Almonds seem to be synonymous with French baking. French macaroons--a traditionally gluten-free cookie--are made with almond flour. French almond cake, as its name suggests, contains almond flour and flavoring for an alternative to the traditional buttercream frosted cake.
French Almond Cake (adapted from the cafe sucre farine)
For the cake:
3/4 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup canola oil
For the glaze:
1 tsp orange zest
3 Tblsp fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat your oven to 350º and butter a 9-inch round cake pan. Set aside.
Toast the almonds by placing them on a baking sheet and baking for 15 minutes, or just until golden brown. Make sure to stir every 5 minutes to prevent over-toasting (mine are bit over-toasted).
Combine the orange zest, orange juice, powdered sugar, and extracts in a bowl for the glaze.
Whisk until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, and eggs, stirring until blended.
Add the flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and extracts. Mix to combine.
Add the oil and stir until smooth--this could take 2-3 minutes.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 35–45 minutes.
The cake will feel springy and your toothpick will come out clean when done.
Cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack.
While the cake is still warm, use a pastry brush to glaze the cake.
If you don't have a pastry brush, drizzle the glaze over the cake and use a butter knife to spread it.
Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the cake while the glaze is wet.
Let the cake cool completely.
If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
This is an easy cake to make gluten-free. Simply switch out the flour for your favorite gf flour blend. Swapping all the flour for almond flour will result in a sponge that crumbles upon sight.