June 16, 2014
I’ve been wanting to make a Flourless Almond Cake for a while now and finally pulled the trigger. Maybe it’s because I’m traveling to Paris soon. Maybe because a light, fluffy flourless cake is the perfect way to end a summer meal. Maybe it just time. Whatever the reason, this Flourless Almond Cake happened and I’m happy that it finally did.
The first time that I made this cake it seemed impossible that it would come together. A thick paste of egg yolks, sugar, and almond meal. No flour. No liquid.
But, then, magic.
You whip egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks and then gently fold the poofy clouds into the thick, pasty batter. With each fold, the batter slowly lightens and loosens until, suddenly, you’re left with a bowl of cake batter that you trust to bake up as it does: light and tasty.
This airy cake—the perfect snack cake—has a lovely texture thanks to almond meal. You can serve it sprinkled with powdered sugar, topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or served with a sweet spoonful of summer fruit compote. You can maybe even eat it for breakfast. I won’t tell.
Flourless Almond Cake
(Can be shared with kids 10+ mos)*
Unsalted butter, for greasing
4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9″ baking pan with parchment paper and grease the bottom and sides with butter; set aside. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer set on medium speed to mix egg yolks, brown sugar, and lemon zest until well combine and smooth, about 2 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Stir almond meal mixture into the egg yolk mixture.
3. Clean and dry the electric mixer. Set it on medium speed and beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the granulated sugar, continuing to beat, until glossy, stiff, white peaks form.
4. Scoop a large spoonful of egg whites into the batter and gently fold them in; repeat this process, adding egg whites one large spoonful at a time and gently, but fully incorporating each spoonful before adding the next.
5. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before carefully inverting the cake onto a serving platter.
*Note: I recommend this cake starting at 10-months-old due to the sugar content, but be mindful that almonds are considered a high-allergen food. If you have questions about feeding almonds to little ones, read up on how to introduce high allergen foods. No matter how old your eaters, be sure to serve age appropriate portions. A little of this sweet treat goes a long way with wee ones!