Quick Ginger-Almond Cake

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Quick Ginger-Almond Cake

[Photograph: @sstiavetti]

If you're ever on the lookout for a versatile cake recipe, one that is just as comfortable at afternoon tea as it is following your mom's famous roast beef, then look no further than this lovely ginger-almond number. It is moist and fulfilling, offering a good bit of protein from a healthy dose of almonds and a touch of spicy mystery thanks to the addition of ginger. It's a delightfully rich cake with a tender crumb, one that keeps well for up to four days in an airtight container.

This almond cake is simple to throw together, involving very few dishes almost no elbow grease. The key to its texture is to not overmix the batter once you've added the flour, which will cause the sticky gluten within the wheat to tighten up and become overly dense.

Adapted from David Lebovitz, who adapted it from the Chez Panisse Desserts cookbook.

About the author: Stephanie Stiavetti is a writer and cookbook author in San Francisco. Stephanie's cookbook, Melt: the Art of Macaroni and Cheese, celebrates America's favorite dish by recreating it with small production, specialty cheeses. Her food blog, The Culinary Life, is a repository for all things comfort food related, from savory dinners to transcendental desserts.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

  • Yield:serves 8
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 cup flour, sifted, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces almond paste
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds


  1. 1.

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a deep 9-inch cake pan.

  2. 2.

    In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup of the flour along with the baking powder and salt. Stir well and set aside.

  3. 3.

    Place the almond paste and ginger in a food processor and pulse four or five times. Add sugar, cinnamon, and the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, pulsing until the mixture is a sandy texture.

  4. 4.

    To the food processor add the butter, almond butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Process until the batter is fully combined, with a light, smooth texture.

  5. 5.

    Add the sour cream and pulse a few times, then add the eggs one at a time, pulsing six or seven times after each one. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the food processor, if necessary. Add half of the flour mixture and pulse four or five times. Add the rest of the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

  6. 6.

    Pour the batter into a cake pan and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle the top with sliced almonds and bake for about 1 hour, or until the top is a nice golden brown and feels firm in the center. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake, then allow the cake to cool in the pan.

  7. 7.

    Once the cake is cool, remove it from the pan and discard the parchment bottom. Serve sprinkled with more almonds, if you like.