Traditional Portuguese Almond Cake from Albufeira

Traditional Portuguese Almond Cake from Albufeira
Feeling nostalgic for the European way of life, I found myself in the kitchen baking up a cake that always reminds me of Portugal. I don’t usually care for cake, typically opting for a piece of pie or scoop of ice cream, but this is one of my favorites and my family’s {it’s requested at almost every family gathering} This traditional confection from the Albufeira region in Portugal, resembling a tart more than it does a cake. This thin buttermilk cake is moist on its own, but the burst of flavor comes from topping it with endless amounts of sliced almonds and drowning it in a hot almond syrup. This cake becomes more like an almond encrusted custard when you cut into it…which is probably why I enjoy it so much.Traditional Portuguese Almond Cake from Albufeira
Don’t worry, yes that is enough batter

Traditional Portuguese Almond Cake from AlbufeiraIMG_0907Traditional Portuguese Almond Cake from Albufeira

If you do happen to really burn some almonds, just simply pick them off. 

Almond Cake From Albufeira

Ingredients  {Serves 10 to 12}


1 cup – All Purpose Flour

3/4 cup – Granulated Sugar

1/2 teaspoon – Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon – Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon – Salt

1 large – Egg

1/2 cup – Buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon – Pure Vanilla Extract

1/3 cup – Butter {melted, cooled at room temperature}

2/3 cup – Sliced Almonds

Hot Almond Syrup 

3/4 cup – Granulated Sugar

6 tablespoons – Water

1/2 teaspoon – Almond Extract


For the cake, pre-heat your oven to 350*F and butter a 9″ spring-form pan. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Stir in the butter on low until incorporated. Fold the flour into the egg-buttermilk mixture with a rubber spatula until it’s smooth. Turn batter into your pan and spread evenly {this batter will be stiffer}. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the center of the cake springs back when you touch it {about 35 minutes}.

For the hot almond syrup, combine the sugar and water into a saucepan, boil until it reaches 220*F. {the sugar should be completely dissolved} Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

Assemble by, covering the top of the cake straight from the oven with the almonds. Slowly pour the syrup evenly over the top {allowing it to soak throughout} Place it in the broil until the almonds are lightly toasted {some people prefer darker almonds, as in my family, but don’t let them turn black}. Cool on a rack, and run a knife to loosen the edges. Allow the cake to cool completely before removing it from the pan.

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