September is my birthday month! This is the cake that I made for myself. I had a wicked craving for something almond, and this cake really hit the spot. The almond flavour is everywhere, and it really sings in this cake. I was pretty spoiled for my birthday. I came in to my classroom and it was filled with balloons. I had some of my students make me cookies, and a dear friend had flowers delivered to me at work. After all that, Paul made an amazing dinner of maple glazed pork belly, loaded mashed potato spring rolls, and grilled asparagus. Like I said, spoiled.
I love me some cake, and couldn’t resist when I found this recipe. I found the original recipe here, and didn’t change it either. The cake is moist and delicious, soaked with a luxurious amaretto syrup. It has a ton of almond flavour in the cake, partly because of the almond flour, and partly because of the almond extract and amaretto in the actual cake.
The only part of the cake without any almond flavour is the buttercream, which I really like, as it gives a bit of a break from the nutty richness of the cake. A smooth, sumptuous vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream icing, slathered all over the three layer cake. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds, and you have a knock-your-socks-off cake loaded with almond flavour.
If someone you know loves the flavour of almond, make them this cake to celebrate their next birthday. It’s incredible!
Yield: 1 6-inch three-layer cake
For the cake:
1½ c. flour
¾ c. almond flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
¾ c. butter, at room temperature
1½ c. sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla
¾ c. milk, at room temperature
¼ c. Amaretto liqueur
For the amaretto syrup:
½ c. sugar
½ c. water
¼ c. Amaretto liqueur
For the vanilla Swiss Meringue buttercream:
5 large egg whites
1½ c. sugar
1½ c. butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sliced almonds, toasted (for garnish)
To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or brush with Miracle Cake Release) three six-inch cake pans.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine the milk and amaretto in a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk mixture to the eggs, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool cakes in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely before icing.
To make the amaretto syrup, in a small saucepan combine the sugar and water. Whisk together, and bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the amaretto. Let cool.
To make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and the sugar. Place the bowl over a double boiler, and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches approximately 160°F.
Place the bowl of the stand mixer back on the stand mixer, and whisk on medium-high heat until the meringue is stiff and cooled. The bowl should no longer be warm to the touch, which should take about 5-10 minutes.
Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time, until it is completely incorporated. Add vanilla and mix again until light and fluffy.
To assemble, place a small dollop of the icing on the serving plate. Trim cakes so they are flat and level. Brush cakes with amaretto syrup, to make sure cakes are moist. Place one cake layer on the icing dollop. Layer cake with icing, then repeat with last two cake layers.
Frost the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Chill for 20 minutes. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the icing, and pipe dollops on top of the cake. Cover sides and/or top of the cake with slivered almonds.
Slice, and serve!