This time of the year is always a good time to bake with apples. There are so many varieties to choose from, and some of the best baking apples tend to have a sweet and sour combination of flavors that can hold up in a batter. I tend to use Granny Smith, Gala or Honeycrisp, but depending upon where you live, choose apples that are firm and flavorful. Almonds and apples taste marvelous together, a true combination that compliment each other. There’s something about the sweet nuttiness of almonds that is pure pleasure, especially when paired with a crisp ripe apple.
One ingredient that packs a punch of almond flavor, while creating a soft crumb cake is almond paste. Almond paste can be found in most grocery stores these days, or made from scratch. Sometimes it is confused with marzipan, which is a similar combination of ingredients, but used in candies, or to cover cakes, and tends to be a lot sweeter. What I love about almond paste is that it gives my cake recipe a big dose of almond, while creating a super moist environment for the apples to steam, and the mixture to rise during baking. This simple single-layer cake tastes almond-y and apple-y in every bite. It’s perfect to serve for dessert, but I find a good slice at breakfast time is pretty inviting too.
3 apples, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup almond paste
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced almonds
(Makes 9-inch Cake)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9-inch cake pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray or spread with butter.
- In a bowl, combine diced apples and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing 1 minute in between additions.
- Add almond paste and almond extract. Mix for 1 minute until combined.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix on low for 1 minute. Add all, but 1/2 cup of diced apples to batter, stirring by hand to incorporate.
- Spoon batter into pan and top with remaining apples, and sliced almonds.
- Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, or just until top of cake is set. Remove and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan.
- Loosen edges with knife and invert onto a plate, then invert back onto a serving plate, or cake stand. Serve room temperature or cold. Enjoy!