If you were to make me choose between cookies or cake, I’ll pick the latter…both to eat and to bake. Maybe it’s because my cookie repertoire is very limited. I know only a handful of recipes really well; I use them with confidence but I rarely have the urge to run to the kitchen to bake cookies (well, unless they’re French macarons). A cake on the other hand–whether it be of the coffee, tea or birthday variety–is always begging to be made. And unless I’m baking a cake for a special occasion, the less complicated the better.
When I had a craving for coconuts and almonds recently, I knew that the best way to satisfy both would be in a cake. The challenge was to find a base recipe that would be easy to whip up with ingredients I already had available. I scoured the web and stumbled upon this promising recipe from Food & Wine. But you’ll notice that my cake ended up nothing like Food & Wine’s Buttermilk Cake with Blackberries. I took huge liberties with the recipe and proceeded with fingers crossed that my changes below would result in (at least) an edible cake:
- used spelt flour in place of all-purpose (surprise, surprise)
- added almond meal
- omitted the baking soda
- slightly reduced the sugar
- used an egg substitute
- used almond extract instead of vanilla
- added shredded coconut
- added lemon glaze
- used a bundt pan instead of a round cake pan
I have no doubt that the original recipe is a winner but for satisfying an almond and coconut craving this Almond-Coconut Bundt with Lemon Glaze was no slouch at all. In fact, I’ve baked this cake twice now and I’ve found one more way to enhance it by topping it with sliced almonds. This recipe is beautifully uncomplicated, can be whipped up very quickly and rewards with a moist cake loaded with almond, coconut and lemon flavor. A slice (or two) would be perfect with a cup of afternoon tea.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup spelt flour (or all-purpose flour)
- ½ cup almond meal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (you can use just 1 teaspoon if using all-purpose flour)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg (or egg substitute)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ½ - ⅔ cup buttermilk at room temperature (see note)
- ¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly packed
- Sliced almonds for topping (optional)
- ***For the Lemon Glaze***
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat your oven to 400℉. Spray a 6-cup bundt pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside. Prepare the lemon glaze by stirring the powdered sugar and the lemon juice together.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, almond meal, salt and coconut. In a larger bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the butter with the granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in the egg (or egg substitute) and almond extract. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients and buttermilk in three alternating batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Don't overbeat and gently fold in the batter just until blended.
- Pour the batter (this is a thick batter) into the bundt pan, rap the pan on the counter to allow the batter to settle into the pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Unmold the cake, allow to cool a little before drizzling with the lemon glaze. Top with sliced almonds if using.