I don’t know for sure whether your almond pound cake will fall or not. Mine did, and that’s just the way I like it.

Plenty of people have hints and secrets to getting a cake to rise properly, but what if you’re like me, and like some cakes best when they’re extra moist and dense in the center? A friend of mine at church brought a couple of cakes to a party the other night. I had a piece of one, but then realized the other cake was completely sunken in the middle and looked almost like brownies. After I took a serving of the second cake (and a few more pieces for my kids and babysitters), I pestered my friend for the recipe. She was embarrassed by the sunken cake, and almost didn’t bring it.

When I kept asking her how she got it to fall, she simply didn’t remember, and said she might have been distracted when she made it and left something out or possibly didn’t put enough leavening in. All that said, I believe getting a cake to fall properly is a mystery. Most of my pound cakes fall at high altitude, but when I am home and an hour away from the coast, they bake up nicely with a cracked top. Who can know for sure? But I can promise this recipe will be delicious, whether it has a domed or depressed top. Also, I just adapted my pound cake for this recipe, which makes four or five mini loaves of pound cake. I was going to cut the recipe in half, but then I figured, why would anyone want to go to the trouble of making pound cake twice, when one probably won’t be enough? During the holidays, you can never have enough desserts. This freezes beautifully, so you can save it for another night, give it away, cut it up to serve on a cookie plate,  or simply have on hand for unexpected guests.

Fallen Almond Pound Cake

2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter, softened, but not quite room temperature?1
8 ounce (225g) package of cream cheese, softened slightly
1 1/2 (285g) cups sugar, plus extra for ?fruit
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 cups (250g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons kosher salt
sliced almonds, for garnish
confectioners’ sugar for dusting
2 cups sour cherries (or another kind of berry)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (165 degrees celsius). Butter 2 8 inch cake pans, and line with a round of parchment paper.

2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and cream cheese. Pour in sugar and mix until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing well until each is incorporated.

3. While ingredients are mixing, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients.

4. Distribute batter evenly between the pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.  Let cool and cut into slices. Sprinkle with almonds and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Toss cherries or other berries with about a tablespoon of sugar (depending on the sweetness of the fruit), and spoon over the top of the cake. Wrap any extras tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month.

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