Baking| Ulyana’s Almond Cake … perfect for tea or dessert

“Food imaginatively and lovingly prepared, and eaten in good company, warms the being.”
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Almond Tea / Dessert Cake {fatless}{Warning: This is a LONG post. The recipe can be found at the bottom…}

Third time lucky? Yes indeed! We landed up in Sydney yet again, taking in the early morning fresh air and happy to be Down Under. It’s a vacation we look forward to and enjoy it in the truest sense of the word. A vacation here means friends, fun, food … SydneyThis time our friend Ulyana was waiting with the B52 – her newest indulgence and obsession {in her words, Google it mate!!}! She’s a lively one, a Ukrainian to boot, talented beyond belief, jovial, full of life … and races through each week waiting for Friday!  We’ve known her for over 20 years and she exudes enthusiasm in every breath!B52 She loves baking and this time charmed us with an almond cake with no butter/fat added. How does one describe the lightest and sweetest cake ever, a cake disappeared really quick? There was something about it … the texture, the sweetness, the natural flavours of almond meal, gentle yet so addictive that is was difficult to stay away.Almond Cake Catch the recipe at the end of this post! And if you are wondering what the sketch in the collage below is about, it’s the church in Ukraine that Ulyana was christened in. It’s an oil she had on her wall that the daughter decided to replicate in charcoal while we were there, done in the midst of all the baking and merriment.Meher Charcoal She did a beautiful job of it, and her charcoal was eventually framed and stayed in Sydney, as a gift for our gracious host!Meher Charcoal Back to the cake … we left it sitting on the counter and drove downtown. No visit to Sydney is complete without a visit downtown, so we got to the city asap. The spectacular views of the Opera House knock you off your feet.Opera House, Sydney We were still pretty jet lagged but one step on the Rocks and it was magic! A flood of memories came tumbling in … we’d been here before! Just dug out the kids pictures when we were there in 2004 … {in 2009 as well} Hungry the minute we reached, we headed for Circular Quay – food first. Must have been the best batter fried fish and chips we’ve had in ages. I think the fish was barramundi, a local fish – FAB! Sydney KidsThe lad was quite adventurous and went for a baby octopus salad as a side. Hats off to him for even trying it, though he looked definitely queasy after downing half of it! The kids had a blast with the gulls and then we were tempted to stop by the very inviting Sydney Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café … DROOL! What’s not to love about SO MUCH CHOCOLATE! Too full to eat any more, we had flat whites and lattes, while the kids dipped strawberries into decadent dark chocolate fondue. As the sun set, we soaked in the the different hues the iconic Opera House offered, walked around immersed in the beautiful views of the Harbour Bridge, the aborigines playing the didgeridoos, native music, the trapeze artists, watching in amazement at the Vivid Sydney Festival of lights … beautiful city this!Sydney{We were back soon to take a boat ride down to Manly for the Food & Wine Festival there. That’s another post, but I was sorry to have missed Shaz as I later realized she lives 4 beaches down from Manly. LOVED talking to her on the phone though … it was like we’d known each other for AGES. Yay for food bloggers and the connect!}Opera House, Sydney CBDStopped for a delicious Thai dinner on the way home, and came back to the cake, ready and waiting. As we sat there polishing of the last crumbs of this fantastic cake, I’m glad I grabbed the camera just in time to get a few pictures of a cake that was gone in a matter of hours …  We’re back home now, the pictures bringing alive memories of indulgent days spent eating and drinking …  vintage cheese, bruschetta,  grilled portabello mushrooms, Uzbekistani pulao, Thai Laska {which was a killer}, chilli con carne, meatballs with gravy, Teriyaki chicken, home made sushi …  Tell tale signs of an indulgent holiday announced themselves and it’s time for a diet! The daughter kicked into her dieting diva mode immediately, so I have made Ulyanas almond cake twice already. {Minor changes – ground whole almonds with some sugar instead of almond meal and a sprinkling of slivered almonds on top.}

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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Comments

  1. hi deeba, i havent visited your blog in ages- lovely post about Sydney and the cake- your children are beautiful! how do they feel about being photographed for their mum’s blog? ;) wishing you a great summer. x shayma
    shayma´s last blog post ..Happy Summer Hols to everyone- The Spice Spoon will be back in August…My Profile

  2. That cake looks so good! Almondy treats are always so enjoyable.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Love the beautiful pics , ur dautr seems to be a wonderful artist – her charcoal is truly commendable …
    smita srivastava´s last blog post ..The pig & chick…My Profile

  4. Wow that charcoal drawing is great!! And so is this cake. Thanks for sharing, Deeba =)
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets´s last blog post ..6 Bittersweets Turns 2! (Raspberry Tres Leches Cake and Mango Mascarpone Macarons)My Profile

  5. zurin says:

    Your daughter is as talented as you are! What a beautiful sketch! So glad you enjoyed yourselves. A lovely post Deeba and I enjoyed the pictures :))

  6. I can just about imagine how moist this cake would be! Adding part almond meal itself can make a cake so moist and delish, this must be yummax!!
    And we of course got to make our own almond meal , sigh!!!
    Suma´s last blog post ..Orange Biscotti – And A Mail To GodMy Profile

  7. Sounds like a fantastic trip and your pictures speak for it. I have been looking for simple yet healthy recipes for a cake. Now I can’t wait to bake this.
    Radhika @ foodfor7stages´s last blog post ..Cucumber Raitha | Cucumber Yogurt DipMy Profile

  8. Looks like a moist, delicious cake. Your daughter is so talented. What a sweet gift. Love seeing this pictures. It reminds me of our trip down under. So glad you had a great time.
    Barbara Bakes´s last blog post ..Halibut Fish & Chips with Market Street Tartar SauceMy Profile

  9. A cake without butter or oil? I am very intrigued. It certainly looks lovely :D
    *kisses* HH
    Heavenly Housewife´s last blog post ..HH Goes to School with Yotam OttolenghiMy Profile

  10. YOUR DIET DIVA IS SUPERBLY TALENTED AND GIFTED. thats simply gorgeous. for the first time I kept on looking at her charcoal sketch than your luscious cake.
    sayantani´s last blog post ..Buddha Scapes and More AwardsMy Profile

  11. What a lovely cake, especially for being butterless. I’m in!
    Nisrine Merzouki´s last blog post ..Savouring ItalyMy Profile

  12. What a perfectly done charcoal painting… Kudos to ur daughter… And the cake looks light fluffy and so very yummy… Kudos to the host…
    Vimitha´s last blog post ..Soya Chunks Vada | Mom’s Bookmarked RecipeMy Profile

  13. yummy and inviting cake pic are very nice

  14. hii deeba nie cake u got there…if i am not wrong it wasnt long ago dat u n ur fam went to down under..i wonder how u an afford to go overseas from a plae like INDIA..plzz tell us who is financing u..lolz…plz share some secrets here…

  15. My wife tried it out and it was TOO GOOD.Thanks for recipe and nice pics.

  16. Your daugther is more bigger than you know!! LOL Mine too, all look amazinhg and delicious and Im happy because you have a nice holyday, María esperanza love drawing too! your daugther is absolutely nice Deena, I love the pictures!! gloria
    gloria´s last blog post ..Coffee latte CreamMy Profile

  17. looks like lots of fun in Australia Deeba the pictures are beautiful
    the almond cake looks delicious and the art work is fabulous
    regards
    Akheela

  18. Glad you enjoyed your Sydney trip I live there also. I love going to the city or Manly so if your here again and have time for a coffee I would love to meet up.

  19. Jess'sMom says:

    The recipe says to add the flour and then the baking powder but it doesn’t say how much flour. The cake looks delicious and I’d love to try the recipe if I can get the measurements. Thanks.

  20. lovely pics n gr8 talent there!
    Deeba… I do wonder if you meant flour or almond meal? and you mentioned 2 tsp baking power but in the post you mentioned 1/2tsp. and how hot should the oven be? 350F ?
    Anu´s last blog post ..Kulfi & Ice-cream with cherry preserve topping!My Profile

  21. saras says:

    Hello Deeba:

    Love your blog and look forward to reading it while havin’ my morning cuppa tea. Just noticed that the recipe is missing the amount of flour as well as the baking temperature. Could you please fill those in. Lovely pics, talented daughter, am inspired to have my 8 yr old who loves to draw get into charcoal painting. Have no blog to boast of yet but one day shall get there. Keep it up, girl!

  22. This looks good, and easy to make too! Thanks for sharing
    Indu´s last blog post ..Loaded Beef Sandwich When You Are On A Hunger Strike!My Profile

  23. The cake and bottle picture looks like an old master painting – love the light. Also the seagulls pic. Almond cake is good with me anytime.
    Sally Prosser´s last blog post ..Perfect panna cotta – Come Dine With Me Dubai (part 5)My Profile

  24. Janaki says:

    Hi Deeba, this cake sounds yumm as does your holiday in Australia. Had a small question about the recipe. You mention flour in the steps but not in the ingredients.. how much flour is used in it?

  25. This sounds ABSOLUTELY perfect, i have been wanted to make a cake where almond is the dominant flavour (as it is one of my mums favourites) for a long time, and i really love the fact this includes brandy :) makes it sound even more decadent and down right scrummy. Will without doubt be trying this out at some point and will let you know how it turns out, thank you :)
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker´s last blog post ..Ladysmith CakeMy Profile

  26. Welcome to Australia! I’ve never been to India but I love Ukraine!!

    I will try this cake to say we’re glad you’re visiting. If you make it up north to the Sunshine Coast, let me know!
    Maureen´s last blog post ..Meringue Stack with Cream and CoconutMy Profile

    • archana says:

      Hi Deeba,
      Nice pics and what a vacation!
      I am a regular follower of your blog, havent started to baker yet, but will get there very soon.
      I need your help . in two week i shall be travelling to sydney
      Can you please waht to and where to purchase baking supplies(ingredients, pans etc.)?
      I really dont have any idea. please help me with this.

  27. Loved the pictures! :)

  28. Deeba , your home is a MELTING POINT OF TALENT AND CREATIVITY. Good luck to meher and you.

  29. I couldn’t take my eyes off that Charcoal sketch .. seriously she is super talented. Sydney is truly a beautiful place to take a vacation. I enjoy almond cake a lot and these days I add oil in cake and avoid all the butter :)

  30. Was looking forward to this ‘Sydney special’ post..Loved it and the cake looks superb..Going to make it this weekend!Thanks
    Madhuli´s last blog post ..The exciting news that I promised…..My Profile

  31. Yay! The cake sounds absolutely divine, must make asap. Wow, your daughter is incredibly talented (like Mum, eh?), that is a great drawing. Would absolutely love to catch up when you next head over, we’ll natter away for ages :)
    shaz´s last blog post ..Blood, sweat and macarons.My Profile

  32. Archana says:

    Hi Deeba,
    Nice pics and what a vacation!!!
    I am a regular follower of your blog, havent started to baker yet, but will get there very soon.
    I need your help . in two week i shall be travelling to sydney
    Can you please waht to and where to purchase baking supplies(ingredients, pans etc.)?
    I really dont have any idea. please help me with this.

  33. Oh what an awesome trip! I am in love with that charcoal sketch – and that CAKE! :)

  34. There needs to be more gluten free recipes. Thanks for your efforts.

  35. O how can you not love an almond cake with no butter in it.. :) Love all your photos. Looks like you had a fabulous time in Sydney!
    Simone´s last blog post ..Coconut icecream with roasted coconutMy Profile

  36. krithika says:

    excellent charcoal sketch !! one of the best i have seen :)

    Deeba, I dont see any oven temp mentioned, can be baked at any temp ? I am thinking of the usual 350F. thanks

  37. Amazing photography !

  38. shefali says:

    love your blog deeba. the recipes and the pictures are fabulous . just had a question. what size pan should i use to bake the ulyana’s almond cake. would you please mention this in your future recipes. thank you.

  39. Alina says:

    Hi Deeba, the cake looks great…I was just wondering if it’d taste the same without brandy and almond extract…i cannot use alcohol in my food and dont have almond extract in hand :-(

  40. Sadia Durrani says:

    can i omit the brandy?

  41. You have said to beat the eggs with the sugar in a stand mixer. I dont have a stand mixer but an electric hand beater. Will this give me the desired effect? thanks.

Trackbacks

  1. Chocolate Almond Gift says:

    [...] Ulyana's Almond Cake – Passionate About Baking She did a beautiful job of it, and her charcoal was eventually framed and stayed in Sydney, as a gift for our gracious host! Meher Charcoal Back to the cake … we left it sitting on the counter and drove downtown. The kids had a blast with the gulls and then we were tempted to stop by the very inviting Sydney Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café … DROOL! What's not to love about SO MUCH CHOCOLATE Too full to eat any more, we had flat whites and lattes, [...]

  2. House Almonds Gift says:

    [...] Ulyana's Almond Cake – Passionate About Baking She did a beautiful job of it, and her charcoal was eventually framed and stayed in Sydney, as a gift for our gracious host! Meher Charcoal Back to the cake … we left it sitting on the counter and drove downtown. Opera House Sydney CBD Stopped for a delicious Thai dinner on the way home and came back to the cake, ready and waiting. As we sat there polishing of the last crumbs of this fantastic cake, I'm glad I grabbed the camera just in time to get a [...]

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