Dulce de Leche Cake with Slivered Almonds

Cake is such a glorious food. It indicates birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and festivities all around. Even everyday cakes feel celebratory. People get excited when there's cake, and even more so when it is freshly made homemade cake.

The funny thing is that I don't even really like cake all that much.
I will certainly eat it when it's around, if there is some sort of celebration going on, but I never crave cake.

I made this cake for a work colleague. It was her birthday, and she has always requested that I make a plain cake topped with dulce de leche. She's from Honduras, and evidently, that is the kind of cake they eat a lot there. Dulce de leche is a type of caramel made from boiling milk with sugar that is eaten a lot in Latin America, and with good reason, it is out of this world good.
Since I never really feel inclined to make cakes, I decided her birthday was a great occasion to finally do so. And the cake was a huge success, most people at the office had two servings.

But you know what I realized when I made this cake. Well, for one, cake is pretty fun to make. And second, the possibilities are endless with cake. You can flavor it with lemon zest, coconut, almonds, chocolate, the list goes on and on, and then you think about frosting, and baking a cake has become even more creative.
I can certainly say that after this experience, baking, and eating, a cake has become much more enticing. And this cake in particular is a great start. Not only is it very simple to put together, (it is almost impossible to mess up) but it is a great base for any flavors you may want to add.

Dulce de Leche Cake with Slivered Almonds
This recipe is based on the basic cake recipe of four quarters.I recommend using a scale ALWAYS, when baking. It makes the process so much easier, and makes learning the recipe by heart effortless.
For the cake
200 grams of flour (1-3/4 cups)
200 grams sugar (1 cup)
200 grams butter (14 Tbs), room temperature
200 grams eggs (4 eggs)
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
For the topping
Jar of Dulce de leche (a jar of good quality, spending a little extra here will make a difference)
Slivered almonds for decorating

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8" spring form cake pan with butter and flour.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between until well integrated. Scrap down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to be sure that all of the creamed butter is being mixed in.Add the vanilla. Next, add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown, and until a cake tester (or a knife) inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a cooling rack, and when ready, turn upside down onto a plate to release it from the bottom of the spring form pan. Cover the top of the cake with the Dulce the leche. Make sure it is at room temperature so that it spreads easily. If it is too thick you can heat the jar on the stove in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds in a decorative way. Now your cake is ready to serve and enjoy.
The cake can keep kept in an air tight container for 1-2 days.

200 Grams Cake