Cast Iron

Almond Coffee Cake

March 30, 2015
11 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

This recipe was given to me by Amanda Sims, courtesy of her mom, Jeanie. The original comes from the Junior League of Knoxville's cookbook, Tennessee Tables, which was published in 1982. —Sarah Jampel

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons for sprinkling
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil or butter a 10-inch pie plate. If you'll be giving the cake as a gift, use a greased disposable pie tin.
  2. Combine the butter, crème fraîche, and 1 1/2 cups sugar and mix until well-combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well-incorporated.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and almond extract. Mix well, then pour into the prepared skillet.
  5. Shower the cake with almonds and remaining sugar.
  6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Let the cake cool for 1 hour before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Valerie Gutchen Arnade
    Valerie Gutchen Arnade
  • Atlanta Amado Foresyth
    Atlanta Amado Foresyth
  • Sophia Henkel
    Sophia Henkel
  • Moema Bentley
    Moema Bentley
  • gourmandgardener

45 Reviews

Cheryl December 22, 2021
Good, easy, served guests first time I tried it. Suggest reduce sugar to 3/4 cup, replace 1/2 cup flour with almond flour (as other reviewer), and pour a thin glaze on top when cool - will try that next time.
Valerie G. November 26, 2020
I love this recipe! I've made it maybe four times. My recommended but not necessary tweaks include using 1 cup all-purpose and 1/2 cup almond flour. It was my birthday and I wanted a richer cake so I added an extra egg yolk and an extra tablespoon butter to the batter, which made a moister cake and will definitely do next time. For the topping I heated on the stove 1/3 cup honey, 3 tablespoons butter, a few tablespoons heavy cream, cooked for a little bit and then added a cup of lightly toasted sliced almonds. I put this on top of the cake before cooking as usual. Next time I would do even more, maybe a cup and a half of almonds. It is so good. Oh, also, I had no creme fraiche so I substituted sour cream.
Atlanta A. March 19, 2019
any suggestions for how this could be made with an eggless version? many thanks!
Kiran June 4, 2020
Use Flax meal or Auqafaba.
Alexis May 13, 2017
Making for the second time today. Having broken my right wrist, it's been the perfect go-to for making with my non-dominant hand! Tastes like it has almond paste, yet doesn't have that added expense! I topped with almonds only after reading the sugar comments. Everyone loved it!!!!
sdschorr April 7, 2017
This is a great quick dessert! I replaced 1/2 cup of flour with almond flour, and went very heavy on the sliced almonds on top (3/4 cup) --you probably could cut the sugar by a half cup, but the sweetness and richness is what makes it special, and one slice goes a long way! If eating it as dessert, recommend serving it warm with barely sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries
GGO January 15, 2017
I found this cake very easy to make but overly overly sweet. If I make it again, I will reduce the sugar and add a bit of vanilla essence.
susan November 30, 2016
Can I make the cake the night before and then bake it in the morning?
Sarah J. November 30, 2016
I think it'd fare better if you were to bake it at night rather than letting the batter rest. Cover it with parchment or aluminum foil and leave it on the counter and it'll be just fine!
susan November 30, 2016
Thank you for the speedy response. I will make it the night before.
Sophia H. May 2, 2016
I finally made this today. I really like it. It is sweet, but coffee cakes are traditionally very sweet and the coffee is used as a contrast, which this one is sweet but not super sweet, maybe a added a larger amount is salt and that would cut the sweet down. But I like it as is, other than that, I did add a heafty dose of ground cardamom because I love it with coffee, so why not coffee cake! I baked in it a 9" spring form pan buttered and floured. I think it works be good with a sour cherry topping as well.
Barb March 22, 2016
If you don't find creme fraiche in a grocery, make your own; it's so easy! Combine equal amounts of a heavy cream (coffee or whipping) and sour cream in a shallow dish. The size will depend on the quantity of the 2 liquids you use. Let the mixture sit at room temperature (or under a heat light) over night. When you sense it has changed consistency, refrigerate til ready to use,. Barbie
ElizaP February 15, 2016
Why does the recipe dictate to use a cast iron skillet when the picture shows what looks to be a ceramic pie tin? What did everyone else use when baking this? It looks fantastic, but I don't know that I can bring a cast-iron skillet to the event I'm attending!
mrslarkin February 16, 2016
Hi Eliza, I've made this cake a million times. I've never used a cast iron skillet. I've used cake pans, and tart pans with removable bottoms, in all sorts of sizes. Comes out great every single time.
Moema B. January 13, 2016
I made this cake last night and it was a very simple delicious almond cake. I think from reading the reviews before I baked the cake I would scale back the sugar to either 1 cup or half a cup, usu sliced almonds instead of slivered as well as toasting prior to baking. That is more of a preferable suggestion.

I ran out of sugar to spring on top of the cake while baking so I ended up sprinkling powdered sugar on the top after baking! This was a dense cake and can't wait to have another midnight snack! Enjoy!!
Jenifer December 21, 2015
I want to make this for xmas morning, but really want to use almond paste. Is that possible, and if so, how would I do that?
tamater S. December 24, 2015
Jennifer, I think you're talking about almond paste commonly called Marzipan, which I love, but have never baked with, myself. To the best of my knowledge, it's really quite firm, and wouldn't be used in a recipe like this. But I just did a Food52 search, and saw "The Easiest Baked Marzipan Cookeis in the World Recipe" - there made with almond flour, and a teaspoon or so of maple syrup. Also, there's the hotline which you'll see on top of this page....Good luck!
Marguerite July 26, 2016
Jenifer, as David Lebovitz explains in the intro to his AMAZING version of almond cake (made with almond paste), marzipan is not the same as almond paste.

In addition, Epicurious has a spectacular recipe for almond cake made with almond paste. I've made it three times and it's always a gigantic hit. It never fails to make people swoon. (I never have kirsch on hand so have used other brandies such as Grand Marnier.)

Last, Amanda Hesser published an almond-paste version in the New York Times. I haven't tried it, but I hear it's a knockout.
Bonnie May 13, 2017
I think you could put thin slices of almond paste. Mix batter as given, put half of it in baking pan, put thin slices of almond paste, top with remaining batter, bake.
Skamper October 1, 2015
This was too sweet for me. If I made it again, I would definitely cut down on the sugar and skip the sugar on top.
tamater S. October 1, 2015
Scamper, I routinely cut a minimum of 1/3 sugar from most cake recipes these days, and so far, I haven't had any bad results. When I make this cake, I double the recipe, which would mean 3 cups sugar; I use two cups. (It then fits a 9" x 10" pan)
gourmandgardener September 22, 2015
So no leavening huh? I thought it was a typo so I added 2 tsp. b. powder. Guess I'll try it without next time.
barbara C. August 30, 2015
What is with the tin foil? I have made skillet items before and never used foil. Well buttered always allowed for cake to be turned out after baking.....
tamater S. August 30, 2015
I'm with you on this one.
Patty H. October 13, 2016
That was my question. I have never had any problems baking a cake or cornbread in my faithful cast iron. In fact, I like the toasted edges it gives to the cakes and cornbread, so I'll try this recipe first in my skillet.
Judy June 8, 2015
I just made this cake for the first time and oh my! I used Greek total yogurt because I didn't have any sour cream of creme fraiche and the cake is really really good! It's better than the best almond croissant!
jenny April 17, 2015
sounds yum, but where is the coffee???!!
tamater S. April 19, 2015
It ran off to the pantry, to find the Frangelico! ;)
Claudia F. July 12, 2015
A coffee cake is meant to eat while you drink coffee. It does not contain coffee.
jeaniesims April 14, 2015
I have been making this cake for 30 years. I double the recipe every time because it freezes well and its great to have one on hand to pull out of the freezer. I make it with 3/4 c melted butter, instead of the butter and crème fraîche combination and it makes a wonderfully dense, rich and delicious cake - every time.
terri April 13, 2015
Yum! Mine came out more dense than I expected but so delicious anyway!
barbara N. April 12, 2015
Tamater-it's an angel cake pan.
tamater S. April 13, 2015
Thank you; it's good to know, because it's about time to buy another one. The one I have was bought at a 2nd hand store, by my aunt, about 50 years ago. What a life saver that pan has been for me, over the years.