This Summer Raspberry and Almond Cake is best served with an abundance of fresh berries – I love adding strawberries – those fresh, plump speckled fruits work perfectly against the sweet cake. You could also pour over your favourite plant-based cream for extra indulgence. However, this cake is super moist with pops of fruity treasures hidden in the fluffy interior, so it works great on its own as well – eaten outside with a cup of tea, or over a catch up with friends and family.
Speaking of which, this is a great crowd-pleasure recipe. It’s a super simple recipe – to create and make – but due to its complex flavour profiles adds something a little bit extra special; is loved by kids and adults alike.
The combination of raspberry and almond is a nostalgic one for me. It reminds me of berry picking with my family as a child; sneaking little morsels straight into my mouth from the bush; each one bursting with their signature juicy sweet flavour. The ones that did make it back to the kitchen would end up in a whole manner of dishes – from bakes and cakes and freshly made granola with flaked almonds roasted to their toasty perfection and their nutty notes working in perfect harmony with that of the sweet and mushy raspberries that would accompany it.
That’s exactly the memory I wanted to capture in this dish. A cake that combines the best of both ingredients. Sweet fruit notes with a nutty finish. Added texture and crunch on top to counteract the soft, squidgy fruit puddles found within the fluffy walls and its crisped to perfection tops and sides. Nothing says delicious more than that. Sometimes cakes, especially plant-based ones, can miss the mark on the textural note; making the cake fall a little flat – metaphorically and theoretically.
Nuts are a great way to add a little bit of extra texture without needing any fancy or hard-to-find ingredients or techniques. Chopped and toasted hazelnuts would also work great. And depending on the fruit used inside you could even get more creative with your fruit and nut pairing. Why not try Clementine and Walnuts for a Festive twist, or Peach and Pecans, Blackberry and Macadamia or Strawberry and Pistachio? Most berries and stone fruits tend to pair well with pecans, walnuts and almonds. So, you can never go wrong with having one of those in the house.
I love flaked almonds as they save you time chopping – but you could always give larger nuts a quick second whizz in a food processor to get them to your required size or place inside a sandwich bag and bash and roll with a rolling pin. Try to stay away from nuts that have already been prepared in the way of roasted or with salt added to them as this can have a huge impact on the final product. Pre-roasted or toasted nuts could overcook in the oven that second time around and add a bitter taste to the top and an overly dark colour.
It’s worth having a play around with and finding the combinations that you like. It’s a great excuse to get creative and ‘go nuts’ in the kitchen and if you find yourself with leftover nuts you can always use them up in additional sweet and savoury dishes. I love adding almonds to porridge topped with spiced caramelised pears, walnuts really shine in my mushroom and walnut tart as well as when whizzed into a zesty pesto: Pasta with Basil and Walnut Pesto; California Walnut Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Toasts; Roast Rainbow Carrots, Beetroots with Beetroot Walnut Hummus and if you really don’t know what to do with them, or want to just save them for another time, just add them to a dukkah – this will keep for around 2-3 weeks if kept in a dark, cool place and can be used to add spice and texture to a range of dishes – salads, soups, stews, curries and more.
To keep this cake extra moist (sorry for those who hate that word) I always use a splash of apple cider vinegar and some vegetable oil,
Make sure to let the cake cool completely in its tin before removing and keep it stored in an air-tight container, in a cool place and aim to eat within three days (if it stays around that long!)
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