How to Make Rose’s Golden Lemon Almond Cake

I tend not to make a lot of bundt-style cakes, but I might need to change my habits because this was excellent. It didn’t take long for the girls, the missus and I to polish it off. Little 2-year-old Joan, who likes cake but has never been passionate about it, loved it so much she ate it for dessert two nights running. On the third night, when I was forced to tell her there wasn’t any left, she put her chubby face in her hands and cried. That’s good cake.

I don’t have one of the very groovy 10-cup textured bundt pans of the kind Rose uses for this cake, but I plan to get one. The classic 15-cupper will have to do, even though the batter won’t fill it. First thing to do is preheat the oven to 350 while you get it prepared for baking. Baker’s Joy is the best product to use in this case, but failing that, just melt about two tablespoons of shortening in the microwave. Pour it in…

Spread it around with a brush, though a paper towel will work just as well.

Pour in half a cup or so of Wondra instant flour…

…and start tapping it around. Don’t forget the tube.

Empty out the excess flour and you’re ready to rock and roll.

Now toast your almonds in your preheated oven until they’re just golden. About like so:

Cool them and pour into the bowl of your food processor. Process about 10 seconds, then add 1/4 of the turbinado sugar, and process another 15-20 seconds until very fine.

Next, combine your wet ingredients in a medium bowl with 1/4 of the sour cream…

…and whisk just to combine.

Now bring the batter together. Combine the almond mixture plus the remaining dry ingredients including the sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle (beater).

Stir them on low until they’re combined, then add the butter and sour cream.

Stir on low to combine, then scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Until about like so:

Scrape down the sides. Turn the mixer down to medium low and add the wet ingredient mixture in two installments, beating for 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the bowl.

Now pour the batter into your prepared form and smooth it with a spatula. See that slightly grainy texture? It’s because I beat the batter a little too long and broke the emulsion slightly (Rose won’t be pleased). The cake probably didn’t rise quite as high as it could have as a result, but it was still excellent. So where was I? Oh, bake it for 45-55 minutes.

Rose adds:

I don’t believe it matters if the batter looks/becomes slightly broken down–that happens in several of my cakes and your texture and cake looked excellent.

When the cake is almost finished, prepare the syrup. Combine the lemon juice and turbinado sugar in a small sauce pan and heat it until the sugar is about 80% dissolved. Don’t boil it. You want a few crystals still floating around on the bottom, about like so:

When the cake comes out of the oven, use a skewer to test it. If the skewer comes out clean, just keep poking the bottom of the cake all over to create channels for the syrup.

Paint about a third of it on and let the cake rest for 10 minutes.

Apply a cardboard cake circle (or platter)…

…flip the whole works over…

…and paint on the rest of the syrup.

You can see those residual turbindo sugar crystals on top there. They create a sparkly effect (or would if the sun was shining) and give the crust a crispy/crunchy texture, even after it’s been stored for a day. Which, by the way, Rose recommends.

Just wrap it airtight in plastic wrap and try to keep your mits off of it for 12-24 hours. Could I? Well, no. But I’ll thank you to do as I say, not as I do.

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5 Responses to How to Make Rose’s Golden Lemon Almond Cake

  1. Linda says:

    I know you think I just read the new stuff, Joe, but I’ve been skulking around in your recipes and found this one. I’m making it for a birthday cake. Since you said it didn’t require my big 12-15 I went with a pretty one that I like this time of year–the trees from Nordicware. It’s beautiful with a dark cake but the lighter one really shows the detail. Hope she likes it. Interesting recipe with all those mixing this and that. Not your typical cream the butter, add eggs, flour, done.

  2. Linda says:

    My only complaint was my cake bottom stuck to the cooling rack and I had a tough time getting it off without tearing the cake bottom off…and my rack was even nonstick. Perhaps I used more of the syrup on the bottom than I should have… I agree it looked and smell marvelous and really picked up the pan shape.. Thanks for a great recipe. Next one I want to try are those lemon bars……….

  3. Linda says:

    Just looking at the last photo I realize you guys put the cake on the board to flip it out. There was my error with the sticky bottom. I have an excuse to try that again (as if I need an excuse!). I’ll let you know about the lemon bars!!

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