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Sep 20, 2022

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake

Take advantage of the fresh, plump grapes available in the fall and treat yourself to a delicious rustic grape and almond cake.

Grape and Almond Paste Cake on a stand with a piece on a black plate in front.

This grape and almond paste cake will convince you that you really should bake with grapes more often. I love how baking them makes them even sweeter. 

In fact, if you are intrigued, I also have a recipe for a grape snack cake that is like a grape upside down cake. I also recommend adding them to your favorite muffin or quick bread recipe. After all, we bake with raisins, right? 

Bowl of Midnight Beauty grapes.

Ingredient Notes:

For the grapes in this cake I used Midnight Beauty grapes, which is a seedless black grape hybrid originally developed in California. However, you can use any grapes you prefer. I like the black grapes in this cake for the color, plus these were super sweet. 

This recipe also calls for almond paste. It's blended into the batter and also stirred in as chunks, along with the grapes. While you can probably make your own, good almond paste is available in the baking section of your grocery store. Just don't confuse it with marzipan. 

The flavor of the cake is very "almond-y." In fact, the recipe also calls for almond extract, but after trying it in the batter, I will probably skip it in the future and just up the vanilla. 

You will also need the usual pantry and fridge ingredients of cake flour (for tenderness), salt, baking powder, eggs, granulated sugar, and pure vanilla extract. 

For the oil, the recipe gives you a choice between all extra olive oil or mild olive oil. I used extra virgin and was happy with my choice. 

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake ingredients in boxes and bags.

For the topping, work together some sliced almonds, sugar, orange zest, and a few drops of orange blossom water with your fingers. If you can't find the orange blossom water, a few drops of water would likely work just fine. 

Tips for Making this Cake:

It's best to make this cake in a food processor to fully incorporate the almond paste into the batter. Also, be sure to use fresh almond paste so you won't get a clumpy cake batter. 

For the grapes, you will incorporate half of the grapes into the batter, and then top the batter with the rest of the grapes. 

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake in pan before baking with grapes on top.

I was hoping some of the grapes would surface into the topping while the cake was baking, but that didn't happen, so you might want to save some of the grapes to place on top of the topping before baking if you want them to show a bit on top. 

The topping is really easy to make. Just dump the ingredients in a bowl and squeeze them randomly with your fingers to kind of break up the almonds and mix everything together. 

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake batter in pan with topping before baking.

Helpful Equipment and Tools:

First, you will need a food processor. My favorite the old-fashioned Cuisinart 14-cup model. I've had mine for at least 15 years. It's a workhorse. 

You will also need a 10-inch tube pan. I thought I might have to rig up my angel food cake pan or a cake pan with a bowl in the middle, but then I went through my collection of pans and actually found a 10-inch tube pan! Mine was dark, so it took less time to bake than the original original recipe states, about an hour. 

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake on a white cake stand.

Welcome to this month's Cake Slice Bakers!

Cake Slice Bakers logo.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

Zoe bakes cakes book cover.

Our choices for September 2022 were ~

Ultimate Carrot Cake

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake
  • Karen's Kitchen Stories

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake on black plates.

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake

Rustic Grape and Almond Paste Cake
Yield: 14 slices
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 1 H & 15 MTotal time: 1 H & 45 M
Take advantage of the fresh, plump grapes available in the fall and treat yourself to a delicious rustic grape and almond cake.


For the Cake
  • 120 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 315 grams/11 ounces almond paste, divided into 7 ounces and 4 ounces. Cut the 4 ounces into 1/4 inch cubes.
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, see post)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 240 grams (1 1/2 cups) grapes, halved
For the Topping
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) sliced almonds
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 4 drops orange blossom water


To Prepare the Topping
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and pinch the ingredients together with your fingers to break up the almonds and blend everything together.
  2. Set aside until ready to use.
To Make the Cake
  1. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube cake pan and heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the 7 ounces of almond paste, the sugar, olive oil, extracts, and orange zest. Process until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing each until smooth.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and briefly process until combined. Repeat with the next 2/3 of the flour.
  6. Scrape the batter into the same bowl that you used for the flour mixture and fold in the almond paste cubes and half of the grapes.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and top with the rest of the grapes.
  8. Spread the topping over the the top of the batter and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Facts



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grapes, cake, almond paste
dessert, cake
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Ooh, this is the one I wanted to try, but didn't get to participate this month. Looks so good.

  2. Yum! I've never baked with grapes before, but you've persuaded me to give it a go.


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