Cake 34: Almond Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

This almond cake recipe was the suggestion of my husband, Luke, and is made with minor modifications from this recipe at foodandwine.com. I used 2% milk instead of whole milk since it’s what I have on hand. I also added 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Instead of the lemon frosting they used, I instead opted to make a vanilla bean buttercream frosting.

A little bit about almond paste. Almond paste is made from ground almonds, or almond meal and sugar, along with oil, eggs and heavy cream. It’s often compared to marzipan, but marzipan has more sugar. Looks ridiculous and comes in a tube, but smells and tastes amazing. I got mine from Whole Foods.

Almond Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 7 ounces almond paste, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Almond Cake Recipe Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 8″ or 9″ round cake pans (grease, parchment paper). In one bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In your kitchen mixer, beat the sugar and almond paste into fine crumbs. Add the softened butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add the room temperature eggs and yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Alternate stirring in the dry ingredients and milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until your toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans. (If you’re making cupcakes, try 15 to 18 minutes.)

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Grains of 1 or 2 vanilla beans

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting Recipe Directions

One vanilla bean pod should be equivalent in flavor to 2 to 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract, I guess (though I don’t agree taste-wise, so next time I’ll use two vanilla beans). I really like the vanilla flavor straight from the vanilla bean pods. (Need a little help working with vanilla beans? Here’s my tutorial on how to use vanilla beans. And don’t throw those vanilla bean pods away! I also have a tutorial about how to make your own vanilla extract.) Beat the softened butter until creamy, add the powdered sugar a bit at a time and whip up until blended. Add the heavy cream and the vanilla beans. If you need a more spreadable texture for your vanilla bean buttercream frosting, add more heavy whipping cream a tablespoon at a time until you get your desired consistency.

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About 

Heather Physioc is an SEO/CRO professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding funky new restaurants. She leads a pack of dogs, including her beagle Ford, and her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and also has a cat named Ahab. She lives with her military spouse, Luke.
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