A Rainy Day Baking Adventure: The Brown Butter Almond-Apple Cake

Indulge in the Irresistible Delights of Brown Butter Almond-Apple Cake

Almond-Apple Cake with Brown Butter

Brown Butter Almond-Apple Cake

Oh, the skies wept on that fateful Friday in bustling New York City. The relentless rain painted a gloomy picture, flooding the streets and turning umbrellas into futile shields against nature’s wrath. But fear not, dear fashionistas and foodies, for amidst the downpour, a baking project was about to be born.

With a bunch of apples winking at me from the kitchen, I posed the eternal question on Instagram: “Rainy Day + Apples = Baking Project. What should it be?” The suggestions poured in like a symphony of cozy autumn flavors. Apple crisp and cinnamon-apple spelt muffins danced in my mind, but I yearned for a new adventure. That’s when it happened—the Rosemary Brown Butter Apple Cake reel made its grand entrance, captivating hearts and stomachs alike.

Now, hold on to your taste buds, because this recipe is about to take you on a joyride through flavor town. Imagine the glorious aroma of rosemary-infused brown butter entwined with the sweetness of apples, like a fragrant perfume caressing your senses. Marvelous, isn’t it?

But alas, there were a couple of minor obstacles on my path to baking bliss. No rosemary. No flour. And venturing outside was not an option in this watery world. Undeterred, I decided to embark on an unconventional baking journey, defying the rules that usually govern this enchanted realm.

Luck was on my side, for I did possess a generous supply of almond flour. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicion: almond flour could replace regular flour in equal measure. The stage was set. With an almond-flour cape flowing behind me, I fearlessly delved into the realm of substitutions and improvisation.

I summoned my mythical brown butter, sans rosemary. Then, instead of rum or Calvados, I called upon almond extract to join this culinary soiree. And to truly embrace the magnificence of apples, I artlessly sliced them into the batter, weaving their essence throughout. I also tamed the sugar, allowing the natural sweetness of the apples to shine.

And what transpired was nothing short of a marvelous revelation. The Brown Butter Apple-Almond Cake emerged from the oven—a creation so astonishingly easy and delicious that it defied the boundaries of baking as we know it. Only one aspect required any semblance of thought: browning the butter to perfection. Ah, that toasty flavor it bestowed upon the cake—like a warm embrace on a drizzly day.

Now, my lovely fashionistas, let me share with you the secrets behind this gluten-free masterpiece. Lo and behold:

Brown Butter Apple-Almond Cake (Gluten-Free) Adapted from Jess Elliott Dennison’s Rosemary Brown Butter Apple Cake

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
2 1/4 cups almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs
3 large apples or 4 medium apples, peeled and artlessly sliced
Powdered sugar for finishing
Whipped cream or crème fraîche (optional)

Let the culinary dance begin, my dear fashion aficionados:


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan with butter.
  2. Make the brown butter: Melt 12 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep a close eye on this decadent elixir! Witness as it transforms from a solid to a liquid, then froths vigorously before settling into a velvety brown seduction. Swirl occasionally as you embark on this mesmerizing journey. The process should take about 4 minutes, but trust your senses—they will guide you. As soon as the nutty aroma fills the air and the bottom of the pan reveals hints of brown speckles, remove it from the heat. We shall avoid the tragic fate of burned butter. Allow it to cool, for we shall call upon it in due time.
  3. Construct the batter: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar, almond extract, and eggs. With the grace of a fashion designer draping fabric, fold in the cooled brown butter until the mixture blends harmoniously. It may be wet, but fear not; this is part of the delicious plan. Now, summon the artlessly sliced apples and incorporate them into the batter. Feel free to reserve a few captivating slices for a beautiful topper—it’s purely optional, my dear fashionistas. Embrace the apple-y abundance, for there’s no such thing as “too many apples in this apple cake!”
  4. Let the magic unfold: Spread the batter into the greased baking pan, and if you’ve reserved some sumptuous apple slices, arrange them on top with sartorial precision. If your heart desires, feel free to add a few extra apple pieces into the batter—after all, we love an indulgent surprise. Breathe life into this creation as you adorn it with your personal touch.
  5. Bake in true fashionista style: Allow it to transform within the confines of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. As it bakes, observe the golden and toasty top, like a couture creation strutting its stuff on the runway. To confirm its readiness, insert a knife into the center—it should emerge clean and dry, a testament to your baking prowess.
  6. Savor the divine creation: Let the cake cool ever so slightly before serving. Dust it with powdered sugar, elevating its visual appeal. If you desire an extra touch of luxury, garnish it with whipped cream or crème fraîche. Indulge in this masterpiece, for it can even perform as a glorious breakfast—truly, an A+ confection.
  7. As a parting gift, my darlings: Allow me to introduce you to some other splendid culinary escapades. Dorie Greenspan’s everything cake, a tantalizing delight for your taste buds, and a same-day peasant bread recipe to complete your repertoire of baking wizardry.
Brown Butter Almond-Apple Cake

Finally, my glamorous readers, let me leave you with a final thought. Life may throw rainy days our way, but within those storms lies the potential for baking adventures that can light up our souls. Embrace them, experiment fearlessly, and may the flavors of fashion and cuisine intertwine in the most delightful manner.

(Pictures by Jenny Rosenstrach)