Almond Cake with Raspberry Jam

The kitchen is packed; the furniture to be given away is gone, the garage is almost there and ‘my stuff’ (lights, camera, food, food props, kitchen must haves) are all at my friend Karen’s or in my studio at my daughter Emily’s. I made this cake for the first Denver food blogger Meetup I put together over 2 years ago and it’s now got an even more memorable place in my heart; it’s the last thing I made in this kitchen before the mixer and pans and bowls were packed. I hope I always remember my kitchen here when I see this cake; it has been good to me and my family. My girls don’t get why leaving this house is so emotional…but for me there are memories in every nook and cranny; in every crumb, in every bite.

And it is a memorable cake; I just LOVE it. It’s very much like a pound cake with the added bonus of having a heavenly almond flavor. I found it in the RSVP section of  Bon Appetit magazine and the reader who requested the recipe commented that she could not get enough of it. I get that, it’s just a great cake and the jam filling is perfect. Both texture and flavor are outstanding but my first go around it fell; twice. A bit of finagling and I’ve finally got it right…high altitude does mean finding a balance between lessening the leavening and increasing the oven temp and I’ve finally found my nirvana.

I thought I knew where I might have erred the first go around. Lesser well known than the issues with leavening agents are what can happen with over-beating. Our higher altitude and less dense air plays with the science of baked goods rising and too much rising, even in the form of beating til fluffy, can see a baked good rise too fast and then deflate before the baking has actually set components in place. This recipe required that the butter, sugar and almond paste be beat for 3 minutes to get fluffy so I guessed that I had beat that mixture more than I should have. To combat a repeat, I was determined to beat those ingredients precisely for 2 minutes. And raise the oven temp to 375 degrees, eliminate 1/4 tsp of baking powder and use extra large eggs to make sure the end result was not dry.

That did the trick and except for substituting raspberry jam for the boysenberry that was specified it was a perfect rendition. Really…a totally fabulous cake! By the way, I never write recipes on this site that include my revisions for high altitude; they are meant for those of you at sea level but if you are a mile high like I am..do be sure to make your standard revisions and best of luck; even with that depression the first time? Did I mention I just love this cake?

Recipe from February 2011 Bon Appetit
Locanda Verde, TriBeCa, New York NY

Almond Cake with Raspberry Jam
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Almond Cake with Raspberry Pomegranate Jam

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • cup plus 1 Tbsp almond paste. This was in the baking aisle and it comes in a can. I went to three stores before I found it but heard that World Market carries it and Whole Foods too.
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • cup raspberry jam (use what you have too...boysenberry blueberry, blackberry, strawberry...I would even love it with peach jam!
  • Lightly sweetened whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8 in round cake pan with two inch sides. Line bottom with parchment or waxed paper and butter again.
  • Blend sugar and almond paste in processor til finely ground.
  • Put flour, salt and baking powder into small bowl and whisk to blend.
  • Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and almond paste on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating on medium high until each is incorporated.
  • Fold in dry ingredients and transfer mix to pan.
  • Bake for 40 minutes without opening oven, rotate pan and bake until cake is golden and firm to the touch. (Another high altitude change...I only baked mine for at most 35 minutes total).
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes, run knife around outer edge, invert cake onto flat surface and remove paper from the bottom. Turn over and cook on rack.
  • Cut cake in half horizontally using a long serrated knife (bread knife is perfect).
  • Using the bottom of a tart pan, transfer the top half of the cake to a work surface.
  • Put remaining piece of cake, cut side up, on cake plate and spread the surface with jam. Place top half of cake on top of jam, cut side down.
  • Dust with confectioner's sugar and served with lightly sweetened whipping cream NOTE: To evenly cut the cake, measure the overall height. Then mark the halfway point with toothpicks at several points all around the cake. Use these toothpicks as your guide to slowly cut the cake in half with a serrated knife.

Nutrition

Serving: 1grams

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32 Comments

  1. Hi, I tried the jam cake. I made the almond paste myself at home,It turned out good, but I felt 2 sticks of butter was more. One would have been enough! Nice recipe!

    1. Good to know; I’ll have to try reducing the butter and see what happens. Thanks for reminding me of a cake I haven’t made in awhile but that I just love!

    1. The main reason I don’t Angie is because they change with every couple of thousand feet…what works for me in Denver would not work in Vail which is higher or another city which would be 2000′ lower. There are just way too many variables for me to cover them all so I don’t cover any of them. I’ve got a page on the site with some information on high altitude adjustments that might help.

  2. The movie Casablanca nailed it — you’ll always have Paris. In your case, your own memories. Every time we’ve moved I’ve always been taken by the emptiness of our house whenever all the furniture was gone, and how on one level I didn’t even recognize it anymore. We all have and like our stuff, and some stuff does trigger specific memories, but the memories are in you, not the stuff. When eventually you find a new place you’re going to have a wonderful time unpacking — and remembering. It’s going to be fun! Anyway, great cake! And good post — thanks.

    1. One of my closest friends remarked on that last night; she said how bare it looks without my touch evident now that my stuff is packed and you know what? She’s right. It’s my things, my personal touch that make it what I love…I have to remember that. Especially as those ‘things’ will be in a storage locker for the next couple of months and I’ll be living in a tiny room with nothing of my own. 🙂

  3. I’m thinking of you, Barb, as you take this next step and wishing you well. I’m happy you have this beautiful cake as such a lovely memory of baking in your kitchen. I do love jam filled cakes and I would be nibbling away all day on this one!

    1. That is what is keeping me going…keeping my eye on the prize. Getting a new home built that is smaller and less upkeep? Priceless!

    1. Well I love that I even remembered I had that stencil Paula…I buy these things and then they get lost in the bottom of a drawer! It was perfect for this cake.

  4. Ah, happy memories! You will always have those and here’s to making more elsewhere! Lovely sounding cake! I have never seen almond paste like that before, I think I would love it though!

    1. I think Kate at FoodBabbles.com has a recipe for making your own; it’s pretty much ground almonds. I’ll try making mine next time; searching high and low for that one little can was a PITA!!

  5. Oh Barb, gorgeous cake and I so do understand the memories you will hold of your home and especially your kitchen. All the best of everything with your move–all this positive and healing.

    1. Thanks Wendy and the same back to you; I’m so immersed in this process now I’m missing a lot online but I have seen Facebook posts about your husband; hope all is well. Let’s chat soon.

  6. What a delightful sounding and looking cake! I love having recipes to use with homemade jams and this is one to keep for sure. Pinning for future use, thanks!

    1. It’s worthy of being pinned Holly..which reminds me of back in the day when pinning meant ‘going steady’ and yes, I would go steady with this cake too!

  7. Hi Barb,

    I happened to see your comment on Kitchen Riffs and thought I’d stop by. Your raspberry cake looks beautiful. This would be a lovely dessert to serve company.

    I wonder what it is about St Louisans and Colorado? We spend our summers in Breckenridge and someday will probably make it home. We love it there.

    1. I’ve lived here for 27 years now Vicki and simply could not leave. It’s been fun to follow John and be reminded of some of the things I treasured growing up in St. Louis but I’ve been gone now a long time and the summers in Colorado make it the winner in my book. I know you know what I mean!

  8. This cake is simply lovely, Barb! I totally get why you would love it. It sounds so delightfully delicious. I love almonds and raspberry together so it sounds like you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Yum! I’ll definitely make this. I have just enough of my homemade almond paste sitting in the fridge looking for a purpose and now I’ve found it!

    1. It is that kind of cake that you keep saying, ‘Oh, I’ll have just one more little slice’ and then you notice it’s half gone. Come eat the other half with me!

  9. This reminds me of my favorite English cake, Victoria Sponge that I have been unable to successfully make at this altitude. I can’t wait for you to make one in your new kitchen. On to the next exciting phase in your life.

    1. I can’t wait for that either; this interim period will bring some respite but I know I’ll get antsy soon for my own space and my own kitchen soon. Hoping the next 6 months fly by for Lauren and me both!

  10. This looks fabulous Barb! I’ve eyed those little cans of almond paste with interest in the past. I’ll have to get myself one now. 🙂

    Congrats on getting yourself packed up…I can’t imagine what it’s like packing up your kitchen!

    1. Four days to get it done and one day I had 3 friends helping. Really the hardest part was deciding where everything was going while I’m in transition for a couple of months…and now worrying that I got it right! I’m sure I’ll need a muffin tin I put into storage but also certain I’ll somehow survive without it. 🙂

  11. I know what you mean about memories in every crevice. When the memories are wonderful, it’s tough to leave them behind. They will go with you in your heart and especially every time you make this cake. It’s beautiful.

    1. I’m not leaving this home because I have to; that’s probably making it harder. I’m leaving because I feel I need to; it’s a lot of work and it really is too big for one person…but that doesn’t make me love it any less. I have to admit that the 3 months of nonstop labor to get it ready to sell, show it so much I was expected to be gone a LOT and then weeks of organizing and packing make me now just want it over. Maybe that’s good huh? 🙂

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