This recipe came to me from my friend Andra. I worked for her catering company back in the 1990s, baking pastries for the front-of-house coffee shop, pulling espresso at said shop, and pitching in on the catering prep.
I used to joke with Andra that I would like her to make this as my wedding cake; when I got married this summer, we chose pies instead of wedding cake, but served this pound cake to our guests at breakfast the morning after.
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
1 - 12oz can almond cake & pastry filling*
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup milk**
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (you can also use milk if that's all you've got on hand)
1 teaspoon almond extract
Sliced almonds for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease & flour a 10cup Bundt pan. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to mix. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar. Beat at low speed until pale and creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Add the can of almond cake filling to the butter mixture and beat at low speed to combine. Scrape the bowl down and beat at low speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, taking time to let them each integrate into the batter before you add the next egg. Scrape the bowl down after mixing in the third egg.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk (or the yogurt & milk combination), beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl after mixing in the last of the flour.
- Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top. Place the cake pan on a cookie sheet and put the sheet into the preheated oven.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, checking for doneness after 35 minutes. Use a toothpick or skewer to pierce the cake about 1 1/2 inches from the edge. If the toothpick comes out wet, put the cake back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. The cake is done when the top is lightly browned, the edges are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, and a toothpick that pierces the cake draws out cleanly, with a few crumbs still stuck to it. Try not to overbake.
- Place the cake pan on a cooling rack and let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
- Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add the almond extract. Whisk in 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk. If the glaze is very thick, you can add another tablespoon of cream. The glaze should have the consistency of thick pancake batter.
- Once the cake has cooled in the pan, upend the pan onto the cooling rack, revealing the top of the cake. Place a sheet of waxed paper under the cooling rack to catch the glaze as it drips.
- You can glaze the cake, while it's still warm, and the glaze will run down the cake and be a thin layer. Let it dry and then repeat with leftover glaze and it will make thin layers of glaze. If you'd prefer a thicker glaze, let the cake cool almost completely, then drizzle the glaze onto the cooled cake. This method will result in a thicker layer of glaze that doesn't run as much. It's up to your preference.
- If using them, sprinkle the cake with sliced almonds before the icing is completely set.
The cake keeps well at room temperature for 3-4 days--just wrap any cut ends in plastic wrap, and cover the top of the cake loosely. You can also freeze the unglazed cake: just wrap the cooled cake very well in plastic wrap (at least 3 layers) and then in aluminum foil. Thaw it overnight on the counter and glaze when completely thawed. This is what we did for the wedding, and the cake was almost as moist as if I had just baked them!
*This cake is a snap, because most of the flavor comes from a can of almond cake & pastry filling. I use Solo brand, which you should be able to find in the baking aisle at the grocery store.
**The recipe calls for milk, but I'll sometimes enrich the batter with a combination of milk and plain yogurt. The cake is all the richer for it!