San Jose Burnt Almond Cake Recipe

How to make San Jose Burnt Almond Cake

San Jose Burnt Almond Cake was born in San Jose, California, in the 1950s. Originally known as “The Cinderella Cake,” this treat became a local favorite when the owner of the now-closed Dick’s Bakery invented the recipe. The cake’s name changed to “San Jose Burnt Almond Cake” when it was introduced by Dick’s son, Larry, to the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, it is a popular dessert across California and beyond.

The San Jose Burnt Almond Cake has a delicate and spongy crumb that is complimented by a rich and nutty almond flavor. However, the real star of the show is the caramelized almond crunch that tops the cake. This crunchy, sweet topping is made by roasting almonds in sugar until they become a beautiful golden-brown color.



For the cake:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract

For the burnt almond buttercream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped roasted almonds

For the almond topping:

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the milk and almond extract.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the burnt almond buttercream. In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, milk, and almond extract, beating until smooth. Stir in the chopped almonds.
  8. To prepare the almond topping, in a non-stick pan, toast the sliced almonds over medium heat until lightly golden. Add the sugar and stir until melted and evenly coated. Spread the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool and harden.
  9. To assemble the cake, spread a layer of burnt almond buttercream over one of the cake layers, then place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
  10. Break the almond topping into small pieces and scatter them over the top of the cake. Serve and enjoy!

San Jose Burnt Almond Cake Recipe


In closing:

Despite its popularity, creating the perfect San Jose Burnt Almond Cake is not easy. Bakers must balance the delicate proportions of the cake with the crunchy filling while avoiding too sweet or bitter flavors. In fact, achieving the perfect balance of flavor and texture is a challenge that many bakers face.

However, with the right ingredients and techniques, this problem can be solved. The key is to use high-quality ingredients, such as fresh almonds and almond extract, and to pay close attention to the baking process. By using gentle hands and paying close attention to the baking process, bakers can create a perfectly balanced San Jose Burnt Almond Cake that is sure to impress.

When it comes to enjoying this delicious dessert, there are several ways to indulge. Some prefer to savor the cake piece by piece, enjoying each bite and experiencing the delicious almond flavor. Others prefer to crumble the cake and use it as a topping for ice cream or yogurt. Whatever your preference, there’s no denying that the San Jose Burnt Almond Cake is a treat worth enjoying.

In conclusion, the San Jose Burnt Almond Cake is a dessert that is both unique and delicious. Its delicate and rich almond flavor and crunchy almond filling make it a dessert that stands out from the rest.


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