This cake is a spinoff from another cake that I love. I was inspired by the spiced sliced almonds that my mom gave me. She got a bag of them in Trader Joe’s and split them with me. I stared at the ziplock bag with slivered spiced almonds for a week or more. They tasted great on their own but they begged to be included in something bigger. Something more elaborate. Something to make the SHINE. So I came up with this cake, tweaking and altering that other cake that used pinoli nuts and oranges.
Italians love almonds. This cake has almond paste, too. And amaretti cookies, which have almond in them, too. AND I’ve added some almond extract to the recipe. It’s a very fragrant and moist cake. The lemon glaze gives it a fun lift.
3 cups amaretti cookies
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (plus a little more to butter pan)
1 can almond paste (8 oz)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
blanched slivered almonds, toasted w a little spice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the amaretti cookies in the food processor and pulse until they are as fine as bread crumb. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter. Mix melted butter and cookie crumbs together.
Lightly butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Spread the cookie-butter mixture evenly on the bottom and bake for about 10 minutes until poofy. Take out of oven.
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine remaining 8 tablespoons of butter, sugar, and almond paste. Mix until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. Add the extracts. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour all into batter and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into pan on top of baked cookie bottom and smooth level. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. If you don’t have spiced almonds, plain sliced almonds works as well.
Bake for about 40 minutes until golden and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Let cool a bit in the pan. When it’s cool enough (but still a little warm), run a knife along the sides to make sure the cake isn’t sticking, then remove the sides of the spring-form pan. Make the glaze.
For the Glaze:
Zest and juice of 3 small lemons
1/2 cup powdered sugar
In a small saucepan, heat & mix the zest, juice and sugar until the sugar melts. Spoon glaze on top of cake (spoon some along the edge so that it drips off to the sides, too). Let cool. Cut and serve.