I just got home on Wednesday from my bucket-list trip to France and it was fabulous! I went with our three youngest daughters (Joe and our oldest daughter couldn’t make it). I’ve wanted to visit France since I was nine years old and–except for the rain and 50°F temps–the trip was everything I hoped it would be. We flew into Paris, rented a car and drove to Lyon, Beaune, and Reims, exploring and staying two nights in each location, then finishing the trip with three nights in Paris. The French people were warm and kind, the wines were wonderful, the bread and pastries were amazing, and the art, architecture, and countryside were incredible! Now that I’m home, I’ve got to get back into a routine, but my head is still in a whirl, so to ease back into my blog I decided to make almond tea cake, the easiest-to-make treat ever.
I’ll be the first to admit that it can’t compare to the croissants, pain au chocolat, and chausson aux pommes from the neighborhood boulangeries all over France, or the swoon-worthy Ladurée macarons we bought from their store on the avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris, but it’s pretty darn tasty and a whole lot less work than any of those wonderful things.
I’ve been making this almond tea cake for over 40 years. I originally got the recipe from Joe’s Aunt Genevieve, and she got it from a cookbook put out by the Swedish Covenant Church in Princeton, Illinois where she and Joe’s Uncle Junior lived. Almond tea cake is wonderful served for breakfast or brunch with fresh fruit, or for an afternoon pick-me-up. And nobody ever turns down an offer of a slice of it in the evening.
If you like almond you’ll love this tea cake, and it’s so fast to make that you can walk into the kitchen and an hour later you’ll be serving it. If you do much baking at all, you probably have all of the ingredients in your house right now. The recipe is mixed completely by hand so all you need is a bowl, a whisk or spoon, and a pie plate, so even cleanup is easy.
Start your oven preheating first, then melt the butter for the tea cake in the microwave so it cools a bit. Smear cold butter all around the inside of the pie plate or tin and then evenly sprinkle granulated sugar all around. Add the flour and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk them a bit. Add the eggs, melted butter, and almond extract to the bowl and whisk until it’s smooth.
Use a rubber scraper to pour the batter into the prepared pie plate or pie tin. I can never resist licking the rubber scraper!
Bake at the appropriate temperature (325°F for glass or 350°F for metal) until the cake is golden brown, then set it on a cooling rack while you mix the frosting.
Combine the sifted confectioner’s sugar and cream together in a small bowl, then add the soft butter and optional extract and beat until smooth.
The frosting is thick, but you’re putting it on the still very warm cake so it will easily spread. Our daughters and granddaughters love this frosting on homemade cinnamon rolls.
Spread that deliciousness all around with a small off-set spatula…
…then sprinkle on the sliced almonds.
Serve and enjoy while it’s still warm, or let it cool and enjoy it later.
I really wanted to eat both of these, but I did share with Joe, and some of our neighbors got the remaining tea cake.
Try this fast and easy almond tea cake and you’ll see why it’s been a favorite in our family for over 4 decades.
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Thanks, and bon appetit!
- cold butter and granulated sugar for prepping the pie plate/tin
- 3/4 cup (5-1/4 oz, 150 grams) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup (2-3/7 oz, 80 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (2 oz, 56 grams) butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup (4 oz, 113 grams) confectioners sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons (1 fluid oz) heavy cream or whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28 grams) salted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup (1 oz, 28 grams) sliced almonds
- Preheat the oven to 325°F for a glass pie plate or 350°F for a metal pie tin.
- Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool a bit.
- Butter and sugar a metal pie tin or glass pie plate.
- Add sugar and flour to a medium bowl and whisk together, then add the remaining tea cake ingredients and whisk just until batter is smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared pie plate.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.
- Cool on a rack for 5 minutes.
- Combine the powdered sugar and cream in a medium bowl, then add the softened butter and beat till smooth.
- Spread frosting on the warm cake and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
- Serve tea cake warm or at room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate leftovers.
The sliced almonds can be toasted, if you wish. Distribute them evenly on a sheet pan and put them into the turned off oven right after the tea cake is done and leave them for a few minutes until they're light golden brown.
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