French Almond Cake (Amandier)

4.8 of 116 votes
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
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Do you know the Amandier ? It is a French Almond Cake. This French cake is completely gluten free as it is made with ground almonds instead of flour. This really moist cake is a treat to serve as an afternoon snack with a cup of coffee. 

Zoom of a piece of French almond cake

One other particularity of this cake is also made without baking powder which is ideal for people who can’t stand baking powder. 

Table of content

What is an Amandier?

Amandier means in French almond tree. In pastry, the Amandier is a French cake super soft as its name suggests based on almonds. In some French regions, it is known as namandier

Zoom of a French almond cake

If you like the Galette des Rois or French King’s cake (find my recipe here), this French almond cake recipe will remind you the taste of the frangipane

List of ingredients

To make this flourless almond cake, you only need a few easy-to-find basic ingredients. 

Almond meal: Almond meal or ground almonds is the base for this recipe. You can buy it ready-made or simply grind your own almonds, preferably blanched.

You can also replace some of the almond meal with hazelnut flour or wheat flour, in which case this recipe will no longer be gluten-free. 

Eggs: For this recipe you will need fresh whole eggs of medium size. No need to separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. 

Sugar: I chose white sugar but you can replace it with cane sugar, brown sugar or honey. You can also replace some of it with vanilla sugar.

Butter: I chose unsalted butter with a minimum of 82% fat content. Butter will give a delicious taste to this cake, so I don’t advise you to replace it with other alternatives, except in case of lactose intolerance by margarine or olive oil.  

Crème fraîche: To lighten this cake slightly and make it even more moist, I replaced some of the butter with crème fraîche. 

You can replace the crème fraîche with sour cream, yoghurt for an even lighter version or a plant based cream if you are intolerant to milk. 

This is an idea inspired by the French pastry Chef Christophe Michalak’s recipe which replaces some of the butter with mascarpone. 

Bitter almond extract: The bitter almond extract is for me what makes all the difference in this cake and give an intense almond flavor. If you can’t find bitter almond extract you can replace it with vanilla extract or orange blossom water. 

Lemon: It’s not mandatory but I like to add a little lemon zest to give the cake a fresh touch. You can also add orange zest instead or in addition. 

Sliced Almonds: To add a crunchy touch to the top of the cake, I like to add some sliced almonds. You don’t need to toast them beforehand, they’ll just brown in the oven.

You will find the exact quantities in the recipe card

Top view of a piece of a French almond cake on a plate

How to make this French almond cake?

The preparation of this almond cake is ultra simple and will only take you a few minutes! 

BEAT: In a large bowl, start by beating the eggs and sugar until the mixture foams. 

ALMONDS: Pour in the almond powder. 

MELT: Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave on low. Add the melted butter and crème fraîche to the batter and mix again. 

FLAVORS: Add bitter almond extract and grated lemon zest. Mix well.

BAKING: Pour the batter into a springform pan (20 cm diameter) lined with parchment paper and butter. Cover the cake with sliced almonds. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes depending on the width of the pan at 180°C (350°F).

Géraldine’s tips

  • I used a relatively small springform pan (20 cm) because I wanted a higher cake. This cake may look small but since it has a pretty intense flavor, it can feed 6-8 people.
  • Make sure to adapt the cooking time to the size of your cake pan: the larger the cake pan, the shorter the cake need to bake. As mine was quite high, you might need less time.
  • You can also make individual portions and pour the cake batter in muffin tins or financier molds.
  • Turn your oven off 5 minutes before the end of the baking, don’t open the door and leave the cake inside. It will save some power and it is better for the environment. Your oven is still so hot so it will have no impact on the baking time.
  • You can decorate the cake with icing sugar.
Top view of a French almond cake

More French cake recipes

Frequently asked questions

Is the almond cake eaten warm?

Personally, I prefer to eat this cake at room temperature. 

How long does this almond cake keep?

This cake can be kept for up to 5 days. To keep it moist, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and leave it at room temperature. 

Can I make a lactose-free version?

Yes, you can replace the butter with margarine, olive oil or any kind of vegetable oil and the crème fraîche with a plant based yogurt or cream. 

How can I prevent the cake from sticking?

My favorite technique for keeping the cake from sticking to the pan is to cut out a circle of parchment paper about the same size as the cake pan. I place the circle in the bottom of the pan to protect it well and butter only the sides of the pan with a pastry brush.

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Print Recipe

French Almond Cake (Amandier)

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4.8 of 116 votes
A delicious French almond cake that is naturally gluten-free. It's one of my favorite French cake!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Cake
Cuisine French
Servings 8
Calories 361 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g almond meal
  • 5 eggs
  • 120 g sugar
  • 80 g butter
  • 60 g crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp Bitteralmond extract
  • 1 lemon

Instructions
 

BEAT

  • In a large bowl, start by beating the eggs and sugar until the mixture foams.

ALMONDS

  • Pour in the almond powder.

MELT

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave on low. Add the melted butter and crème fraîche to the batter and mix again.

FLAVORS

  • Add bitter almond extract and grated lemon zest. Mix well.

BAKING

  • Pour the batter into a springform pan (20 cm diameter) lined with parchment paper and butter. Cover the cake with sliced almonds. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes depending on the width of the pan at 180°C (350°F).

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 11gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 111mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 4gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 401IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 87mgIron: 2mg
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19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made a mistake by using extra large eggs instead of medium size eggs so I ended up baking for almost an hour (did cover it with foil to prevent excessive browning). At the end of an hour, it did come out as a moist and fluffy cake, not too sweet but sweet enough to cure a craving for sweets. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! Recently diagnosed with wheat intolerance, I am learning a whole new food regime and making wonderful food discoveries. Made old-fashioned fairy cakes with this mixtur.

  3. My cake is out of the oven and looks delicious. Cannot wait to taste it tomorrow at office potluck. But my almonds didn’t brown. I used raw sliced almonds. Wonder if I should have used a different type.

  4. 5 stars
    I eat gluten free as much as possible but love cake…this is a winner! I used orange instead of lemon zest but otherwise made exactly as written and the result was vraiment délicieux…merci for this wonderful recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    Excellent cake! Had only 200g of almond flour, so added AP flour to make up the difference. Baked in a 24cm pan so it was a bit thinner than shown – but very delicious!

  6. 5 stars
    Is there any chance you have an option of showing the recipes in US measurements? I know as a good cook I should be switching myself over to weights but I haven’t figured out a convenient way to do this. Maybe even post in your blog the easiest way to convert to you measurements?

    1. 5 stars
      I haven’t confirmed these measurements by actually using them in this recipe but it should be close. Also, I would just suggest to invest in a digital kitchen scale to get best metric measurements.

      250 g almond meal is equivalent to approximately 2 1/2 cups in US volume measurements.

      120 g of sugar is approximately 2/3 cup.

      80 g of butter is approximately 1/3 cup.

      60 g of crème fraîche is approximately 1/4 cup.

    1. Yes, it’s in the ingredient list: amaretto (with alcohol) or vanilla extract for bitter almond extract. Vanilla will give the cake another taste but it’s fine and sour cream or greek yogurt for crème fraiche.