A twist on the traditional light-and-fluffy Italian almond cake, this indulgent treat was crafted to have a dense, chewy texture, topped with crispy almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar.
If you're looking for that traditional fluffy Italian almond cake, you're in the wrong place. This is my version--it's nutty, chewy, and not too sweet, with a perfectly browned, buttery crust.
Made with brown butter, plus almond flour + almond extract + slivered almonds, it's an ideal dessert or afternoon treat for any nut lover.
It's also lot easier & faster than the traditional Italian almond cake. There's no waiting for ingredients to get to room temp, no whipping, or worrying about the cake rising evenly. And no searching the grocery store for almond paste--you don't need it!
Italian Almond Cake FAQ
Why use brown butter?
Because brown butter is delicious, that's why! Brown butter adds a nuttier, richer flavor to the batter, which is perfect for this indulgent, lightly sweet almond cake.
Why didn't you use leavening agent (ie. baking powder or baking soda) in your almond cake?
When I was creating this recipe, I wanted to craft a non-traditional cake--something different from the standard light-and-fluffy almond cakes we typically see.
I was craving an almond sweet with a chewy texture, with heaviness and bite--but not as crunchy as a biscotti. Leaving out a leavening agent made this more like a dense torte than a cake--and it was delicious!
Will the almond slivers burn in the oven?
Nope--I already tested it! I was worried about the almond slivers burning during baking, but the top came out beautifully.
Do I have to butter and flour the pan before I pour in the batter?
Yes! Buttering and flouring the spring form pan makes it much easier for the cake to separate easily from the pan without losing any almond slivers in the process.
That little extra time spent prepping the pan makes a world of difference.
Do I have to use a spring form pan?
I've only ever made this cake in a spring form pan, so I can't say for certain.
If you butter & flour a standard cake pan, you shouldn't have any issues removing the cake from the pan. Some of the almond slivers might fall loose as you're trying to remove the cake, but it should work just fine!
The Dietitian's Nutrient Notes
Portion Size Matters
Is this a high-calorie cake? Yes, because any cake worth eating is calorie-heavy, and that's okay! This cake is made with butter, almond flour, and almonds, all of which are calorie dense.
This just means that the cake should be enjoyed occasionally, and every delicious bite should be eaten slowly to savor its buttery, nutty goodness to the fullest.
When cut into 12 even slices, each slice is about 2" wide. It's the perfect size slice to enjoy mindfully with a piping-hot mug of coffee or tea.
If you have leftovers, just pop them in the freezer! Because of the dense texture, this cake freezes perfectly. After 4 months in the freezer, the cake tasted just as good as the day I made it.
When baking, it's important to consider how fiber plays a role in what you're baking. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, helping to balance out a blood sugar spikes.
In this recipe, I chose not to make the entire cake with all-purpose flour, but to swap in almond flour and whole wheat flour for added texture and fiber. Check out how these three flours vary in terms of fiber content:
- Almond flour has 16 g fiber per cup
- Whole wheat flour has 12 g fiber per cup
- All-purpose flour has 3.4 g fiber per cup
That means whole wheat flour has almost 4 times as much fiber as all-purpose flour. Consider swapping in whole-wheat flour next time you make your favorite baked good. Every extra bit of fiber counts!
Italian Almond Cake Bonus Tips
Experiment with different shapes. Try making individual servings in 2 cupcake pans instead of a springform pan.
Test out different flavors. Any Almond Joy-lover knows that almonds + coconut are a match made in heaven. Try swapping in half the almond extract with coconut extract, and sprinkling coconut flakes on top. Let me know how it turns out!
Use leftover almond cow pulp. This recipe could be a great way to use the leftover pulp from your almond cow as a replacement for the almond flour. Test it out! *You made need to add a bit more AP flour if the pulp is too wet.
Freeze the leftovers. Because of its dense texture, this almond cake freezes really well. Manage your portion size by freezing any leftover cake.
My take on the traditional Italian Almond Cake is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea on a cold, snowy afternoon. If you're looking for more sweet, buttery treats, check out these Biscoff Butter Cookies.
All my love & a little butter,
Olivia Sokolowska, MBA, RD
Italian Almond Cake
A twist on the traditional light-and-fluffy Italian almond cake, this indulgent cake was created to have a dense, chewy texture, topped with crisp almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar.
- 1 ½ sticks salted butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ tablespoon powdered sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a springform pan with butter, and then flour the pan.
3. In a large sauté pan, brown all of the butter. Set aside to cool.
4. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and salt. Mix to combine.
5. Pour in the browned butter, almond extract, vanilla extract, and both eggs. Mix until fully combined.
6. Add in the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and almond flour. Mix until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The batter should have the consistency of a thick, sticky cookie dough.
7. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the batter into the springform pan. Run cold water over the spatula (so the batter doesn't stick to it) & use it to smooth out the batter into one, even layer in the springform pan.
8. Pour the slivered almonds evenly overtop the batter and press them into the batter to stay in place.
9. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Test doneness with a toothpick, it should come out relatively clean.
10. Let the cake cool completely in the springform pan. Remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a plate. Use a sieve to dust the cake with powdered sugar. Slice and enjoy!
Yield: 12 - 2" slices
*The butter doesn't need to be completely cooled, it just shouldn't be piping hot when added to the batter, otherwise it will cook the eggs.
Serving Size2" slice
Amount Per Serving Calories 324Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 7.5gSodium 200mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 3.5gSugar 21gProtein 6g
Please note that nutrition information is a computer-generated estimate and should not be interpreted as a registered dietitian's advice. Nutrition facts calculations vary based on brands, products, and serving sizes.
Love this treat on a cheat day 💪. It’s great in fiber and I love a nutty treat 😝