sunken grape cake

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Sunken Grape Cake

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Total Time 2 hours


This cake was a favorite breakfast offering at the late Zefiro restaurant in Portland, often consumed with a latte in a bowl. It also makes a great afternoon snack and dessert.


½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
cups sugar
3 eggs
~ Zest of one lemon
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup finely ground toasted almonds
2 tsp. baking powder
1½ to 2 cups seedless grapes (enough to cover the surface of the cake)
~ Powdered sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly between additions. Add the zest and almond extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder, then stir into the egg mixture until just blended.
  4. Smooth the batter into the springform pan and distribute the grapes evenly over the batter, pressing them in lightly.
  5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean or with tiny crumbs. Let cool, then remove the pan sides. Place the cake on a plate and dust lightly with powdered sugar.


Culinate editor’s note: Short on time? Turn this cake into cupcakes by using two buttered and floured muffin tins instead of the springform pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are 5 comments on this item
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Average Rating 5
80% recommend this recipe
1. by Annika on Jan 17, 2007 at 2:47 PM PST
Rating: five

Amazing! This is defiantly a five-chicken recipe.

2. by anonymous on Mar 20, 2007 at 9:00 AM PDT
Rating: five


3. by Fearless Kitchen on Sep 19, 2008 at 7:00 AM PDT
Rating: five

This looks absolutely wonderful. I love anything with almonds, and the grapes add a nice Fall touch.

4. by Cherylb on Jul 21, 2010 at 3:39 PM PDT

This is a GREAT recipe, especially to use up those grapes.
It was very dense, and sweet, but fabulous.
I also made 1 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup brown sugar and I served with 2 tablespoons on he side with each slice. A HUGE hit with all.

5. by CynluvsIty on Jun 30, 2013 at 10:40 AM PDT
Rating: five

I made this cake and it is so delicious. It taste as if you bought it in a bakery. The next time I make it though, I will cut grapes in half and distribute throughout batter. I only baked for about 50 minutes and it was done. Make sure your grapes are good and sweet, mine were.

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