Not your typical cake, this one has almond cream swirled into a wonderful lemon batter. The result is moist, perfectly tight, and with a fantastic flavor! It's a beautiful recipe to make for a brunch table or just because you want a little sunshine in your day. It freezes very well so you can make it ahead.
For the almond cream (also called frangipane):
- 3/4 cup almond cream (click for the recipe, you need about half of what it makes)
- 2 tablespoons milk
For the lemon cake:
- 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (500g) sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 cups (420g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- ¾ cup (125g) whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 medium/large lemons
For the glaze:
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
- 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice or limoncello (lemon liquor)
- Sliced almonds, toasted, optional for decorating
- Mix the frangipane with the milk and reserve.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF/180°C.
- Butter well a large bundt pan (10 or 12 cups), flour it, shake off excess, and refrigerate it while making the batter. Or use baking spray, the one that has flour, and refrigerate the pan.
- In a large bowl (stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer), beat butter for a few seconds until creamy.
- Add sugar gradually while beating at medium/high speed for 3 minutes. It should be light-colored and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add vanilla, lemon zest, and mix to combine.
- Add dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) in 3 additions, alternating with milk in 2 additions. You can sift the dry ingredients together in a different bowl before adding them or have them measured and sift directly over the butter mixture.
- Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth top.
- Add half the frangipane in small mounds and lightly swirl with a knife.
- Cover with the rest of the batter, spreading evenly.
- Repeat with the remaining almond cream, swirling lightly.
- Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until a tester in the middle comes out clean. All ovens and pans are different so start checking at 45 minutes. Mine was baked at 55.
- Let cool for about 15 minutes and carefully remove onto a wire rack, and let cool completely before glazing.
- Pour the glaze evenly (as much as you can) letting it drip. Scoop the drips and drizzle it again. The icing is thin, so it will drip easily.
- Sprinkle with sliced almonds immediately, before it dries out.
- Keep covered at room temperature for a day or two.
For the glaze:
- Mix sugar and limoncello or lemon juice until completely smooth.
- have them all measured and ready, as well as the mixer and bowl. This is a large cake recipe so plan for it.
- Pan: make sure you butter, flour, and refrigerate the pan so it's easy to remove the cake later. Also, this is a large cake, so don't use a smaller pan than specified. You can, however, make 2 loaf pans.
- Almond cream: if you make it ahead this recipe is way faster to make. And you have frangipane to use in other recipes.
- Glaze: thinner or thicker, that is always the question. I like it thinner for this cake and once I drizzle it, I let it drip and then scoop up the drips and drizzle them again. It created a sort of double layer of thin glaze that I love because it's crackly. A thicker glaze will make the cake sweeter. Simply use less liquid.
- Make ahead: you can freeze this cake for up to a month. Wrap in plastic and then in foil or a large Ziploc bag.
- Storing: it keeps well for a few days. Make sure you wrap it in plastic or put it under a cake dome. After 2 days I recommend you keep it refrigerated, well wrapped to prevent dryness.
Keywords: lemon almond cake