My mother (Nonna) makes this puffy, airy pastry topped with a subtle and delicious almond flavored glaze, better known as her Almond Ring. This is a dessert that will become a go recipe when you need something that looks special, tastes amazing and doesn’t take a lot of effort.
This is one of those recipes that I never wanted to make because I thought it was going to be complicated. But it’s a dessert that my mom is well known for, so I knew I needed to add it to my blog. This weekend I decided it was time to tackle it. Well to my pleasant surprise, this was one of the easiest recipes I have ever made!
Meet my mom and her beautiful cake! Mom has made this cake for years and she often gets requests for this from both family and friends. It has definitely become one of her signature desserts. The pastry is airy and tender and the glaze adds a subtle but sophisticated hint of almond. It is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or better yet, espresso. I warn you though it is a dangerous dessert. It is so light and airy that you just keep eating and before you know it half of the cake is gone! I speak from experience!
A real recipe
The great thing about this recipe is that my mother actually had measurements for all of the ingredients! If you have ever tried to replicate an old family recipe , then you know my pain. The other day, I mentioned to my cousin Dee that I want to make my grandmother’s coffee cake but I don’t have the recipe. She said that my uncle has some of her recipes but the measurements are pretty sketchy! So now you see why I am so excited that this recipe actually came with a full list of ingredients and measurements.
This pastry is similar to cream puffs or profiteroles. It can be spooned on to a cookie sheet in small puffs or balls and baked individually. Then you can fill them with either sweet creams for desserts or savory fillings for appetizers.
My favorite way to enjoy this almond ring is simply frosted with the delicious glaze and sprinkled with sliced almonds. But you can also cut the ring in half horizontally and fill it with pastry cream, ice cream, or a cannoli cream filling. You can also have fun with the toppings. Try hot fudge and whipped cream over the ice cream filled pastry. Or pair a chocolate or fruit flavored glaze the pastry cream filling. The options could be endless.
How do you make the almond ring?
There are only 4 ingredients and it takes only a few minutes to make the dough. Water, butter, flour and eggs.
Combine water, butter and flour in a sauce pan, over medium heat. Stir until it forms a ball of dough.
Remove the dough from the heat and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
Once it has cooled slightly, add the eggs one at a time. Beat the batter with an electric mixer, until you have a smooth pastry.
Lastly, spoon it on to a cookie sheet in the shape of a ring and bake it. Most of the time spent making this is hands off. After you bake it you leave it in the oven until it cools.
Yes, it can be made the day before your are planning to serve it. Because the cake needs to cool in the over, it is a perfect make a head dessert.
The cake will stay fresh for several days as long as it is covered well with foil or in a cake carrier and stored in a cool dry place.
Yes the unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 2 months as long as it is wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in a large freezer bag or an air tight container.
Would you like to try some of Nonna’s other recipes?
Easy Almond Ring
- 1 cup Water
- ½ cup Butter
- 1 cup Flour
- 4 Eggs
- 1½ cups Confectioners Sugar
- 2 tbsp. softened butter
- 1½ tsp. Almond extract
- 3 tbsp. Milk
- ½ cup Almonds slivered
- Preheat your oven to 375°.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine water and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
- When the butter is completely melted, mix in the four and stir until a ball of dough forms, then remove from heat.
- Allow the dough to cool until it is warm. about 10 minutes
- Add eggs to the dough one at a time and beat with a mixer until combined between each addition. Beat until the eggs are completely incorporated and the dough is smooth and creamy.
- Spoon the dough on to the parchment paper lined cookie sheet forming a ring.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the pastry is evenly golden brown.
- Turn the oven off and allow the cake to cool in the oven.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until smooth.
- The glaze should be pourable but not thin. If it is too thick add more milk a teaspoon at a time.
- Pour the glaze on the cooled almond ring and spread evenly with the back of spoon or offset spatula.
- Decorate with slivered almonds (Optional)