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Caramel Almond Cake
Caramel Almond Cake Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Everyone needs a cake recipe in her back pocket that requires no fancy icing or special finishing touch. That’s just one of the reasons we can’t get enough of this caramel almond cake. We start with a simple cake batter. Then right before it’s done baking, we top the cake with a mixture of slivered almonds and sugar, and return it to the oven. Those last 15 minutes is when the magic happens: The mixture turns into a sweet, crunchy caramel crust. Trust us when we say it’s better than frosting.

RELATED: Chocolate-Caramel Pretzel Tart

One 9-inch cake

Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter

1½ cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ cups almond flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk 

Almond Topping

1 stick butter

¾ cup turbinado sugar

¼ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 cups sliced almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan.

2. Make the Cake Batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the side of the bowl well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the almond flour, baking powder and salt to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer and mix just until incorporated. Add the milk and mix until a smooth batter forms.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the cake is set but not yet golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.

6. Make the Topping: After the cake has been baking for 15 minutes, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the sugar, cream, vanilla, salt and sliced almonds, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, 4 to 5 minutes.

7. When the cake is set but not yet golden, remove the cake from the oven and pour the almond mixture on top. Use a spatula to gently spread it evenly across the surface of the cake.

8. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the topping is bubbly and the almonds are golden brown and toasted, 10 to 15 minutes more.

9. Remove the cake from the oven. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes (any longer and the caramel layer may start to set, making the cake harder to remove from the pan), then run a knife around the edge of the pan. Turn the cake out onto a large plate, then invert it onto a serving plate or cake stand. Let the cake cool completely or serve warm.

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