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Almond Good Luck Cake

I make this cake for every New Year's Eve dinner. It's said that the person who finds the one whole almond inside will have good luck during the upcoming year. —Vivian Nikanow, Chicago, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min.
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 whole almond
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice


  • Combine almond and 1 tablespoon flour; sprinkle into a well-greased 10-in. fluted tube pan. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and 1 cup sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in lemon juice, zest and extracts. Combine the baking powder, salt, baking soda and remaining flour; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff. Fold into batter. Pour into prepared pan. Insert whole almond into batter.
  • Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
  • For glaze, melt preserves in a microwave or saucepan; strain. Add orange juice; drizzle over warm cake.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 273 calories, 15g fat (5g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 275mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

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  • RatherCurious
    Dec 29, 2020

    Hello there, I am planning to make it this New Years but would like to clarify on one detail about the temperature of the oven. It is 350 degrees Fahrenheit right? and not Celsius?

  • cdzahrn
    Jan 2, 2020

    I made this cake for New Year's Day and everyone loved it. I don't love lemonso I went a little light on lemon juice and used 2 t of almond extract and no vanilla. Also, I dropped in several whole almonds so that everyone received good luck. The cake was moist and really yummy. Everyone thought the apricot preserves was a nice addition. I will make this again.

  • Carolyn
    Mar 19, 2017

    I followed the recipe exactly but did not have good luck with this cake. It was dry and crumbly, and fell apart when I was trying to get it out of the pan.

  • sd20
    Jan 2, 2017

    Not sure why but my family just thought this cake was okay. We were really expecting more of a wow because of all the great reviews. I followed the recipe exactly. The apricot/ orange topping was very good.

  • Rhoni347
    Jan 1, 2017

    I love almond flavored anything and loved the idea of starting a New Year's lucky cake tradition so thought we'd try this and I'm so glad we did. I don't always have luck with bundt pans, but this one came out ALMOST perfect, only one tiny little piece stuck to the side and that's the closest I've ever come to bundt cake perfection, so I'll take it! The cake presents beautifully with the chopped almonds on top and the flavor is light and moist, perfect for a New Year's breakfast/brunch. Honestly, the only thing I would do differently next time is to use 2 tsp almond extract and just leave out the vanilla extract. Just wanted a little more almond flavor.

  • Brenda
    Dec 30, 2016

    This is a really nice cake. Reminds me of a pound cake. Texture is fine and I think it will taste even better the next day. The only change I made was to skip the glaze and drizzled some fresh squeezed orange juice mixed with icing sugar.

  • tsuop
    Dec 30, 2016

    Love this, I wish I'd found it before I planned my New Years dessert! I will do it next time I need a great dessert. (maybe in a couple days!! : )

  • cabincoot
    Dec 30, 2016

    Lee Ann...yes you can use a bundt pan. I believe that is what a fluted tube pan is, and to me, it looks that way in the picture. I gave it 5 starts because I have never made this and didn't want a negative review to post; but from the reviews, sounds like a recipe I would give 5 Stars to anyway. Enjoy!

  • lee ann
    Dec 30, 2016

    Can I use a bundt pan? This looks amazing! What a cute idea! Thank you

  • Sue Zappa
    Jan 7, 2014

    Oh, my gosh, did my family love this cake when I made it yesterday!! When our kids were little, I made a similar cake for Epiphany every year. It was always exciting to see who got the almond. The one who did got to wear a crown for the day. The flavor of this cake is much better than the one I used to make. My husband said this is his new "favorite" cake! So light, & the citrus flavor is delicious. I added 1/2 tsp more of the lemon peel because we like lemon cakes, but other than that, I didn't change a thing. Will be making it often during the year! Thank you, Vivian, for sharing this delicious recipe!