No one wants to bake when it's hot out. Thankfully, this lemon-almond cake from The Seasonal Baker: Easy Recipes From My Home Kitchen To Make Year-Round can be made days ahead of time; its use of oil instead of butter gives it a longer shelf life. Keep the berries cold and the cake warm, and you've got a glorious dessert. Cake sandwich, anyone?
Tips: The kind of oil you use will affect the finished product's flavor. If you don't want to taste the olive oil, use a blend of olive and canola. But a fruity extra-virgin does go well with lemon and strawberry. And if you're making this late at night when it's finally cooled down but you find yourself out of buttermilk, simply stir a tablespoon of vinegar into a cup of milk.
Tweaks: The amount of lemon juice suggested might leave some wanting; add another half-tablespoon if more of a zesty flavor is what you're after. And if you're on the other side of the fence, reduce the amount.
Reprinted with permission from The Seasonal Baker by John Barricelli. Copyright © 2012. Published by Clarkson Potter. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:makes one 10-inch cake
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:1 hour, plus 2 hours' macerating time
- For the Cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar, for dusting
- For the Strawberries
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or more as needed
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 by 2-inch cake pan with softened butter. Line the bottom with a parchment round. Coat the parchment and the sides of the pan again with softened butter; set aside.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs. Whisk in the buttermilk, olive oil, almond extract, and lemon zest and juice. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until the flours have been absorbed.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan, then invert so that the rounded side is up. Let cool completely.
To macerate the strawberries: In a small bowl, comine the sliced strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Chill for 2 hours, stirring every now and then. After about 1 hour, taste the berries, and if they are not sweet enough, add another teaspoon of sugar.
Sift the confectioner's sugar over the top of the cooled cake. Cut into wedges and serve with a spoonful of the strawberries.