I came home to an aroma that instantly made me head to the kitchen and check out what was baking. Sister was baking a couple of pili nut cakes which revived childhood memories. When we were children our mother often made this easy cake for dessert. Last week we received a large bag of freshly shelled pili nuts so we made this cake for a family gathering. For those who cannot get pili sliced or slivered blanched almonds are a good substitute. So this is really Sister’s recipe, but it turned out exactly like the one mom used to make…
Preheat oven to 300 F and grease and flour 10×2″ round pans.
1 lb. unsalted butter softened
3 c. sugar
7 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
4 c. blanched pili nuts or sliced or slivered almonds
2/3 c. sugar
Carefully split each blanched and peeled pili nut so it does not sink into the batter.
Cream butter and sugar together for five minutes until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.
Add half of the flour, the baking powder and salt and the milk.
Mix for one minute and add the rest of the flour and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. Do not over beat.
Divide between the two pans, level with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle each cake with half of the nuts and then the sugar for the topping.
Cover lightly with a piece of foil to prevent over browning.
Bake on center rack for 25 min, remove foil to brown topping. Cake will be done in a total of 40-50 minutes.
Cool. Carefully unmold onto cake plates.
Serve with sliced fruit and whipped cream or ice cream.
We served one of these cakes with fresh strawberries and some whipped cream. The second cake was served whipped cream mixed with homemade mango jam. The cakes were just delicious. The distinctive aroma of the pili nuts baked into the cake definitely triggered warm thoughts from decades ago, definitely a blast from the past. The strawberries weren’t necessary, but nice nonetheless. You can also serve with some vanilla ice cream. Yum.