Cook the Book: Italian Almond Cake

When it comes to eating cake, sharing is the pits. Instead of slowly savoring a slice, you end up fighting over the last few forkfuls. Who will get the final crumbs? It's a race to the finish. The best thing about today's Cook the Book recipe for Italian Almond Cake, excerpted from Wine Bar Food, is that the batter is divided into either tart pans or muffin tins, and yields 8 to 12 individual servings.

So you can have your very own cake, and eat the whole thing, too.

This recipe makes crumbly, cookie-like cakes that keep well for several days. Enjoy them with any spumante—Italian sparking wines made predominantly from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Bianco grapes.

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Cook the Book: Italian Almond Cake

About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 12 individual cakes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter) softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 275°F.

  2. 2

    Have ready eight 3-inch nonstick tart let pans or grease 12 cups of a standard muffin tin.

  3. 3

    Mix the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder together in a small bowl.

  4. 4

    In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until pale. about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks. vanilla. and lemon zest and continue to beat until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and add the almonds, followed by the dry ingredients. Mix slowly until just combined, about 1 minute. The dough will be crumbly and in pieces.

  5. 5

    Mound the dough. pressing down a little, into the tartlet pans. The cakes should resemble little mountains. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

  6. 6

    Remove from the tart pans and let cool on a wire rack.

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