Amaretto Almond Cake - And the Sugar Free Amaretto Almond Cake Version!

There must be something about the month of May that makes me crave this cake.  I knew I had posted this recipe once before and sure enough, I found it in May of 2010!  This is a cake everyone who tastes it, seems to love.  As a matter of fact, one of my daughter's friends loved it so much she took half the cake home once!

This time around my craving was in vain, as we are currently doing no sugar and lower carbs.  But a craving can be given into if you find a way... right?  Well, I did.  Perhaps not the greatest way, but a huge improvement as I adapted it by making it sugar free and 'lower' carbs - although still not officially a true low carb dessert.  It could be - if I ever tweak a low carb yellow cake recipe enough to use, but so far I don't love love love any of the yellow cake recipes enough to try it on this one.  So I opted for the store bought Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix which still has 34 carbs per serving but at least it's sugar free.  I left out the amaretto liqueur due to the sugar content and instead, doubled the water and almond flavoring.  The pudding was sugar free of course and in the glaze, I used granular Erythritol instead of sugar.  (Erythriol, sugar free cake mix and bundt pan links to purchase from Amazon below the recipe if you are interested).

Amaretto Almond Cake

1 cup chopped almonds
1 box yellow cake mix (optional:  sugar free)
1 box (4 serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix  (optional; sugar free)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur (optional use water instead)
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional: double if using water and not Amaretto)

1/2 cup sugar (optional: Natural sweetener, erythritol or xylitol with a bit of liquid sweetener drops)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup amaretto (optional to leave out and use water)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (double if you are not using Amaretto)

Heat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 10" tube or Bundt pan; sprinkle chopped almonds over the bottom and set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, water, amaretto and almond extract. Beat on low speed with electric mixer about 30 seconds until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat 4 minutes.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until done - approximately 1 & 1/2 hour for bunt/angel food style pan. Cool cake 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely and place on cake plate.

For glaze, in small saucepan, combine sugar, water and butter and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and gently boil 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool 15 minutes. Stir in amaretto and almond extract. Punch holes in cake from top to bottom with wooden pick or skewer. Slowly spoon glaze over cake until entirely absorbed. *I opted to boil the amaretto with the sugar syrup to boil off the alcohol and lessen the strength of the amaretto flavor so all family members and the kids friends could enjoy the cake without a strong amaretto alcohol flavor.

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