As much as this blueberry almond tea cake is for berry lovers, it is a true almond lover’s dream. The almond flavor comes through strongly with each bite, and is the true champion of this simple one layer cake.The batter for this cake comes together very quickly and easily. Garnish with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar, this simple celebration cake tastes fabulous slightly warm from the oven!
Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) with a rack in the center position. Generously grease an 8-inch cake pan (at least 2-inches deep) with baking spray or butter and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper (here's an easy tutorial!), grease again, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Reserve and set aside roughly one tablespoon of sliced almonds. Break the remaining almonds with your hands and stir them into the flour mixture.
In a stand mixer bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the lemon zest into the granulated sugar until fragrant and moist. Add the softened butter, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar mixture over medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl halfway through to ensure all of the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the eggs. Beat until incorporated (it may look slightly broken). Over low speed, slowly add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the milk. The batter will be relatively thick.
Reserve a small handful (8 to 10 blueberries) of blueberries for later. Using a large spatula, gently fold the remaining blueberries into the cake batter. Transfer the batter into the greased cake pan, and smooth the top with a small offset spatula. Distribute the remaining blueberries on top, gently pressing them into the batter. Top with the remaining sliced almonds.
Bake for 55 minutes to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Using a knife, run along the sides of the cake pan to release the sides of the cake and carefully invert onto a wire rack. Flip and allow the cake to cool right-side up.
Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, dusted lightly with confectioner’s sugar as desired.
Notes: Any leftover cake can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.