Baking with almond flour

A bag of Bob’s Red Mill almond meal/flour found its way into my shopping cart recently.  I love almonds (almost as much as I love ginger), and the thought of almondy muffins, coffeecakes, and cookies made me look past the $12/lb price tag.  I wanted to tear into it immediately and start baking, except I can’t seem to find any tasty-sounding recipes.

Do a web search for “almond flour recipes” and you’ll be launched into the world of low-carb, gluten-free, and specialty diet baking.  Aside from classic French recipes for almond pastries, I didn’t find almond flour muffin or cake recipes that include almond flour and typical baking ingredients.  I don’t want to use agave syrup or “evaporated cane juice” or bulk Splenda; I like good ol’, grown-and-processed-in-Louisiana granulated cane sugar.  I’m not gluten-sensitive, so I don’t want to use xanthan gum.  I happen to like my locally farmed Smith’s Creamery butter, so I don’t want to use imported coconut oil.  What to do, then, with my aromatic almond flour?

When in doubt, wing it.  I decided to substitute almond flour for a portion of the wheat flour in a proven recipe.  My jumping-off point, Peach Coffeecake, is found on page 69 of Whole Grain Baking, published by King Arthur Flour.  It’s too early for Louisiana peaches, but I did have a package of frozen raspberries on hand, so additional improvisation ruled the day.  The resulting cake perfumed the kitchen as it baked.  Tender and moist, it had a puddingy texture, almost like a raspberry-almond spoonbread.  Perfect for a starring role at breakfast,  it’s pretty enough for dessert, thanks to the raspberry stripes running throughout.

UPDATE:  this coffeecake definitely improved over time.  After the first day, the raspberries’ jammy moisture suffused the cake, reminescent of the best bread pudding.

Raspberry-ginger almond flour coffeecake

  • Cake
    • 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2/3 cup 0% fat greek yogurt
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1-12 oz package frozen raspberries, thawed & drained
  • Streusel
    • 2 T butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 T all purpose flour
    • 1-3 tsp powdered ginger (3 tsp will yield a noticeably hot crumb topping)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease & flour a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.  In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients:  flours, baking soda, and salt (if using).  In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color; beat in egg, scraping sides of bowl frequently.  Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture one-third at a time, alternating with the vanilla, milk and yogurt.  Gently fold in the drained raspberries; do not over-stir, or the berries will break apart.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  To make the streusel topping, combine butter, sugar, flour, and ginger in a small bowl, stirring until coarse crumbs form.  Sprinkle crumbs evenly atop the batter.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top is dark golden-brown.   (Baking time will vary according to the amount of liquid in the raspberries.)  Cool slightly before cutting into squares.

6 thoughts on “Baking with almond flour

  1. Isn’t almond flour the base of French macarons? I know you’ve done them before, but maybe you could do them again? And save a few for me? I adore macarons.

  2. Pingback: More baking with almond flour « Bouillie

  3. I’d really like to try this recipe. I’m wondering if it would work in the form of muffins or if they cake is really too tender. What do you think?

    • Frankly, the cake might work better as muffins. Definitely reduce the baking time a bit, and you might want to increase the temp by 25 degrees.

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