Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Trace an 8-inch (20-cm) round pan on parchment paper and cut it out with scissors. Grease and flour the pan, press in the parchment circle; and grease and flour the top of the parchment and sides of the pan. Sprinkle and spread the sliced almonds on the bottom of the pan to cover it.
In a medium bowl, beat the sugar, eggs, and olive oil for about one minute at medium speed until creamy. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, almond extract, and orange zest and beat until combined. Pour the mixture over the sliced nuts. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the sides. Turn the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool. Serve the cake almond side up. Store it covered at room temperature for up to four days or freeze for up to three months.
Line Pans with Parchment
For extra insurance against any cake sticking to any size pan, line the pan bottom with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan. Grease the pan, press in the trimmed parchment, and then grease again.
Reprinted with permission from Holiday Kosher Baker © 2013 by Paula Shoyer, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Michael Bennett Kress