Grandaisy Bakery in New York makes a great almond pound cake – moist, rich with almond flavor and then there’s a surprise of whole almonds studded here and there. I’ve wanted to duplicate it since the first time I ate it years ago. This seemed like a good time to try, since I also wanted to bake a thank you gift to my friend Paul, a professional photographer who lent me one of his SLR cameras for a couple of weeks (Have you noticed any difference in my photos lately?)
I started out using my friend Shirley’s recipe for half-a-pound cake, a great basic pound cake recipe. But I added more flour, eggs, almond paste and made a few other changes. This recipe made enough for one loaf pan (to give to my Paul) with enough left over to fill two small oval pans (for me!) Not content to leave well enough alone, I added candied orange peel I had recently prepared to some of the pound cakes.
If you decide to use it, don’t get the kind that’s sold in supermarkets – you know – the kind that gives fruitcake a bad name. If you don’t want to make your own candied orange peel (but it’s easy, click here), then get some from a specialty store. You can omit the peel entirely if you like, or add nothing extra at all.
And here’s what I got. One big one for you, two little ones for me.
Almond Pound Cake with Candied Orange Peel
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla
8 ounces almond paste, room temperature
6 large eggs
1/4 cup diced candied orange peel, optional
whole almonds, optional
Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. Place butter, sugar, vanilla and almond paste into a mixing bowl and beat until everything is blended, three or four minutes. Add eggs, beating in one at a time. Slowly add flour mixture and beat until blended. Fold in candied orange peel, if desired and spoon batter into a buttered and floured large tube pan or loaf pan, two small loaf pans, or one small loaf pan and two smaller pans, as shown in the photo. Insert whole almonds into pan and cover with almonds, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees. Small pans will need one hour and larger pans will take about one hour and 10 to 15 minutes.