Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Almond Limoncello Cake – a rich, decadent dessert worthy of a party  


When I was asked to bring a dessert to the blogger get-together party last weekend at Almost Heaven South, there was a time in my life when I would have panicked. Someone once said that the thing most people remember about a meal is the dessert. Desserts have always presented a problem for me because I don’t have a sweet tooth and consequently, I’m not much of a baker. To make up for that, I usually served a fruit & cheese course at dinner parties as the French often do, followed by a demitasse cup of espresso.

Then I fell in love with the idea of healthy fruit desserts and relied on versatile recipes such as this one from Jacques Pepin – Mangos with Dark Rum and Lime Zest. It’s so easy that it could be in a “dessert for dummies” book. Best of all, it looks like sunshine on a plate.


Several years ago good friends visited us in the mountains for a week and one night she asked if she could make dessert. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough and, before she knew it, we were in the car and off to town to gather the ingredients. This is rich dessert in taste as well as the costly ingredients – Limoncello, an Italian lemon liquor made with vodka, olive oil, and almond paste.


If you want to make your own Limoncello, Giada has an easy recipe on The Food Network website. Mary of One Perfect Bite couldn’t find almond paste at the store the other day and posted a great homemade version, so you can be very resourceful with this recipe.

Now I don’t panic anymore when asked to bring a dessert with a decadent one like Almond Limoncello cake under my belt. I advise making this dessert a day in advance. The cake needs to cool completely before being removed from the springform pan and that takes several hours. Also, if it sits overnight, the Limoncello really sinks in and gives it a richer, more lemony flavor.


Almond Limoncello Cake
Adapted from Barbara Fairchild, Editor of Bon Appétit

¾ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup extra light olive oil
5 tablespoons unsalted room temperature butter
1 ½ - 7 ounce tubes (10 ½ ounces total) almond paste, crumbled
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel, (2 -3 lemons)
3 large eggs, brought to room temperature
1/3 cup Limoncello (Italian lemon liquor made with vodka)
Powdered sugar
Handful of carefully browned sliced almonds for garnish (optional but pretty)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking powder & salt together and set aside.

In a stand mixer, add ¾ cup sugar, 1/3 cup oil and 5 tablespoons room temperature butter & beat until light & fluffy. Add crumbled almond paste and grated lemon peel. Beat until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well. Add flour mixture and blend.

Butter and flour a 9” springform pan. Transfer the batter to the pan.  Place the springform pan on a sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool cake completely, then remove from springform pan and carefully remove the cake from the bottom of the pan.

Brush top of cake with Limoncello or poke tiny holes in the cake and drizzle with the Limoncello. Can be prepared one day in advance at this point. Cover and store at room temperature. Right before serving, sprinkle with a little more Limoncello and powdered sugar. If desired, garnish with sliced almonds. Serves 8 to 12.


You will have half of a tube of almond paste leftover. It can be kept, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for a month or frozen for three months.

The blogger BBQ party where I took this cake last weekend was hosted by Pitt Masters Larry of Big Dude’s Ramblings and Chris of Nibble Me This on the shores of beautiful Lake Tellico in eastern Tennessee. Larry and Bev sure knew what they were doing when they named their house “Almost Heaven South.” You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven relaxing on their comfortable dock while stuffing yourself with authentic Texas BBQ served Lockhart, Texas style on butcher paper. Here’s an example of some of the different varieties of BBQ.

BBQ Lockhart Texas style on butcher paper

Check out Larry’s post for more mouthwatering pictures of the real Texas BBQ they served and his second post about the party. You’ll see why we ate so much we may not need to eat again for a week. After the spread they put on, everybody groaned at the thought of dessert.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday hosted by Designs by Gollum and Stone Gable's Menu Monday.  Please visit Designs by Gollum and Stone Gable to see more wonderful recipes and food related posts.

73 comments:

  1. Looks like a "slice of heaven" to me! Thanks Sam.

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  2. The cake sounds terrific. I am speechless. Thanks so much for sharing it, Sam. Hope you're having a lovely day.
    Blessings, Kristy

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  3. Gosh, and here I sit with a nearly full bottle of Limoncello, too. :)
    And almond paste besides? This cake sounds perfect! I bet everyone loved it.

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  4. As always, fabulous photos Sam. I'm with you, my sweet tooth is nonexistent, but I have been known to enjoy a dessert every once in a while. This cake looks and sounds delicious. Wish I could have made the party.

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  5. I was shocked to learn Limoncello was vodka-based. I don't know what I thought it was...but it wasn't vodka. Oh, well, you learn something new every day.

    The cake looks fabulously delicious, the outing sounds like fun and the setting, indeed, looks like heaven!

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  6. Thank you. I have been wanting to look for a recipe like this, but did not start the search. Now, I have the perfect recipe. Wish I could have a slice now, but it's gone, isn't it? :)

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  7. Very festive and decadent, indeed! That cake is so tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. So much fun getting together with local area bloggers! Your limoncello cake sounds stunning Sam!

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  9. You had me a limoncello! That cake looks delicious....

    Hugs,
    Penny

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  10. SIgh,,,, I get more upset with every review of the party... Next year for sure!

    And love the idea of healthy dessert when the title ingredient is limencello... My kind of dessert!

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  11. I ate a little piece of it at the party and thought it was very good, but when I had the piece you left us Monday for lunch (when I wasn't stuffed), I thought it was outstanding. Great job Sam and thanks for bringing it and for the shout out.

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  12. This is a beautiful cake, Sam! So many wonderful ingredients and flavors. I have no doubt that the get together was a tasty success.

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  13. You are very fortunate to not have a sweet tooth. I'm sure it makes you a healthier person.

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  14. your dishes and your photos are looking spectacular...

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  15. I have got to start cooking more with limoncello! It seems so refreshing and summery! I love this cake. Might be my first thing I bake using the limoncello!

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  16. That cake looks beautiful, Sam, and I just happen to have some homemade limoncello in the fridge. :)

    I'd love to get hold of a book called "Desserts for Dummies" . . . I am dessert challenged, too. I'm making that mango business tonight. WOW!

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  17. By the time I got there, the meats had been taken back up to the house. It was dessert first for me! This cake was amazing! Not too sweet. Almondy. Lemony. Perfect. I'm glad to have met you and Meakin! Take care! -Larry's Daughter, Wende

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  18. Nothing better than a ricch, decadent dessert worthy of a party. I sounds perfect Sam! When it's my turn to bring goodies to our book club they all know they'll get good homemade food, but not desserts. And I just found out you can make your own almond paste. In west Michigan where I grew up you can get it everywhere...so I would just have my mom bring me some when she comes to Florida to visit.

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  19. What a fantastic post! I make a Portugese almond cake, but yours has that little somting I want to try. Thanks.
    Rita

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  20. Ugh... you wouldn't be able to trust me alone with that cake!! I adore the way you decorated it - elegant and to the point. Fabulous!!

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  21. Sam, I love this cake as it contains a few of my favorite ingredients..limoncello and almond paste. I can almost taste it and I know it must be divine! I am definitely saving this recipe for a special occasion.

    So happy to hear about your fun blogger get together and all the great food that was there!

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  22. Sam, the dessert looks stunning. I do not doubt for a second that it was delicious. I really enjoy the flavor combination.

    I have recently given thought to making my own limincello.

    Big Dude's annual blogger get together is always a great hit. I am glad you were able to attend.

    Velva

    P.S. Yes, I took the photo of the Imagine memorial while in NYC this past week. God, I love that city

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  23. This lemoncello cake sounds divine. I am definitely going to make it myself. If it turns out like it should I'll tell everyone it's your recipe. Otherwise, no one will know.
    I don't often cook any longer, so people will be so surprised. Anyway, I'm part Italian, love lemoncello and always have some at home. xx's

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  24. It sounds like the perfect recipe for your gathering. Great choice!

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  25. Sam,
    Love the recipe for the Lemoncello Almond Cake. I will have to make that for Lynda next winter. She got me hooked on drinking lemoncello after dinner.
    Patti

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  26. awesome cake and we need to do a get together some time

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  27. Sam, now that's a cake! Sounds divine...We always have limoncello, so this is a must try. I know it must have been a hit at your party...gorgeous!

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  28. What a lovely post and beautiful photos. This is a cake, in my opinion, that has to be shared. It looks so light and of course, delicious.

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  29. I bet you stole the show with this beauty! Fabulous recipe. I'm all about the limoncello :)

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  30. I can imagine what a wonderful time you had at Bev and Larry's last weekend. The BBQ looked fantastic. I have a bottle of Limoncello so am all set to try this beautiful cake. I don't have a sweet tooth either, Sam, but know I will love this dessert.

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  31. Perfect! I found a bottle of limoncello I had forgotten I had in the back of my freezer last week. And this looks like the kind of cake that might be altitude-resistant.

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  32. Sam, this cake was amazing! I am so glad you posted this recipe. If i could have eaten another bite, I would have definitely gone back for seconds on this cake!

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  33. Thanks to you, Mary and Giada, there goes my diet! This looks refreshingly delicious.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  34. I copied all of the recipes to make this luscious sounding cake. Thanks for sharing.

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  35. That is a gorgeous cake!! Fabulous work Ms. Non-Baker ;P

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  36. Oh, wow! I know I'd like this!

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  37. That cake looks absolutely amazing!

    http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/

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  38. Sounds like it was a blast! Great memories, great food, fine company! Perfect dessert!

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  39. Now I am really sad I could not make that gathering :( but my sister came in and we are having a blast!

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  40. Love the cake Sam, look amazing and love limoncello!! gloria

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  41. Hai Dear

    This looks yummy....you have a lovely blog...Please check out my blog..It is for food lovers and person who love to cook..You could find so many recipes that you can easily try at home..I update this blog on a regular basis…So please follow me and motivate me..Thank you
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com

    Aarthi

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  42. Again visiting your blog is always a pleasure, I love a lot of these recipes vegetables buenisima yi combining flavors are fantastic photos ... hugs Marimi

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  43. Hello from Frog Hollow Farm! Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my post about the antique dresser bar. I'm glad you liked the idea - I'm just loving the look and functionality and the fact that it was already in my garage made the makover even sweeter! This limoncello cake sounds lovely - I will definitely be making it. My son lives in western North Carolina, in a little town called Marshall. He's an artist and has a studio in the renovated Marshall High School on Blanahassett Island. I'm ypur newest follower and can't wait to look through your recipe ideas. Cioa, bella! xxoo

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  44. I read about the BBQ on Larry's blog - what a great time it must have been. Made ever better by this special dessert, I'm sure! I have some homemade Limoncello in my freezer so I'd love to try this!

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  45. This cake looks fantastic! Lots of love for your blog! ~Newest follower

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  46. A terrific festive cake! Thanks for sharing !

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  47. This almond cake looks so good. I would love to have a slice of it. Thanks for the recipe. I want to try it.

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  48. That cake looks awsome!! I am also liking the Mangos with dark rum and lime zest....that sounds so refreshing!! I few years ago I blogged about my homemade Italian Mellocello. It was called Mellocello because I added vanilla beans to it. It was great fun to make and oh so good to drink. I don't have any at this present time. Wish I did I would like to try your cake. Love your blog....I'll be back. Thanks for stopping by:)

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  49. The cake looks delicious, and the bbq looks great too! What a treat you had.
    Thanks so much for your visit!

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  50. This sounds fantastic - more and more, I am leaning towards simple layers, packed with flavor. I have a couple of special "sorbettas" (strawberry, lime and lemon) that were produced at the vodka distillery on Long Island, which I think would offer some wonderful variations here.

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  51. This cake made Alexis' eyes roll back in her head when she ate it. Literally, I watched her eat it. Funny thing was, as Meakin was describing it to her, she kept thinking he was saying "lemon jello" because she was a little tipsy.

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  52. another one that I am going to have to try!

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  53. This is such a lovely cake, Sam. It is worthy of any party and it is sure to be loved by all who sample it. Your photos are amazing. Have a great day.Blessings...Mary

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  54. Oh, this looks so good! I need to try this recipe soon!

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  55. Thank you, Sam, for the email and the following ;-)
    Your almond limoncella cake looks so wonderfully golden brown and delish! Bet it tastes wonderfully delicious...maybe with a glass of limoncella based cocktail or two.

    Angie

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  56. How crazy! I am sitting here with an ice tea spiked with limoncello and your cake post appears! Hmmm, must be a sign for me to try this cake, Sam! Thanks for sharing! It sounds wonderful! The BBQ at Larry's must have been so much fun!

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  57. I also don't have a sweet tooth so I panic all the time.. I have saved your cake recipe, this is going to be simply perfect! thanks for sharing.. many blessings, marlis

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  58. Sam, I agree! With a dessert like that you can feel confident when someone asks you to bring desssert to an event! It probably also guarentees that you will be the belle of the event ball! This looks far more complex than it truely is! But it looks absolutely decedent!
    Limoncello is a great libation!( I remember a night with girlfriends in a fabulous restaurant in Little Italy in Baltimore and a bottle of Limoncello!) And putting it in this gorgeous cake must be heaven!
    This goes in my "must make" file. I bet if freezes well too! I love to eat things fresh, but it would be hard for me to discard away leftovers!
    Thanks for participating in ON THE MENU MONDAY! You bring a lovely level of sophication to all of us!
    Yvonne

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  59. What a beautiful cake, and a great recipe. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!
    Miz Helen

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  60. The cake does look decadent-but doable too : )

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  61. Sounds like a fun party Sam....and this cake looks superb....I am no baker but this is one recipe I will be saving.....xv

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  62. Oh this has me salivating~ I love the combination of limoncello & almond! Your photo is magazine worthy!

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  63. your cake not only looks beautiful, it looks delicious.

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  64. Wow , I just found your blog and love your limoncello cake! Especially I just posted a recipe for Home-Made Limoncello on our site! Thanks I will try this wonderful cake recipe. :) Anna

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  65. You had me at the mention of "Limoncello"!! We first tasted it in Capri & fell in love. I adore ANYTHING lemon flavored so I can't wait to try this recipe.
    Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    fondly,
    Rett

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  66. I would love these flavors! Sounds like a perfect combination! ♥

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  67. And thanks for the welcome home! There's nothing like our NC mountains, is there? Enjoy your holiday weekend! ♥

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  68. That cake looks bakery shop beautiful and sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

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  69. Mmmm fabulous cake! Fabulous! And I just happen to have a bottle of Limoncello our son's friend brought us! Beautiful!

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  70. I've been coveting a bottle of Limoncello for so long, and keep putting off the purchase, now I know I need to get it asap. I read about this in the Kitchen Daily article, congrats Sam!

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  71. Everything sounds wonderful, what a nice day out. Love your dessert.

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  72. OMG....this is truly wonderful!! Used homemade Limoncello and made this for an italian dinner last night. A keeper! Great texture, not too sweet; just perfect. Thank you!

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I enjoy reading each and every comment. If you leave a comment with a question or that requires an answer, please leave an address or way for me to get in touch with you. I appreciate your taking the time to visit my blog and I hope you'll return again soon.
Sam