Late spring is an exciting time at the farmers’ market. After nothing but hearty greens and root vegetables for months, the first berries of the year finally make their debut. If you went overboard and bought more strawberries than you can fit in your fridge, this easy almond cake is the perfect vehicle for them.
This recipe from the Institute of Culinary Education uses a special ingredient to bring a classic strawberry custard cake to the next level. “I reduced the amount of sugar in the recipe and then added almond paste in to substitute for the sugar,” ICE’s lead recreational chef-instructor Roger Sitrin tells Mental Floss. “That little oomph took it from a custardy cake [and] gave it a more dense crumb, but in a really good way.”
To make the cake, start by whisking your flour, baking powder, and salt together. Combine the sugar and almond paste in the separate bowl of a stand mixer, and then add your eggs and beat for five minutes more. Mix in the sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Finish the batter by beating in the dry ingredients at low speed until just combined.
After pouring the batter into a cake pan, arrange the hulled and halved strawberries gently on top. “With this, the trick is don’t push the fruit into the batter,” Sitrin instructs. “You just arrange it in a beautiful pattern on top of the cake, and as the cake cooks it bakes up around the fruit and sort of seals it into the top of the cake.” You can also swap the strawberries for other fruits available in the spring and into the summer, like rhubarb or blueberries.
Based in Los Angeles and New York City, the Institute of Culinary Education offers a wide selection of classes in hospitality management and the culinary arts. If you’re interested in learning how to make more recipes like the one below, explore their curricula on their website.
Almond Cake With Strawberries
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for the pan
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup almond paste
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise
- Preheat oven to 350° F and place rack in middle of oven. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar and almond paste in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together using the paddle attachment until the almond paste is well distributed. It will look crumbly.
- Add in the eggs and beat until pale in color. About 5 minutes. Then add in melted butter, sour cream, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Set the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix only until combined.
- Pour into cake pan and arrange the strawberries on top
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.