently loosen the edges (just the ends of the half round pan) with a spatula and invert onto a wire rack or platter.
You can sprinkle the top with a little powdered sugar, but I thought the almonds were pretty enough to skip the sugar.
This was a light, moist, and delightfully simple cake with BIG flavor.
Now, on to the recipes with lingonberries! Uff da!
Here’s the recipe: