If you attended kindergarten in the mid-80's, you might remember the Strawberry Shortcake character that filled the department store shelves and our tiny imaginations with a host of cheery, strawberry-themed products. The star of my personal collection was the plush bodied, plastic headed Strawberry Shortcake doll that, when squeezed, blew out strawberry-scented kisses from her little puckered plastic lips.
My goodness. She was my faintly plasticky-and-strawberry-scented dream come true.
If Strawberry Shortcake grew up and competed on the Great British Bake-off, this cake, with its crunchy almond topping and tender crumb, would certainly earn a wink from Mary Berry.
A luscious, moist almond cake with crunchy sliced almond topping and studded with fresh strawberries - it's as impressive as it is delicious. This is the simple, one-layer almond cake recipe you've been looking for - pin it to your Pinterest cake board for your next brunch, picnic or special occasion dinner party. If you love almonds and strawberries as much as me and Strawberry Shortcake, this is a great recipe for your collection.
Oh, good news! I just checked to see if you can still buy those strawberry scented kiss dolls. And I found one on Etsy. Listed as a "vintage toy."
So I'll just be over here polishing off this cake...
What you'll need to make this simple Almond Cake with Fresh Strawberries:
- all purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- baking soda
- sour cream
- canola or vegetable oil
- butter, room temperature
- almond extract
- pure vanilla extract
- fresh strawberries
- sliced raw almonds
Step by step instructions:
To begin, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a spring form pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper, and re-spray.
Prepare the fresh berries. Wash and dry the strawberries. Hull and slice in half. Put aside.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
Next step is to combine the oil, butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Cream butter mixture together with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy - about 2-3 minutes.
Add sour cream and both eggs, beating just long enough to combine all of the wet ingredients into a batter.
Add all of the dry ingredients into the batter. Beat on medium with your electric mixer just until combined, scraping down sides of bowl.
Pour cake batter into prepared pan and level with an offset spatula.
Arrange strawberries, cut side down, in a circular pattern around the top of the cake batter.
Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Top with sliced almonds.
Bake cake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Watch the cake after 30 minutes and cover loosely with aluminum foil once the almond topping has turned golden brown.
Let the cake cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing from your spring form pan. Serve warm, cold or room temperature.
Can I use all butter instead of oil in the cake?
Butter is THE BEST, except when it’s not. Here, it’s not. Butter gives the cake beautiful, rich flavor, but the oil gives this cake a fluffy, moist crumb that I promise you'll love. An all butter cake would create more weight in the cake (think mom’s pound cake - delicious, just not what we need here).
Will other fruits work in this almond cake recipe?
Raspberries or blueberries would be two fresh fruit options that would add great flavor to this cake. If using blueberries, I recommend adding the a teaspoon of lemon zest to the batter. That hint of lemon will balance the blueberries and almond flavors.
I don't have a spring form pan - what else can I use?
A round cake pan or even a pretty pie plate would be good substitutes. Just be sure whatever pan you choose is properly prepared with nonstick spray and parchment paper.
What should I serve with this almond cake?
Fresh whipped cream (just 1 cup cold heavy cream and tablespoon of sugar or stevia) and a cup of coffee would be my preference. Good quality vanilla ice cream or a warm crème anglaise would also take this delicious cake over the top.
I love almond flavor - can I use all almond extract in this recipe?
Almond extract is very intense, and after testing this cake multiple times, this was just the right amount of almond. Adding a little vanilla extract (as in the recipe card, below) creates a balanced depth to the flavor profile.
Can I freeze this almond cake?
You can! Wrap it well in plastic wrap and then foil and freeze up to 2 months. This is one of my favorite cake recipes of all time, and my tiny European freezer often hosts one of them just in case we have surprise guests. Or in case I need some cake...