French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

Almond extract lends the most wonderfully rich, nutty, and sweetly perfumed flavor to anything it touches.

And it touched this unique cake plenty in the three tablespoons I used.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

French almond cakes are typically rectangular little cakes that have a firm, crusty exterior and a moist, soft interior. They’re also known as financiers because traditionally they look like gold bars. But since no one I know has financier molds to make individual cakes, one 9-inch cake is my solution.

It’s one of the easiest and fastest cakes I’ve ever made, and goes from cupboard to pan to oven in less than five minutes. Just one bowl and a whisk is all you need.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

French almond cakes are typically made without chemical leaveners such as baking powder or soda, and rely only on eggs for lift. This creates a dense and moist cake, with an interior that resembles the interior of Cookie Bars.

Some recipes use almond meal or almond flour, but I didn’t want to run the risk of weighing down the leavener-less cake with nut-based flour and used trusty all-purpose.

I don’t like actual nuts in baked goods, but extracts are fair game. Biting into nuts in a soft cookie or tender piece of cake is as bad as biting into eggshells. Crunchy, they catch you off guard, and just don’t belong.

So I’m especially grateful for almond extract to give this cake all the almond flavor it has going.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

If you’ve never bought almond extract, it’s sold near the vanilla extract in the grocery store. At my grocery store, a one-ounce bottle of store-brand real almond extract was $2.99. Imitation almond extract was also $2.99, so I went with real and happily used almost half the little bottle in the recipe and it’s the star of the show.

The cake is bursting at the seams with sweet almond flavor. Two tablespoons of extract are used in the cake batter, and one tablespoon in the glaze. I wanted to make sure I knew this was an almond cake, not a cake masquerading as one, and used the extract liberally.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

It’s traditional to top the cake with jam or slivered almonds, and I used apricot-peach jam mixed with cream cheese, draped over the top. I could happily smear that mixture on everything I see. The tang of the cream cheese cuts some of the sweetness from the jam.

 My husband especially loved this unique little cake. It reminds me of a giant chewy sugar or snickerdoodle cookie infused with almond, and baked in a cake pan.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

It has chewy edges like a blondie bar or snickerdoodle cookie bar, while the interior is soft, dense, rich, and moist.

While it was baking, my husband came out of his office and asked me what that heavenly smell was. Almond extract is like sweet perfume that permeates the air in the most lovely way.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

It’s sweet, light, and feels like spring. I think it would be perfect for a brunch, shower, or any time that you need a smaller-sized, fast, and very easy little cake.

And I really want to eat eat the glaze by the spoonful, especially the little chunks of apricot that peek through.

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze - Fancy name for a super easy cake that tastes like a giant snickerdoodle cookie!

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French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze

French almond cakes are known for their chewy edges with soft, dense, rich, and moist interiors. There's no chemical leaveners used in the cake, and it reminds me of a pan of cookie bars. It's sweet, fragrant, rich, soft, chewy and strongly almond-flavored. Extremely fast, easy, and perfect for a brunch, shower, or anytime you need a smaller-sized cake that's both easy and unique.

Yield: one 9-inch cake, 8 to 12 slices

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick + half of 1 stick)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons almond extract
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
about 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, optional for sprinkling (I did not use)

Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze
3/4 to 1 cup apricot-peach jam (or a pineapple, peach, apricot or favorite jam)
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon almond extract



  1. Cake - Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch cake round with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 75 seconds. Allow butter to cool momentarily so you don't scramble the egg.
  3. Add all remaining cake ingredients (except flour) and whisk until smooth. Stir in the flour until just combined; don't overmix. Turn batter out into prepared pan. Top with optional slivered almonds.
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden and set, and edges will be firmer and pulling away slightly from sides of pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
  5. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Turn cake out onto rack and allow it to cool completely. While cake cools, make the glaze.
  6. Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze - Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined, or beat with a mixer until combined. Spread glaze on top of cake (don't not have to be completely cooled), slice and serve. Cake will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I refrigerated it because of the cream cheese, glaze but if omitting or using another kind of glaze, cake can be stored at airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Related Recipes

Snickerdoodle Cookie Bars with Pink Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Chewy Sugar Sprinkles Cookies

White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Caramel Peanut Butter and Apricot Jelly Bars (GF with Vegan adaptation)

Apricot Butterscotch White Chocolate Cookies

Sugar-Doodle Vanilla Cookies

Coconut White Chocolate Chip Blondies

Baked Orange Banana Coconut Donuts with Orange Coconut Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze

Have you tried French almond cake or financiers before? Almond extract? Nuts in desserts?

I’ve never been to France or had the real thing, but I’d be happy to go on a taste-testing trip in the name of field research as soon as someone wants to buy my airline ticket.


  1. Almond extract is intoxicating. Sometimes I want to eat my soap bar,it’s so good. But I think this cake would be tastier. :)

  2. I’m not the biggest fan of almond extract but I think I need to give it another chance with this gorgeous cake. Oh and that glaze – SWOON!

    • And thank you for making my Salted Caramel Pretzel Blondies. You did them PROUD girl. Wow. So pretty!

      And I am not the biggest fan of almonds; they’re fine but peanuts/PB will always trump almonds/AB but almond extract; I want to drink it!

  3. This looks delicious! And my boyfriend loves financiers… perhaps this could be an alternative birthday cake idea for him!

    • Your boyf has good taste! I don’t think my husband would know what a financiers was if it hit him over the head :) But he loved this cake and I explained the whole saga behind it. I think it would make a fab bday cake (and seriously takes 5 mins to toss together!)

  4. I fell in love with almond extract years ago and find it intoxicatingly good! I even bring bottles of the real thing when I go to the US, since I only find imitation flavor here. A sensational cake, love almonds and apricots! And financiers can be made in mini muffin molds or similar.

  5. Apricot and almond with that dense interior looks delicious! I’ve never had a French almond cake but I’m a fan of almond extract. I think it’s one of those things people like or don’t. As for the price of real vs imitation–there’s no difference here either..but that’s certainly not the case with vanilla! I’ve had some almond cookies from a local bakery…they’re very soft and taste great but are on the thin/flimsy side.

    • Oh you’d love the texture here. Not at all flimsy. So dense and almost like a cookie bar; more so than a cake. I wish vanilla real vs. imitation prices were the same; don’t we all. Begs the question WHY would anyone buy imitation if they can buy real for the same price? Headshake.

  6. This is so interesting! Financiers are one of my very favorite treats! I love Dorie Greenspan’s recipe from Paris Sweets and make it all the time for breakfast when I have egg whites around (I like to stuff mine with chestnut cream). It is insanely delicious. And I also love almond extract. Your cake is so creative and sounds fantastic!

  7. I fell in love with financiers recently and I think I would adore them even more in cake form! That almond flavor is really the best.

  8. I have not baked financiers but there’s always something new to try! I also don’t bake with nuts much – granola bars, granola and some fall based quick breads are about it. My family doesn’t like nuts (poor souls) and so I graciously omit them. I have to agree, I don’t know if I would like crunchy nuts in cake but I do know I would love all that almond extract. Your description of a cookie type pie with soft middle and crunchy edges? Too much! And then the glaze with cream cheese and jam combined? The glaze is pure creative genius (really, I’m going to make it and just eat by the spoonful) and I’ll probably just make the cake so my house will smell good!

  9. This is beautiful! And I LOVE those plates!!

  10. I like that you used 3 TB of almond extract. Although some extracts can be overpowering (hello, peppermint!) I find myself often doubling the vanilla in recipes to really bring out the flavour. I don’t usually modify almond since I don’t use it as much but I sure think you’ve got the right idea here with 3 TB! That cake looks so pretty, guests would never know it’s go quick to bake!

    • I always double vanilla too :) And mint, NEVER!! Every time I make a recipe with mint extract, I write this big long disclaimer telling people DONT be tempted to double this like most of us do w/ vanilla; or you’ll be eating listerine brownies rather than mint brownies!

  11. Beautiful Averie!! I never would have though of this, but so need to try it!

  12. This sounds like a wonderful summer dessert! The apricot cream cheese glaze sounds amazing!

  13. Averie, I am completely blown away by this post. This recipe looks absolutely incredible. Simple yet rich and delicious. And your pictures are gorgeous. They always are, but I’m loving the plates and how they pair so well with the cake. And that apricot cream cheese glaze? Omgosh, I need a slice on a pretty plate pronto!!

    • Lucky find at the thrift store with the plates…I have so many and on a rainy day, sometimes I just grab the right one for the mood, and it all falls into place. Other days…nothing falls into place. lol

  14. Averie, this looks like the perfect Mother’s Day dessert! I also love how quick and easy it is to whip up!

  15. What’s not to love about this recipe? Almond extract is one of my favorite smells from the kitchen/pantry. And since you turned this into another fabulous one-bowl creation, I’m sold!

  16. Once again this looks super! I’m crazy for anything almond!

  17. I don’t bake with the flavor of almond extract nearly enough! I, like you, don’t care for nuts in my baked goods – but nut flavors, I’m all about! This cake is so pretty with that apricot glaze! :)

  18. I’m with you on the love for almond extract! It is so heavenly, but surprisingly controversial. I have met a lot of people who don’t like it. They are nuts.

    But I totally can’t get with you on no nuts in cookies. Oh man. That is the best part! I love contrasts in textures. I have actually converted many of nut cookie protesters with my signature cookie. Maybe someday we will meet and I will try it out on you :)

    This cake is absolutely gorgeous!

    • I am just not into marbles in my soft things! I do love love love texture; just not nuts. I wrote a cookbook about peanut butter! So I do love nuts, but not whole in anything soft. Just my thing :)

  19. We call this Swedish Almond Cake in our home, and it’s phenomenal!!! LOVE the addition of the apricot cream cheese glaze!

    • Oh I saw some versions for “Swedish” almond cake rather than “French” and wasn’t quite sure of the differences and didn’t study them too much but glad to know you make something similar and love it! We do too!

  20. I looooove this cake. I’m all about almonds in everything, especially extract! I bet this smelled amazing!

  21. I bet some almond emulsion would take this over the edge. You could use the base of this recipe for so many different flavors.

  22. This is a beauty, Averie! Makes me want to have a tea party. :) And I LOVE your plates!

  23. I don’t bake with almond extract enough! I love the fragrance – it’s like nothing else! This cake sounds amazing! Love the glaze idea! Pinning!!!

  24. So, so pretty! I love that glaze…gorgeous!

  25. I just bought a bottle of almond extract (I’m trying to develop a cake batter recipe) and I may just have to use it to make these!

  26. Averie, we should really get together and bake someday! I looove almond extract – it usually steps in for the vanilla in a lot of my recipes. Also, your plates are beautiful!! xo

  27. This cake looks SO incredibly good. The apricot cream cheese glaze sounds like the perfect icing on top!

  28. One of my favorite smells in the entire world is an almond extract-laden dessert baking in the oven. You’re right – it’s absolute heaven! And this cake looks fabulous.

  29. I’m not much a fan of apricots, yet I’m clawing at the screen for a taste of that luscious cream cheese glaze. A-MA-ZIIIING, Averie. I want a spoonful! (Or bowlful). These cake looks totally gorgeous and perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch. Except my mom is allergic to almonds, so maybe I’ll make it for her in spirit but really just eat the whole thing myself :)

  30. Oh wow~ these are stunning! I would love them with espresso too. Love that almond extract. Great recipe as always Averie! xx

  31. I’m not one for cake, but I’m all about the frosting. If these were made in cookie form, I’d eat them by the handful. In fact, I could see this as a sandwich cookie. I do LOVE apricots. With white chocolate??!

    Your writing in this post is fantastic, by the way. Almost lyrical!

  32. Averie this is gorgeous! I love it.

  33. This is gorgeous! Looks (and tastes, I’m sure) so fancy, but you make it so simple!

  34. Yummy, its 3:00 and I need a snack!

  35. This looks amazing, Averie!!! Love just everything about the flavors and textures of this cake!!!

  36. I love almond flavored cakes and this one is so lovely! It’s just the kind of dainty treat that I would love to serve to my mother on Mother’s Day!

  37. Averie, I am nutty about almond extract as well. It is so dreamy to use in baking. LOVE to blend it with vanilla and even add almond extract to my yeast dough for Christmas Stollen–even though there is almond paste rolled into the dough in generous dabs! Great solution, too, with the 9-inch cake pan! Pinning… xo

  38. Oh! I will have to make this ASAP! Maybe for our Mother’s Day afternoon tea party!! I’ve made Italian almond cake a few times but it is a bit denser than this one. Looks fabulous!

  39. YES, please and thank you, Averie…I’ll take the whole thing! This is incredible!

  40. Mmm almond extract to the max baby! This cake looks fabulous and love how quick it is! Apricot Cream Cheese glaze….drooool!

  41. that glaze looks to die for!!

  42. I love almond flavor in cake. It is absolutely delicious and honestly, I forgot all about it! This cake reminds me of something that I would envision royalty eating at tea time! And your plates look like something they would eat off of! They are gorgeous, as are your photos. This cake looks delicious and I hope to have an opportunity to bring it to a bridal shower or something of the sort, soon. This makes me want to dab a little almond extract behind my ears tomorrow for perfume! :-)

  43. I’ve been on the hunt for more ways to use my almond extract (I have a HUGE bottle). This cake… need to make it!

  44. A super dense cake packed with flavor – so chewy, soft, and moist. I can just *see* all of those components in the photos. Averie, this is such a wonderful recipe! You are never shy with adding extracts and I love that about your recipes. Almond extract is overlooked a lot, but I love using it in sugar cookies and the like. My mom used to make these incredible almond apricot macaroons filled with almond extract. They are so, so good and this recipe reminds me of them. That glaze looks incredible. And there is so much of it per bite. This puts me in the mood for spring and summer and sunshine!

    • Thanks, Sally, this was the cake I emailed you about thinking it was going to bomb, but I was going to post it anyway. Glad I did b/c it’s done better than I thought! Your moms almond-apricot macs sound amazing. She sounds like QUITE the cook!

  45. I love financiers, and this cake twist on those delicious bars is seriously genius! I never thought of doing that, instead. Beautiful!!

  46. this looks amazing!

  47. LOVE almond extract! Once I stayed at a B&B and they put almond extract in their orange juice, which sounds so weird and random, but it was amazing. These photos are stunning–I want a slice!

    • Sounds DELICIOUS!!! I bet that would make a great room spray or body spray scent, too!

      Thanks for the pic compliments. When I first took them, I almost didnt post this b/c I hated them. But they grew on me.

  48. I LOVE cakes leavened only with eggs. They are really something special. I also love almond extract but it’s so super powerful that I’ve never used more than 1teaspoon and the flavor still really permeates.

  49. Oh, this is a mouth-watering dessert! I love almond desserts, this is wonderful :)

  50. Averie,

    I’m going to make this recipe to celebrate my parents anniversary, but am confused over the almond extract. Maybe it’s “pregnancy brain” kicking in or something, but isn’t 1 oz = 2 T? But you only bought one 1oz bottle of almond extract and using 3T of it in the recipe was using about half the bottle? I just want to make sure I buy enough extract and don’t mess this up – it looks amazing!

    Thanks for clarifying =)

    • I used 3 tablespoons. 2 in the batter and 1 in the frosting. A one-ounce bottle will be fine; you are confusing liquid and dry weight measurements in your mind; they are not always the same, ie. 6 oz of milk and 6 oz of powdered sugar would look very different. Don’t overthink it :) Just add your 2 and 1 tbsp’s respectively, and you’ll be fine.

    • Thanks! The liquid-dry thing with oz does have a tendency to throw me off and I didn’t even think about that! :-)

    • Yes, you were thinking of butter, where 1 ounce is 2 tbsp. With something like extract (or liquids) all that math & rules go out the window :) I expect a full report now how this cake turns out for you! :)

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