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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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 averiecooks.com

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

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.

Did you make this recipe?

Ingredients:

Cake
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

 

Directions:

  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.
Only Eats

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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.

119 comments on “French Almond Cookie Cake with Apricot Cream Cheese Glaze”

  1. 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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 :)

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

  6. 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!

  7. Averie this is gorgeous! I love it.

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

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

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

  11. 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!

  12. 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

  13. 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!

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

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

  16. that glaze looks to die for!!

  17. 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! :-)

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

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

  21. this looks amazing!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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

  25. 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 =)
    Sophie

    • 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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