Almond Puff Coffee Cake

May 4th, 2009

While cleaning out the back of an old closet for renovations, I found a small recipe box that I put together years ago. It was done shortly after we bought our 600 square foot Lake Lure cottage in 1984. We fell in love with this lake from the first time we saw it and when a realtor showed us a modest cottage with a huge screened in porch, we knew it would be ours. Our son Michael was seven years old at the time. He did not know how to swim, but an old speed boat came with the cottage and after watching all of the water skiers on the lake, Michael said he wanted to learn to ski. We had grown up on lakes in Michigan and had always skied. But a prerequisite to skiing is knowing how to swim. So he learned to swim and that was the beginning of wonderful summers of swimming, boating and water skiing with all of our friends and their children. Our small cottage was full most summer weekends. Because we had only two small bedrooms, each morning the living room floor and the screened in porch were full of sleeping bags containing exhausted kids. The trip to the coffee pot in the kitchen was a delicate dance, bobbing and weaving between the outstretched arms and far flung legs of deeply sleeping children. The trip to the top of the boathouse with freshly brewed coffee was much easier and the view was enough to quell any doubts about our decision to invest our modest savings in this most beautiful of places.

Feeding the crowd was sometimes a challenge, but one that I enjoyed. That’s why finding my old recipe box was such a treat. There were recipes in it for things I haven’t made in years; Frogmore Stew, Quick Breakfast Rolls, Paella Salad, Quick Coconut-Pecan Upside-Down Cake and this recipe for Almond Puff Coffee Cake. I remember liking this recipe very much, but it was more suited to the adults than the children because of the distinct almond flavor. While they were munching cereal we would dig into this lucsious coffee cake and plan another sunny day on the lake.

Now another generation of children are enjoying the cottage and the lake. We have a lot more room now. But you know what? I miss the close quarters and stepping over sleeping kids. Shhh. Don’t tell my husband I said that or he will think all of our hard work was not necessary.

The coffee cake is really very simple. It is just a pastry crust base with a pate a choux topping that is baked and then drizzled with a confectioners sugar glaze.


For the pastry base:
1/4 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbls water

Mix flour and salt and pulse in food processor to combine. Add butter cubes and pulse until butter is size of small peas. Add water and pulse until dough comes together. Form into ball and place on ungreased baking sheet. Pat into a 12″x 3″ strip.

For Pate a Choux:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 eggs, beaten

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add water and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and quickly stir in almond extract and flour. Return to low heat and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat again and add eggs. Stir until mixture is smooth. Spread over pastry strip. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees until top is crisp and brown. Cool.

For Glaze:
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tbls soft butter
3/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 tsp warm water
2 oz. sliced almonds, toasted

Mix ingredients except almonds until smooth and spread over top of cake when cool. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Serves 6.

Printable recipe

14 responses to “Almond Puff Coffee Cake”

  1. girlichef says:

    Almond pastries are my favorite pastries! This looks so tempting 🙂

  2. Mary says:

    Gosh, this would be so nice to do. I love recipes that don’t require a shopping trip and can be made from what’s on hand.

  3. Katy ~ says:

    Oh, my! I was hanging on your every word!

    What sweet memories of the kids sleeping in all directions in your home. I’m sure you gave them many delightful memories as well. No better legacy, sweetened with a DELICIOUS almond pastry. Looks too good to forget!

  4. Penny says:

    Thanks girlichef. you really have to like almonds to like these.

    Mary, Back when we first came to Lake Lure there were no grocery stores! Preplanning was important.

    Katy, Memories are what it is all about.

  5. I love the almond taste. It looks gorgeous…I could site there and eat the whole thing.

  6. What wonderful memories you have with the children in your lake house. I could just picture the floor filled with slepping kids! That almond pastry looks wonderful!
    ps I am glad that your husband found the sourdough baguettes at FM…. Email me whenever you both think you would like to meet for lunch or something and we will come up with a date.

  7. Penny, this is an old favorite of mine, recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookbook ca 1967. I’ve always thought it was soooo sinful, pate choux ON TOP of butter crust. MMMmmm. Thanks for reminding me.

  8. h2babe says:

    Emmm… I am droolinG!!!

  9. Susan says:

    This recipe is so similar to a Wisconsin coffee cake named NOrwegian Kringle. So good.

  10. Penny says:

    Katherine, Wish I could share. But that goes both ways. Love your food.
    Penny, Looking forward to meeting up with you in Hendersonville. Will be in touch.
    Sharon, I never knew where this recipe came from. ( forgive the hanging preposition ) Dang Mr. Scott. It was just a recipe copied to a 3 x 5 card. Thanks for a source.
    h2babe, Thanks for visiting. Love your blog
    Susan, It is nice to know that this recipe has many variations. Will be following your blog.

  11. Love it and all the memories that came with this recipe.

  12. Donna-FFW says:

    This looks absolutely delicious!! I love this blog, Ive spent some time lurking about..

  13. Penny says:

    Foodie, Food and memories are intertwined I think.
    Donna, Thank you – stop by anytime. Good luck with the house. I visit you too.

  14. LaQ says:

    Thanks for sharing! I used to make this to take to brunch events and loved it. Also loved making it. But had lost the recipe. Thanks. Someone in comments even told me what cookbook it’s in! Also loved story of kids sleeping on floor. These days, kids seem to think they all have to have a bed & it has to be just for them. As a kid, we slept in sleeping bags so much & had fun doing it!

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