In January, my garden club becomes a book club and we discuss a garden-themed book. The Garden of Evening Mists by Taiwanese author Tan Twan Eng, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and The Signature of All Things by local author Elizabeth Gilbert, have been some of my favorite reads. One year a beautiful cake was served and soon everyone was swooning over this simple cake in a most intriguing shape. Its baker, Cindy, told us it was a Swedish Almond Cake, a traditional and popular cake in Sweden. Its elongated, half round, ribbed shape was obtained by baking the cake in a special pan. This cake pan is as common in Sweden as the Bundt is in North America and often sold with the recipe attached.
The cake is beloved and popular because if is fast, simple and made from ingredients already in your pantry: butter, sugar, flour, milk and almond extract. It is similar to a pound cake but lighter in texture with a lovely almond flavor. The ribbed design makes it easy to slice the cake and the half size is just right for a little indulgence. It can be made in a regular 9″ pan or the recipe doubled to bake in a Bundt if you don’t have the special pan. The pan is readily available online or at stores like Bed Bath and Beyond where it is sold as a Rehruecken German Almond Cake pan. (This must be a popular cake in Germany also!) Soon after the recipe was shared around our garden club, I was delighted to find my very own Swedish Almond Cake pan in my mailbox, a surprise gift from my friend Deedee, a talented baker. I love my garden club friends and I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we did!
Swedish Almond Cake
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon of almond extract paste such as Taylor and Colledge
- 2/3 cup milk (I used buttermilk in mine)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cup flour, sifted
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, optional, for the top of the cake
- powdered sugar and berries, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spray pan generously with Pam and set on another baking sheet to keep its rounded bottom stable. If you are using sliced almonds, sprinkle them on the bottom of the pan. The pan must be especially well greased if you are using almonds as they can make the cake more difficult to demold.
- Whisk together the sugar, egg, milk and almond extract until creamy.
- Mix the flour and baking powder together and gradually whisk into the wet ingredients. Add the melted butter. Don’t overmix.
- Pour into the pan. Bake 50 minutes in the center rack.
- Let cool completely before separating.
- Serve with fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.