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Best Italian Almond Cake (Torta di Mandorle Recipe)

Italian Almond Cake or Torta di Mandorle is truly a special dessert!  This exceptionally moist cake is soft and lightly sweet and made with almond paste and almond flour. Dust it with powdered sugar and top it with fresh fruit or a Strawberry Compote, for an elegant cake perfect for a special occasion.

Lucky for us this delicious cake is so easy you can enjoy it anytime. Oh and did I mention that since this is made with almond flour and almond paste it is a naturally gluten-free cake?

A slice of almond cake with a strawberry on a piece of parchment paper on a gold glass plate.

This simple cake is one of our favorite Italian desserts.  It is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee. The rich almond flavors and the sweet smell of this cake remind me of Italy. One bite and I am immediately transported to an Italian café and I am enjoying this homemade Italian Almond cake as I sip on a cup of bold espresso!

There is a lot to love about this Italian Almond Cake recipe, from its moist spongy crumb to its sweet nutty flavor.  The almond paste and almond flour add a lot of moisture and irresistible almond flavor to the cake but at the same time, they are heavier than all-purpose flour so it will not have the same rise as most cakes.  

But you will really appreciate what an easy dessert this is to make! Just mix everything in a food processor and then pop it in the oven. It is definitely a go-to dessert for when you want to impress your guests or you just need a sweet treat.

Ingredients You Will Need for this Easy Almond Cake:

  • Almond paste is easiest to work with when it is at room temperature. When it is cold it will be stiff and hard to manipulate, but when warm it is so pliable that you can spread it. Leave it to warm up to room temperature if you have been storing it in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Unsalted Butter should also be at room temperature so it can easily be creamed with the almond paste.
  • Granulated sugar is called for in this recipe. Do not use superfine or confectioners’ sugar.
  • Lemon zest is added to provide a bit of brightness.
  • Large Eggs that have been warmed to room temperature. This will help them blend better and create a fluffy cake. 
  • Almond Flour that has been finely ground is preferred for this recipe.    When measuring the almond flour, spoon it into the measuring cup and then level it off. 
  • Sliced Almonds decorate the top of cake.  
3 process photos of making almond cake in a food processer. and one photo of the batter in a pan topped with sliced almonds

Instructions for Making this Simple Dessert

  1. Combine the almond flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set it aside.
  2. Cream the butter and almond paste in the food processer set to full speed. The mixture should be creamed but might be a bit grainy. Add the sugar and lemon zest. Add the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time while the food processor is running.
  3. Transfer the cake batter to a large mixing bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, then mix by hand. I do this to avoid over-mixing the batter. Once all the almond flour is blended in stop mixing.
  4. Pour the batter into a prepared 9-inch round cake pan, which has been lined with parchment paper and top with sliced almonds. Bake the cake in a preheated 325 degree f oven for 35 minutes. The cake is done when it is golden brown and a toothpick, or a cake tester, inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack before dusting it with powdered sugar.

Tips For Making Moist Almond Cake

  • An electric mixer can be used if you don’t have a food processor. Use the paddle attachment if you are using a stand mixer.  Just make sure the butter and almond paste are mixed well and long enough to become creamy. It may still be a little grainy, but you should not have large pieces of almond paste in the batter.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure all the ingredients are mixed in properly or you will have chunks of almond paste in your cake..
  • I highly recommend lining the bottom of your cake pan with parchment paper. This will help the cake slide right out of the pan without sticking. You can use a springform pan as well.  
  • If you use an 8-inch pan, the cake will be a little thicker so you may need to adjust your baking time.
  • Add the sliced almonds to the top of the cake before baking. They will bake into the top of the cake and they look so pretty!
Italian almond cake dusted with powdered sugar and topped with strawberries.
Completed cake
  • If you want to make Italian almond cake and did not plan ahead, no problem. Here are a couple of tips that you can use in a pinch.

How to Bring Butter to Room Temperature Quickly

Fill a glass with water and put it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Pour the water out and place the glass over a stick of butter and just leave it for 10 minutes.  Your butter will be evenly and perfectly softened!

How to Bring Eggs to Room Temperature

Here are 2 ways to bring eggs to room temperature in the time it takes to prepare all your other ingredients:

1. Crack the egg into a small bowl and place the bowl into a larger bowl of warm water being careful not to allow the water to overflow into the bowl with the egg.  This works especially well if you need to separate the eggs and you jus want to warm up either the yolk or the whites.
2. Place the whole egg into a bowl of warm tap water.

For both methods, make sure the water is not hot or the egg may start to cook.  When the egg is no longer cool to the touch, it is ready to use.

a slice of almond cake dusted this powdered sugar
One slice ready

How to Line a Cake Pan with Parchment Paper

Place the baking pan on a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit the pan completely and trace along the outside of the pan with a pencil. Cut along the pencil marks. Grease the bottom and sides of the pan and place the parchment circle on the bottom. Grease the parchment paper. Now lightly flour the bottom and sides of the pan.

A almond cake topped with sliced almonds confectioners' sugar and strawberries with one lice being removed.

FAQ

What happens when you replace cake flour with almond flour?

Almond flour is heavier than cake flour or AP flour, so baked goods will rise less or spread out more. Cookies for instance will spread more and cakes and other non-yeast baked goods will not rise as high.

What is the difference between almond meal and almond flour?

Almond meal is made from raw unpeeled almonds, while almond flour is made from blanched (peeled) almonds. Almond flour has a finer texture and is lighter in color then almond meal.

Can I use all-purpose flour in this almond cake recipe?

Yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour for some or all of the almond flour in this recipe, but it will change the texture of the cake. The cake will rise higher and be less dense and less moist than the recipe using almond flour.

Are almond paste and marzipan the same thing?

No, they are quite different. Marzipan has much more sugar in it, and it is stiffer than almond paste. It can be eaten as candy and it is often dyed and shaped into fruits. Almond paste on the other hand has less sugar in it and is softer so it is used in baking rather than on it’s own.

This is a golden almond cake dusted with powdered sugar and topped with 3 strawberries.
Beautiful Italian Almond Cake

More Traditional Italian Almond Desserts That You Will Enjoy

Believe it or not, almonds are the most widely grown nut in the world and Italy is one of its largest producers. Some of the best almonds are grown in Sicily near the towns of Noto and Siracusa. So, it is no surprise that almonds are used in so many Italian baked goods and confections. If you are or know some almond lovers you will want to try my Italian Ricotta Pie, Rainbow Cookies or my mother’s amazing Sicilian Almond Paste Cookies and Nonna’s Easy Almond Ring.

More Cake Recipes to Try

Select from an assortment flavors such as Italian Cheesecake, Italian Hangover Cake, Coconut Almond Cake, Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chambord Glaze, The Best Polish Pound Cake, Pistachio Bundt Cake with Chocolate Chips, Italian Apple Cake, or Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Happy baking!

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this Italian Almond Cake or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more recipes your family will love!

A slice of almond cake with a strawberry on a piece of parchment paper on a gold glass plate.

Italian Almond Cake Recipe

Almond paste and almond flour make this cake exceptionally moist, with a buttery texture. and subtle sweetness. This decadent cake is also perfect for a gluten free diet.
5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 10 slices
Calories 320 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Food processor
  • 1 Parchment Paper
  • 1 9" x 2" Round cake pan

Ingredients
  

  • 4 oz Almond Paste cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup Butter softened
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp Lemon Zest
  • 4 Eggs
  • ½ tsp Almond Extract
  • 1⅓ cups Almond Flour not almond meal
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Sliced Almonds
  • 2 tbsp Powdered Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325°. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Grease the bottom and sides the cake pan with butter or cooking spray. Line the cake pan with the parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper. Dust the pan bottom and sides with flour and discard any excess.
  • Place the almond paste and butter in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until the butter and almond paste are creamed, about 2 minutes. Scarp down the sides to make sure that all of the almond paste is mixed into the butter.
  • With the food processor running, add the sugar and lemon zest.
  • Continue to run the food processor and add the eggs one at a time, stopping between each one to make sure that it is fully blended in. Add the Almond extract while blending. Stop the processor once all have been mixed in.
  • Stir together the almond flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the almond flour mixture, just until is completely combined. Pour into the prepared cake pan.
  • Sprinkle the almonds on the top of the batter and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes. The cake should pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and place on a cooling rack. When completely cool, Dust with powdered sugar.

Notes

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mixer.  You will need to beat the butter and almond paste until it is completely creamed.  This may take longer then the estimated time listed for using the food processor.

Nutrition

Serving: 10gCalories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 8gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 266mgPotassium: 101mgFiber: 3gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 379IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Almond paste, almond flour, eggs, butter, easy, gluten free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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17 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Have made this twice to raves by my guests. I used a springform pan to make it easier to extract the finished cake. Extremely moist and flavorful.

  2. This looks delicious, but is there anything I can substitute for the butter? Olive oil? Coconut oil? Vegetable shortening? Or leave out oil altogether?

    I’m cooking for a dairy and gluten-free guest . . .

    THANKS.

    1. Hi Lydia. I have never done this but I think that you can use vegetable shortening or vegetable oil in place of the butter. The vegetable shortening is a similar consistency as butter so I think that would work.

      If you try this, please let me know how it works out.

      1. Yes it can. You may have to adjust the baking time slightly, but it should work out nicely! I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear how it comes out!

    2. Lydia, this is a very late reply but may help you in the future. I am going to make this almond cake using homemade GHEE, which is a clarified butter with the milk solids removed- so essentially dairy free. You can also purchase Ghee. I believe there are also Vegan “butters” that do not contain milk that may suffice.

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent! Tried it to see if it was worthy of a wedding shower I am hosting. A definite yes! Today had it with fresh blueberries but will use fresh raspberries for the shower. – or maybe a combo of raspberries and blueberries.

    1. Judy thank you so much for letting me know how you liked my almond cake! I am thrilled that you loved this enough to serve it at a wedding shower! I think the berry combo sounds amazing and I hope that you have a fabulous event!

  4. 5 stars
    I made this again after testing it for the wedding shower I am hosting. I used orange zest which is a great flavor combination with the almond. Also I used my stand mixer and I liked my results better than using my food processor. Was able to get more air into the batter which gave it a lighter batter. Such a great gluten free option!

    1. Hi Judy I love the idea of adding orange zest to this cake! Thank you for the update and I am so glad that it worked well for your wedding shower!

  5. I plan on making this recipe for Christmas How long will it last in the refrigerator ? Can it be frozen? Many thanks.

    1. Hi Linda
      This cake will last several days in the refrigerator. I would wrap it well or put it in an airtight container. If you are going to use the powdered sugar, i would not put that on until you are ready to serve it. I have never frozen it, but I think it should freeze just fine.
      Merry Christmas!

  6. Enzo, I was wondering if I can use canned Solo Almond Paste? This dessert is looks mouthwatering delicious and I am anxious to get in the kitchen a prepare it!
    Thanks in advance for your answer!
    Oh, by the way, I made your chicken cacciatore the other day for a family get together……so tasty and rave reviews from the entire family!

    1. Hi Nancy Thank you so much for letting me know that you like the Chicken Cacciatore! I am thrilled that your family loved it!

      Yes you can use the Solo canned almond paste. I usually use the brick or I make my own, but the canned type should work as well. Happy baking and I hope you love this recipe too!

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