Anything with almond paste is going to win me over. I’m sure there’s a way to screw it up, but I can’t help but think that you really have to try at it. Almond paste is, after all, the base for that most wonderful of delicious things – marzipan – and that can never go wrong.

But I don’t eat almond paste often. It’s not, I admit, the healthiest of foods. Nor is it the only delicious thing out there. So, I try to reserve it for special occasions. Which makes it perfect for this Yuletide season.

About a week ago, Geordie told me his office was having a big Christmas luncheon on the 14th and that it would be a pot-luck type of thing. That got my attention well enough. As someone who loves to cook, especially for other people, I love a nice potluck.  The bad news was that employees’s families were not invited. The good news was that I could still make something and give it to him to take. I told him to just sign me up for something. Didn’t matter what. Whatever he chose, I’d make it. The next day, he came home and told me he’d signed me on for making a cake.


Some of Geordie’s co-workers already know me as the cupcake-maker. I’ve gotten into the habit of making cupcakes once a week (usually on Wednesday) and sending them to work with him. I’d already done cupcakes this week, so I wanted to do something slightly different. I wanted something that would last well overnight and still taste good the next day. I wanted something without frosting. I wanted something that at least felt seasonal. I wanted something made with almonds. And, of course, it had to be tasty.

I found this: an almond cake by David Lebovitz.

Of course I’ve heard of David Lebovitz, and I know about him and his blog and his books. But, for some reason, I’ve never tried one of his recipes. This one seemed a good place to start. It’s fast and easy – one by one, ingredients are added to a food processor and blended together. No mixing bowls are needed. The food processor does all the work for you.

As soon as I had everything assembled, though, I saw that I had a problem. No way was everything going to fit into my food processor. It’s a nice food processor, and I like it very much, but it’s not an overly large one. Well, simple enough to solve the problem. Instead of making one 10″ cake (because my 9″ springform pan seems to have fled from me), I would make two 8″ cakes. Half of the batter fit very nicely into my food processor, and both of the cakes came out beautifully.


And deliciously. Geordie and I split a piece for dessert (because no way could I send off a cake for others to eat when I had no idea how it tasted). I think I liked it more than Geordie did, but that’s not surprising. I adore almond cakes. I know I’ve mentioned this already, but it’s worth saying again.

This is a wonderful cake. It’s sweet, but not overly sweet. It needs only a light dusting of powdered sugar – though, had I been serving it at home, some spiced-poached apples would probably have gone very nicely with it. It has a wonderful, spongy crumb, moist but not wet, dense but not heavy. It had a lovely, old-fashioned feel to it, which was what I was hoping for. It was an enjoyable cake to eat, and as I have more almond paste, I am considering making another one for us, because I sent the rest of it off to work with Geordie, and it apparently disappeared quite quickly.

It might have to wait until after Christmas, though, as I’m moving merrily onto the next phase of my twelve treats – rum! What would the season’s festivities be without some homemade spiked eggnogg and a nice, big rum cake?

Only 10 days to go! Feeling festive yet?