French Almond Cake with Lavender Lemon Glaze {Appreciation Post}

French almond cake recipe lavender lemon glaze

Another Daring Gourmet original to enjoy before the Summer is through. This cake is special.  The smell of it baking, its magnificent flavor, its delicate texture and graceful appearance…this cake is absolutely delightful.

But before we get to this cake, I want to introduce you to the man whose love, patience, and support makes my blogging adventures possible.  My husband, Todd.  In appreciation of our better halves, a few of my blogging friends decided to all post about them on the same day (see all the links at bottom of post).

You already learned some things about Todd from a previous post about his wacky family history (playwrights and pirates), but here are a few more details.

First and foremost, I’m so blessed that he’s such an awesome and devoted daddy to our kids.

Todd Collage 1Todd Collage 5

And he’s such a hard worker.  He takes care of the biggest things to the most incidental details that often go unnoticed but keep things running smoothly.  While he may work in a clinic every day, he enjoys getting his hands dirty at home, whether it’s being a self-made car mechanic, fixing various things around the house, or chopping fire wood to stock up for the winter. There’s something incredibly attractive about a man with a strong work ethic, don’t you think?

Todd Collage 7

And during his free time (ha!  what’s that, right?) he is an incredible lead guitarist!  Man, can he play!

Todd Collage 8

Todd puts up with so much as the husband of a food blogger – whether it’s putting up with wacky culinary experiments, wrestling the kids out of the kitchen while I do photo shoots, or waiting an extra hour to eat so I can take pictures of the food first, he’s a man of tremendous patience! And speaking of patience, the man puts up with much more than that – he puts up with me dictating various poses to him so I can practice my photography.  Horses, vintage hats, and oh so much more.  Oh, the agony he’s willing to endure in order to be supportive of my hobbies!

Todd Collage 6

As part of this appreciation post, we all asked our husbands the same 5 questions.  Here we go!

What is your significant other’s favorite blog called?  (with a grin) “What’s a blog?  Is that something you cough up when you’re sick?”  (Nice one, Todd!)

What is your favorite prop?  “That 1970’s-looking flower arrangement that makes everything you use it in look like something from an old Betty Crocker cookbook.”  (Yep, that’s true.  And we always get a good laugh out of that one!)

What is the weirdest thing you have seen your spouse do for a blog post?  “It wasn’t for a blog post, but that time you gussied up a bowl of Top Ramen soup, took a picture of it, and passed it off as something gourmet.”

If you could have your own blog what would you call it?  “I’m not sure what I would call it, but it would be about Health and Fitness.”  (Yeah, I feel even more guilty now about that post for my Killer Peanut Butter Cake!)

What do you do for a living and what are your hobbies?  “I’m a physician.  Top hobbies include spending time with my family, car maintenance, playing guitar, road trips, lifting weights, skiing, politics and current events, etc.”

Who does the dishes?  (without hesitation)  “That would be me.”  (He’s telling the truth – and there’s often lots of ’em after a particularly adventures culinary experiment!) Yes, I’m pretty crazy about this guy and am so happy we decided to get hitched.  I love you, Todd!

Wedding Pic for website 1


And now for the recipe!

I gotta tell you,  I would have made something just a wee bit less feminine for this dedicatory post except for one thing:  I’m in the middle of the Deep South on a family vacation and this is the only recipe I already had saved on my computer and have access to!  But while it isn’t exactly the most “masculine” recipe in the world, my husband loves this cake, so for that reason it’s fitting enough.  Right?  Right!

I love lavender, don’t you?  Such a pretty flower, such a wonderful aroma, so many amazing uses.  Plus, it reminds me of England and that association is a plus.  My husband and I both love England.  He spent two years in Liverpool, Manchester and Wales.  I lived 6 years about an hour from  Norfolk, England where the famous lavender fields are.  My mom and I would often take a leisurely drive up to Norfolk Lavender, walk through the aromatic lavender gardens, and visit the shop to sample their goodies.  So lavender holds an element of nostalgia for me and it made this cake all the more enjoyable.

Lavender Almond Cake 6 sm cropped

While this cake is quite easy to make, its a dessert fit for the most elegant of tea rooms.  Made with very little flour, it relies on satiny whipped egg whites and ground almonds to provide its wonderful texture and “lift.”

Lavender Almond Cake 1

No fancy assembling or decorating required.  The pretty lavender-colored hue of the glaze sprinkled with lavender blossoms gives this cake class and elegance.  Lay a few fresh or dried sprigs of lavender next to it, and the presentation is complete.

For this recipe you can use dried lavender flowers from your own garden (lavender is so easy to dry and store) or you can purchase some from a specialty shop or online.

Lavender Almond Cake 3 sm

Let’s get started! Because this is a light-colored cake, we need to use blanched almonds – skins removed.  There is no comparison to freshly ground almonds for flavor.  Pre-ground almonds from the store lack flavor.  Almonds are easy to blanch yourself.  Just boil some water and immerse the whole almonds, remove from the heat, and let them sit in the water for 30 seconds or so.  This will loosen the skins so you can slip the almonds right out of them.

Almond Cake prep 1

Remove the skins from the almonds and lay them out on a plate to dry for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.  It’s okay if they’re a tiny bit moist when you grind them, but you don’t want them wet.

Almond Cake prep 2

Grind the almonds with 1/4 cup of the sugar in a coffee/spice grinder or food processor.

Almond Cak prep 4

Combine the remaining sugar with the butter in a mixing bowl.

Almond Cake prep 4

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolk and beat until combined.  (I’m not sure why I only added one yolk for the picture, but there are 3 yolks in this recipe.)

Almond Cake prep 6Almond Cake prep 7

Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 1

In a separate, clean bowl with no trace of oil in it, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until satiny and stiff peaks form.  (It definitely looks like I need new beaters!)

Almond Cake prep 9

The egg whites are ready when you pull the beaters out and a stiff peak forms and curls over just at the tip.

Almond Cake prep 10

In a separate bowl, sift the cake flour with the baking powder.

Almond Cake prep 11

Stir the ground almonds into the batter mixture.

Almond Cake prep 12

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in 1/3 of the egg whites.

Almond Cake prep 13

Then gently fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Repeat with the remaining egg whites and flour, being careful not to over-stir.

Almond Cake prep 14

Grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan.  I use and LOVE Magic Line pans.  Made in the USA with hand-forged aluminum.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 2

In a preheated oven at 350 degrees F, bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 3

While the cake is sitting, make the glaze:  To make the glaze:  Combine the lemon juice and lavender flowers in a small saucepan or microwaveable dish, bring to a boil, remove and let steep for at least 5 minutes.  Use a mesh sieve to remove the lavender flowers.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 4

Carefully invert the cake and the place top side up on a cake platter.  Poke some small holes around the top of the cake with a toothpick to allow the glaze to fully absorb.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 5

Combine the lemon lavender mixture with the powdered sugar.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 7Lavender Almond Cake prep 8

Pour the glaze over the cake.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 9

Use a knife to evenly spread it.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 10

While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle a few lavender flowers over it.  Let the cake sit until the glaze has set, at least 15 minutes.

Lavender Almond Cake prep 11Lavender Almond Cake 5 smLavender Almond Cake 9

French Almond Cake with Lavender Lemon Glaze
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup blanched almonds
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • same as French Almond Cake Green Tea recipe
  • Lavender Lemon Glaze:
  • 2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
  • Boil this together, let steep 5 min. and then cool.
  • Then stir in 1 cup powdered sugar.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch square pan.
  2. To blanch the almonds, pour boiling water over them to cover. Let them sit for about 5 minutes or until the peels slip off easily. Discard the peels and let the almonds air dry for a few hours. Grind the almonds with ¼ of the sugar.
  3. Cream the butter and ½ cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating until the mixture is pale and fluffy, another 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla, almond extract, and lemon zest and beat just until combined. Fold in the ground almond mixture.
  4. Beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl on medium high speed until foamy, then add the cream of tartar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a small bowl.
  6. Fold in ⅓ of the egg whites, then ⅓ of the flour mixture. Repeat with the remaining egg whites and flour. Be very careful not to over-stir.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Be careful not to over-bake.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Carefully invert the cake and the place top side up on a cake platter.
  10. Poke some small holes around the top of the cake with a toothpick to allow the glaze to fully absorb.
  11. To make the glaze: Combine the lemon juice and lavender flours in a small saucepan or microwaveable dish, bring to a boil, remove and let steep for 5 minutes. Use a mesh sieve to remove the lavender flours.
  12. Pour the glaze over the cake and let the cake sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Come check out these other wonderful Appreciation Posts from my blogging friends:

Rachel from Rachel Cooks made Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Shanna from Pineapple & Coconut made Best Ever Chicken Enchiladas

Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie made Homemade SpaghettiOs

Amy from Very Culinary shared a Fabulous Video!

Liz from The Lemon Bowl made Lebanese Meat Pies (Sfeehas)

Cassie from Bake Your Day made Something Fabulous

Erin from The Law Students Wife made Chicken Stir Fry with Thai Peanut Sauce

Heather from Sugar Dish Me made Bourbon Apple Shortcakes

Dorothy from Crazy For Crust made Pretzel Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies

Lauren from Climbing Grier Mountain shared At the Table with Mr. B

Tanya from Lemons for Lulu made Something Fabulous

Erin from Texanerin Baking made Healthier New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jen from Jens Favorite Cookies made Chocolate Pudding

Jamie from Thrifty Veggie Mama made Something Fabulous

Diane from Created By Diane made Rocky Road Cookie

Nikki from Seeded at the Table made Oatmeal Cream Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Meagan fron A Zesty Bite made Something Fabulous

Taylor from Greens & Chocolate  made Something Fabulous

Amanda from i am baker made Classic Cheesecake with Double Crust

Kristy from Sweet Treats & More made Something Fabulous

Lauren from Healthy. Delicious. made  Something Fabulous

Erin from Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts shared a Round up of Hubbies Favorites

Rachel from Set the Table made Mexican Chocolate Shake

Julie from Julie’s Eats and Treats made Something Fabulous

Stefani from Cupcake Project made Graham Cracker Waffle Cones

Katerina from Diethood made Something Fabulous

Betsy from Java Cupcake made Something Fabulous

39 Responses

  1. wrote on

    Todd seems like a wonderful hubby… thanks so much for letting us get to know him better!! Your cake looks amazing, I am dying to make it! :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Amanda! :) And thank you so much for organizing this!!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Rachel! :)

  2. wrote on

    Gourmet Top Ramen? LOVE IT! :) You and your hubby look too cute together! <3

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Exactly, right? I’m still laughing that, coincidentally, the most “feminine” recipe I’ve made so far just happened to be the one I used for a dedicatory post to my husband, haha! Just another example of the kinds of things he has to put up with ;)

  3. wrote on

    Only a food blogger can make top ramen outstanding. I love it. Gorgeous family and cake!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Haha! The deception and mystery surrounding it was thrilling ;) Thanks, Amy!

  4. wrote on

    This cake looks absolutely mouth watering!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, bakeaffairs! We really enjoyed this one. It probably lasted all of 30 minutes and then somehow, inexplicably, disappeared!

  5. laurengrier

    wrote on

    Ha! Our hubs would totally get along! And this cake, gorgeous!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Lauren! :)

  6. wrote on

    Such a fun post to read! Thanks for sharing and hope you two are having fun down south! The cake is gorgeous by the way!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much, Erin! We’re definitely getting our fill of deliciously fattening food, that’s for sure! :)

  7. wrote on

    Seriously need to figure out how all of you get your hubby’s to do dishes! At best he might dry them and I still have to put them away :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hahaha! Yeah, I don’t question the why or how of this phenomenon, I just thank my lucky stars! :)

  8. jesusan

    wrote on

    I hope your photography isn’t too much torture for Todd, because the photo of Todd in the vintage hat is mighty sexy! (Don’t worry, my husband is the sexiest man on the planet for me!) Your cakes make me wish I ate cake. If I did eat cake, yours would be at the top of the list of cakes I’d bake, starting with the green tea cake.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Susan, coming from a non-cake-eater that is a wonderful compliment – thank you! And I’ll pass the hat compliment onto Todd. I love him in those old-style hats! I wish they’d make a comeback!

  9. wrote on

    I love fun family history like that – so cool!! I love all his pics – he looks like he is a model in a men’s outdoor clothing catalog! Good looking guy you have – love your wedding pic too. Gorgeous couple!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Haha, I’ll let him know! Perhaps it’ll convince him to endure some more torture ;) Thanks for the compliments, Shanna, and for stopping by!

  10. wrote on

    That photo of you two is so pretty! And this cake. Beautiful!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for both of the compliments! :)

  11. wrote on

    I am so impressed that he likes lavender cake!!! Thank you so much for sharing! You guys are so so so cute!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks so much, Heather! He was skeptical at first about the lavender but ended up devouring it! :)

  12. Mimi

    wrote on

    This cake sounds delicious! And, once again, what a lovely couple you make and it’w wonderful to see how appeciative you are of your husband’s great qualities. I wish you both all the luck in the world. And keep those recipes coming, and by the way, you’re a great photographer!

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you, Mimi, I really appreciate your kind words!

  13. wrote on

    First off, your cake is gorgeous!!
    Secondly, LOL at his Betty Crocker Cookbook comment… oh my gosh, I am rolllllling! :-D

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Kate! I know, we always get a good laugh out of those pics. :) I SERIOUSLY need to get some new food props!!!

  14. wrote on

    Hehe. Funny guy! :) Love the comment about the 70s looking Betty Crocker cookbook.

    And this cake looks lovely! Nice and light. :)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thanks, Erin! Yeah, he’s never going to let me live that one down – and I still have the flower arrangement! ;)

  15. ann-marie

    wrote on

    I ran into your blog by accident (so glad I did!) I almost never make a post, but when I continued to read about you and your hubby appreciation…I just had to tell you that I think you make a gorgeous couple! There is a true radiant of a very genuine happy-vibe-thang when I look at your wedding pic. Congrats, and many loving years and wishes to you both…kids too. I can imagine you guys recreating that photo in ohhhh 25+ years or so. Btw, the lavender-lemon cake is stunning, and your pics and instructions are amongst the best I have seen on any blog. I will return often. thx for doing all this and sharing it!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you so much, Ann-Marie, that is very kind of you! :) I’m so happy you found my blog and look forward to your return visits! Best, Kimberly

  16. ChicagoBaker

    wrote on

    Your cake looks amazing and I’m going to try to make it so I have a question about the glaze….does 2 1/2 tbl of lemon juice provide enough liquid to glaze the whole cake? No milk needed?

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      ChicagoBaker, I know 2 1/2 tbs doesn’t sound like much, but that’s all the liquid you need for 1 cup of powdered sugar to be rendered into a glaze. We LOVE this cake! Happy baking!

  17. Anonymous

    wrote on

    dios bendiga tu familia y tus manos,encontre tu blog por casualidad y me encanta lo que publicas pondre manos a la obra y te contare como me va,gracias

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Thank you very much for your kind words, I’m happy you found my site!

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