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Almond Semolina Cake

This beautifully textured cake is soft, crumbly, and crunchy all at once. Semolina flour gives the light and tender interior a bit of heartiness, and almond paste in the batter keeps the cake moist.

  • servings: 10
Photography: Beatriz Da Costa




  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup finely ground semolina flour
  • 4 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large egg white
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds, with skins
  • 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup whole milk

Cook's Note

Use a long serrated knife in a gentle sawing motion to cut through the topping and slice the cake.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Sift all-purpose flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt together into a medium bowl; stir in semolina flour. Set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Whisk 1 of the egg whites vigorously in a small bowl until foamy. Transfer 2 teaspoons of egg white to a medium bowl; discard remainder. Stir almonds, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt into egg white. Set almond mixture aside.

  4. Step 4

    Put butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and the almond paste in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla; mix until well blended, about 2 minutes.

  5. Step 5

    Reduce speed to low. Mix in reserved flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of the milk. Continue mixing until no traces of flour or milk remain, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cake batter to a large bowl.

  6. Step 6

    Fit the electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Put remaining 4 egg whites in a clean mixing bowl; beat on medium high speed until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar; beat until soft peaks form.

  7. Step 7

    Using a rubber spatula, fold half of egg-white mixture into batter. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.

  8. Step 8

    Transfer the batter to buttered pan. Smooth top with spatula. Bake until cake begins to turn golden but center is still wobbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

  9. Step 9

    Remove cake from oven; scatter reserved almond mixture evenly over top.

  10. Step 10

    Return cake to oven; bake until topping is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. (Check cake 10 to 15 minutes beforehand; if almond topping is darkening too quickly, cover loosely with foil, and continue to bake.)

  11. Step 11

    Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around edges of cake to loosen; remove sides of pan. Using two spatulas, transfer cake to a serving platter or a cake stand. Cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2005



Reviews (2)

  • 12 Dec, 2009

    The ingredients list does omit the 1 1/4 cups of grandulated sugar. The directions are accurate. Nice cake with full flavor.

  • 14 Jun, 2009

    The ingredient list does not call for granulated sugar; however, in step #6, it calls for remaining granulate sugar !?!