A bear claw is a yeast-raised Danish pastry, often shaped like a bear’s claw, filled with a delicious almond filling. This moist coffee cake is layered with that same filling. The filling layer is added prior to baking, saving you time. All test-bakers rated this cake 10 out of 10 in flavor, texture, and moistness.
1/3 cup sliced almonds, for garnish (toasted in an ungreased skillet for 3 minutes, optional)
Make the dry cake mix and almond filling as instructed. Set them both aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil the bottom only of a 9 x 9-inch glass dish; set aside. (Alternatively, you can use a metal pan, but preheat the oven to 325°F.)
In the large bowl of your high-powered stand mixer (hand mixers are not recommended), add cake mix, butter, milk, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix on low speed just until moist. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
Pour half the batter into the prepared dish. Spread the filling over the batter, leaving about 1/2-inch border plain. Add the remaining batter and evenly distribute. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife around the inside edges of the pan. Cool 30 minutes longer.
In the bowl of your mixer, combine confectioners’ sugar, cream, and almond extract until smooth. Immediately drizzle glaze over cake, and immediately sprinkle with sliced almonds. (Once the glaze sets, the almonds will not adhere to the cake.) Store leftovers, covered, at room temperature.