When you want a not-so-fancy cake that really delivers on flavor, bake this one.
If you're a fan of almonds (and who isn't?), you'll appreciate how much that taste comes through.
And, while it's not covered in thick icing, the cake does make a pretty presentation.
The sliced almonds and sprinkle of lemon-infused sugar on top give it a crunchy finishing touch.
If you can't find blanched sliced almonds, grind slivered almonds for the batter and use unblanched sliced almonds for the topping.
1½ cups plus ⅓ cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
¾ teaspoon almond extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1. Heat oven to 300 F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line with parchment paper.
2. In food processor, pulse 1½ cups almonds, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda until almonds are finely ground, 5 to 10 pulses. Transfer almond mixture to bowl.
3. In food processor, add eggs, 1¼ cups sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and almond extract and process until very pale yellow, about 2 minutes. With processor running, add melted butter and oil in steady stream, until incorporated. Add almond mixture and pulse to combine, 4 or 5 pulses. Pour batter into prepared pan.
4. Using your fingers, combine remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining ½ teaspoon lemon zest in small bowl until fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds. Sprinkle top of cake evenly with remaining ⅓ cup almonds followed by sugar-zest mixture.
5. Bake until center of cake is set and bounces back when gently pressed and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes, rotating pan after 40 minutes.
6. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of pan. Invert cake onto greased wire rack, discard parchment and turn cake over on to a second wire rack. Let cake cool, about 2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve. Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to three days.