Almond Raspberry Shortbread Cake

There are few things that make me happier than almond-flavored desserts. It's basically my kryptonite. (As evidenced by years and years of almond recipes on this site.)

Add tart raspberries to the mix and I'm yours. Tie me up with a ribbon.

What I love about this Almond Raspberry Shortbread Cake is that it's not really a cake at all. It's kind of a tart. Actually, it's more like a giant stuffed cookie.

A giant almond shortbread cookie stuffed with tart raspberry jam and topped off with crunchy sugar crystals and slivers of almond.

It's the stuff that (my) dreams are made of!!!

This is a wonderful dessert to make for the holidays because it is:
  1. Gorgeous--sparkly from the sugar, plus the lovely deep red from the raspberries. It's basically a party dress!
  2. Easy--no fussy crusts to deal with (you just press this right into the pan) and the filling comes from a jar (choose a good one!), and...
  3. The kind of dessert that can be made a few days in advance and will still taste and look just as wonderful!
You can also have a lot of fun with it--substitute an orange marmalade and add some zest to the crust for a citrus version!

Or Nutella and crushed hazelnuts on top for a chocolatey twist!

Or you could go tropical with a guava paste filling! (Note to self: must try that ASAP!)

Once you get the crust down, it's really up to you what you want to do with the inside.

Oooh...this would also be lovely as tiny individual tarts!

OK now...off you go! Play! Get creative! That's what cooking is all about.



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Almond Raspberry Shortbread Cake
Inspired by Dorie Greenspan's Cranberry Shortbread Cake from the book Baking from My Home to Yours

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk + large egg white, divided
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
2 cups seedless raspberry jam
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside.
In the base of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy--about 5 minutes. Add one large egg plus one large egg yolk (save the white) and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat in well. Slowly add in the flour mixture, and let mix in until combined and all the ingredients come together.

Turn the dough out onto a board and knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile press the other half of it into your prepared springform pan, pressing so that it comes up the sides about one inch and covers everything evenly.

Whisk the jam and the lemon juice together, and then pour the jam into the indentation made by the dough and spread evenly. Pull the other half of the dough out of the fridge and place between parchment paper. Use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a circle and gently lay it over the jam so that it reaches the edges of the pan and covers the jam completely. Press the edges down to seal them. Brush the top of the crust with the reserved egg white and sprinkle with almonds and turbinado sugar.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes then gently remove the sides and let cool completely. 

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