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Cornmeal Almond Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone

Each month when Food & Wine magazine comes I eagerly flip through the pages and dog-ear all the recipes I want to make. Do I ever make them? Rarely. Not that I don’t want to. I never seem to find the time to get through the ever-growing stack of recipes I want to try. And then a month comes and goes and a new issue of Food & Wine arrives and I repeat the process.

And then there was Cornmeal Almond cake.

In the March issue of Food & Wine there is a lovely recipe for Cornmeal Almond Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone. The picture made me drool and after reading the description I knew I had to make this cake.  So I rushed to the store to gather my ingredients and begin baking. This recipe calls for 3 cups of almonds! I’m an almond lover so this was super exciting and intriguing. What would all these almonds – toasted and finely ground – do to the texture of the cake? I needed to know.

The cake took no time to make. After baking In the oven for 45 minutes, the cake is ready to cool and be slathered with a mascarpone whipped cream.

Can we take a second to talk about mascarpone whipped cream? Why isn’t all whipped cream made with mascarpone? Why? The resulting whipped cream is extra smooth with a subtle tang.  It is incredible.

And the cake. Oh the cake. Buttery, nutty, with great texture and crumble. All those almonds exude amazing flavor into the batter and create a great texture for each bite. The mascarpone brings together the crumbly cake and the sweet strawberries adding a nice silky finish. The cornmeal is really a background player – this cake is all about the almonds.


Cornmeal Almond Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone

make one 9 inch cake



3 cups sliced blanched almonds (about 10 ounces)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup fine yellow cornmeal


3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup fresh mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick


Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Spread the almonds on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, stirring once, until golden. Let cool completely, then transfer the almonds to a food processor and process until finely ground but not pasty.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla, scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy, 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at time, beating well between additions. Scrape down the bowl and beat the batter until fluffy, 1 minute. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. With a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the batter, then the cornmeal and the ground almonds.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the cake to a wire rack, still in the pan, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large stainless steel bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar and whip until barely firm peaks form.

Run a thin knife around the side of the cake pan and invert the cake onto the wire rack. Place a plate on top of the cake and turn the cake right side up. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with the mascarpone cream and

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  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    April 3, 2012

    Your opening photo is so sharp and clear…I want to reach thru my screen and GRAB a berry right off the top!

  • Nastassia
    April 3, 2012

    Thanks Averie! it was hard not to eat the whole cake it one sitting!

  • Elliott
    April 3, 2012

    Another one I would eat! My mom made something similar to this a few years back, but I love the touch of the almonds! I’ll have to forward this along to her…

  • Bananawonder
    April 3, 2012

    I saw this in Food and Wine too. I never get the mag, but was traveling so splurged and saw this cake and remembered your instagram. I am so making this! Thanks for the confirmation. Can’t wait to try the frosting…

  • Nastassia
    April 4, 2012

    Elliot – your Mom would love this!

    Anna- I hope you make it this weekend I just know you’ll enjoy all the almond goodness 🙂

  • Gastronomer
    April 4, 2012

    I think we should be neighbors. Then we could share all of the delightful things that come out of our ovens! This one looks so good!

  • Robert Richards Recipes
    April 5, 2012

    This looks really good and I’m excited to give it a try!

  • Miss K
    April 5, 2012

    Great blog!

  • Nastassia
    April 8, 2012

    Cathy- I wish we were neighbors the bounty of goodies would be endless!

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