A Heavenly Cake

I’m NOT a morning person! Never have been and never will be. Anyone who knows me (teachers, bosses, friends) can vouch for me. I think that the last time I got up early was when I was breastfeeding and, let’s be honest, I was not happy. If asked, I don’t even think I would be able to tell you exactly what is the color of the sky in the early morning. In the place where I live, this is such a big no no, but I can’t help it. That’s just who I am.

I no longer work in an office, but I still have a teeny problem: my daughter has to go to school. Every morning, after I manage in a way or another to send my daughter to school, my only neuron awake wanders across my mind begging only for two things: caffeine and something sweet. All the years I spent in the United States have not changed my breakfast habits: my palate loathes cereals and any kind of proteins and craves croissants, pastries, cookies or… a slice of cake.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is of a cake that was one of Stefano’s favorites in his childhood. Growing up in Genoa, he loved to eat this cake on any occasion he could lay his hands on one. When we happen to be there visiting his family, we always make sure we stop by a pastry store called “Bar Magenta” where they make a version of this cake that is really to die for. So, if you are planning a trip to Genoa, just drop us an email if you need the address and then pay them a visit: you won’t regret it!

By the way, I wish I could take credit for this recipe! Although (please forgive my modesty) I do take credit for a pretty good execution of it 😉 Well, anyway, the recipe comes from lovely Patrizia, the daughter-in-law of the wife of my father-in-law… does this sound too complicated to follow? Yeah, it probably is, but the thing is – we are a pretty complicated family which found its own way to get along… but this is another story 🙂

Too much digression. Back to the recipe.


1 ½ cup, powdered sugar
¾ of 1 cup, blanched almonds
4 eggs
12 and ½ Tbsp, butter, softened
½ cup, flour
⅓ cup, potato starch flour
1 pinch, salt
1 Tbsp, baking powder
½ Tsp, almond extract
Powdered sugar for dusting


Put the almonds in a food processor or a blender and blend them until you obtain a smooth powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the sugar and the almond powder and mix until they are perfectly blended. Add the eggs and mix until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add the butter and beat until the butter is completely blended with the egg mixture. Add the flour, the potato starch flour and the salt and mix for a few minutes. Finally, add the almond extract and the baking powder and mix until well blended. Stop and scrape the bowl.

Pour the mixture into a greased and floured 9-inch round baking pan. Do NOT preheat the oven. Bake at 350 F for 30/35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake completely cool and remove it for the pan. Put the cake on a big round serving plate and dust its top with the powdered sugar.

A few more words: I happen to have a sweet tooth only in the mornings. I usually finish my other meals with fruit (that’s what most people do in Italy). That does not mean that you cannot eat or serve this cake at dinner time. If you would like that Stefano suggest you a wine to go with it, just leave a comment below or drop him an email and he’ll be glad to!

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0 thoughts on “A Heavenly Cake

  1. Jane

    Looks yummy! I am a huge fan of almonds, this looks like a good breakfast food to me. I am enjoying your blog, so professional looking. I can’t wait to read your next recipe!

  2. whilehewasout

    This recipe sounds great, simple and the cake looks lovely! Very nice pictures also. Funny I usually don’t crave sweet for breakfast – prefer a nics sandwich with some cold cuts, cheese and veggies 🙂

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you for the compliments! Much appreciated. Actually, I have been told that proteins in the morning kick your metabolism like nothing else. Since I quit smoking and gave birth, I have been fighting with the scale a little bit. I should follow your example. May be I will one day 😉

    1. Francesca Post author

      Thank you for your kind words! Flowers have been one of my passions my whole life. I’m so into them that I attended flower arrangement courses both in New York and London. I’m going to learn so much following your blog! I’ll make sure to pay you a visit next time I’m in London 😉