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Sunken Grape Cake

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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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.


  1. ½ lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  2. 1¼ cups sugar
  3. 3 eggs
  4. Zest of one lemon
  5. 1 tsp. almond extract
  6. 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  7. 1 cup finely ground toasted almonds
  8. 2 tsp. baking powder
  9. 1½ to 2 cups seedless grapes (enough to cover the surface of the cake)
  10. 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.