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Almond Pound Cake

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:

Prepare the pan
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch Bundt pan or two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle with flour and tap out the excess. In a food processor, process the slivered almonds until finely ground.

Prepare the batter
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the 16 Tbs. butter and the granulated sugar until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.

In another bowl, stir together the 3 cups flour, the baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 additions, alternating with the sour cream and beating on low speed after each addition until smooth. Stir in the ground almonds. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan(s). If using loaf pans, sprinkle evenly with the sliced almonds.

Bake the cake
Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar shaken through a sieve, cut the cake into slices and serve. Makes one 10-inch cake or two loaves.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).