meyer lemon almond cake

Life has gotten back into a routine again this week, after a relaxing but all-too-short Christmas and New Years holiday. I’m not sure how well my family has adjusted, but we’re working on it. My daughter is trying to get back into the rigors of first grade, crazy reading and math homework and all. My son keeps asking, “Is tomorrow a stay-home day?” so I know he’s not yet ready to give up on vacation time. My husband and I head out the door each morning, after not quite enough sleep and entirely too little caffeine, but ready to begin a full day at the office (him) or hospital (me).

As hard as it is to recover from restful time off with my family, I look forward to getting back into the swing of things when January rolls around. I love filling out my new calendars with all the exciting things coming up in the year ahead. This year I’m headed to a couple of food blogging conferences (FoodBlogSouth and BlogHer Food), my husband and I are taking a child-free vacation to New York City in March, and we’re working on planning a beach vacation in July with some good friends. And there will be Disney trips. There always are.

I love writing these events on my calendar – always in ink, never in pencil. Writing in pen seems to make these little bright spots permanent in my life.

One of the best parts of 2010 for me was cultivating old friendships and developing new ones.  I’ve made so many new friends through this world of food blogging, food writing, and food photography. It’s been such a blessing to find others out there, with such a wide variety of backgrounds, but who all have a passion for creativity and for food – either through preparing it, writing about it, photgraphing it, or growing it. I’m so grateful to have this in my life.

One of the bright spots that ended up on my calendar in ink recently was a Champagne and Desserts cocktail party thrown by two of our good friends here in town. It was such a wonderful gathering of people, and such a fantastic idea for a cocktail party (so great, in fact, that I may steal the idea some time.). My contribution to the dessert list was a Meyer lemon almond cake.

Almond paste is the key in this recipe. Opening that little can releases the sweet scent of almonds, and I’m always reminded of marzipan. This has become one of my favorite cakes to make – it’s so easy, and the flavors only seem to improve with a day or so of age.

I’ve been on a little Meyer lemon kick lately (you remember this and this, don’t you?), so of course I had to find a way to work a couple of those fruit into this cake. I adapted the original cake recipe by adding Meyer lemon zest and a bit of lemon extract. And, to really go out on a limb, I topped the cake with a Meyer lemon glaze. Can’t have too much lemon, right?

At that cocktail party, as I held a glass of bubbly in one hand and looked around the room, I was so happy to be able to share the evening – and that cake – with friends, both old and new. 2011 is going to be one heck of a good year. I can feel it.


Meyer Lemon Almond Cake

This recipe is adapted from and inspired by this one from David Lebovitz. This cake is just as good, if not better, on the second day.

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Cake

1 1/3 cup (265 g) sugar
8 ounces (227 g) almond paste
3/4 cup (105 g) plus 1/4 cup (35 g) all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
7 drops orange flower water (optional)
Zest of 2 Meyer lemons
6 large eggs, room temperature

Ingredients for Meyer Lemon Glaze

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch diameter spring form pan, dust with flour, and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup (105 g) flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup (35 g) flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand. Add the cubes of butter, the extracts, the orange flower water, and the Meyer lemon zest. Process until the batter is smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition, scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl and add the flour mixture. Mix by hand until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared spring form pan and bake for 65 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center.

Remove cake from oven and run a sharp serrated knife around the perimeter, loosening the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in pan; once cool, remove sides of spring form pan and invert cake onto rack. Remove bottom of spring form pan and parchment paper from the cake. Carefully turn cake back over and onto a cake plate for serving.

While cake is cooling, make Meyer lemon glaze: In small bowl, mix confectioners sugar with lemon juice, adding more lemon juice if necessary to achieve the desired consistency (less juice for a thicker glaze; more juice for a thinner glaze). Once cake is cool and on cake plate for serving, drizzle glaze over cake. Serve and enjoy!

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23 Responses to “meyer lemon almond cake”

  1. 1
    Jean — January 6, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

    Two of my favorite baking ingredients. I bet this is as delicious as it is beautiful. I can almost smell the almond paste… :-)

  2. 2
    Aggie — January 6, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    what a nice post to read through. I need to take your advice on writing out all of our already made plans on the calendar in ink (how about let’s just start by putting them on the so called calendar!) :) I always say I want to get more calendar organized each year…such a work in progress for me…
    on to the cake. this is totally my kind of cake. I don’t bake often but I would totally bake this! I love the almond paste, and of course the meyer lemons!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

      Thanks, Aggie. If I don’t do my calendar on Dec 31st or Jan 1st, it never gets done. It’s now an annual tradition that I really look forward to.

  3. 3
    Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef — January 6, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    Do you hear me wailing up in CT that the weather is too harsh for Meyer lemons and I must pay a fortune for them at Balduccis?! I am so psyched to meet you at BHF!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

      Kelsey – I am SO looking forward to meeting you, too!

  4. 4
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — January 6, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    I have to get my hands on some meyer lemons. I haven’t had a single one this winter and I’m starting to feel a void.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

      You should have visited me in Florida when you were here, silly. I would have shared!

  5. 5
    Heather (The Menu Mama) — January 6, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    The cake looks fantastic, I really must try this one. My husband and I took a child-free trip to NYC this past October, it was heavenly. :-)

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      Don’t you just love child-free trips? We try to do one or two each year.

  6. 6
    Lynn — January 6, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

    Sounds like you have great year planned. And than you for the lucious sounding cake. It’s going on my must bake list!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — January 6th, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

      Oh, you totally should. If you do, let me know how it turns out for you! You’ll notice that mine fell in the middle, but that’s the beauty of the glaze — no one will notice. :)

  7. 7

    Almond cakes are great because they are always so moist, and like pound cake they just get better with age. Meyer lemons and orange flower water must make this cake so fragrant!

  8. 8
    Barbara @ Vino Luci Style — January 7, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    You are making my attempts to cut back on sweets hard; this cake is so up my alley! I think I know what I’m going to make for the next Denver area blogger Meetup at my home; I am getting a box of Meyer Lemons delivered any day now and this cake just needs to be made. Lemons and almond; I’m not sure I’ve ever combined the two and can’t wait!

  9. 9
    Lori @ Lemons and Lavender — January 7, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    I love lemons, especially the Meyer variety, and a friend has three backyard trees exploding with the little gems. So glad I’m not one for making New Years Resolutions!! Looking forward to trying your version of this cake!

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  11. 10

    This cake sounds wonderful. I made something similar recently with marzipan and orange. Can’t wait to try this version.

  12. 11
    Gail — January 8, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    Meyer lemons are such a wonderful treat. Beautiful cake, MJ!

  13. 12
    briarrose — January 9, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    Delicious. Almond and lemon is such a lovely mix. The scent of this baking must be heavenly.

  14. 13
    foodies at home — January 9, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

    This looks like the perfect way to get back into the swing of things! Have fun at your blogging conferences!

  15. 14
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 11, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

    This cake looks absolutely amazing!!

  16. 15
    Lucy — January 11, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    This post has encouraged me to forget about the holidays being over and truly look forward to all the exciting things 2011 will bring! Almond and lemon are two of my favourite flavours so this cake just looks totally gorgeous to me :)

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