Almond Cake (A Scratch Recipe)

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We are so happy to share our moist Almond Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting recipe with you!

It is a light, tender, and delicious cake with just the right amount of almond flavor. 

Almond Cake, sliced, on a glass pedestal.

Why we Love It

How to Make an Almond Cake

This homemade almond cake comes together in no time. It is similar to our popular vanilla buttermilk cake recipe but it is enhanced with almond flavor that is achieved with almond extract as well as with finely chopped almonds.

It is a soft, moist cake with a tender crumb and fluffy texture. You will love it!

*You can find the full, printable cake recipe below, but here is a quick rundown of our steps!

Chopping & Sprinkling the Almonds

I love the addition of sprinkled almonds in this cake- it really brings a nice flavor. Rather than stirring the almonds into the cake batter, we sprinkle them in the cake pan before adding the batter.

Finely chop the sliced almonds in a blender or food processor. We used a small bullet blender for this.

You could do a rough chop if you'd rather (or if you don't have a blender, you can chop the almonds by placing them in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to break into smaller pieces). We prefer finely chopped almonds as you can see in the photo below.

Preparing the Cake Pans

Grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans and add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of each prepared pan. Sprinkle the finely chopped almonds into the prepared pans before adding the cake batter.

This gives us a nice boost of almond flavor without changing the soft texture of the cake. 

Preparing the Cake Batter

This recipe uses the traditional creaming method of mixing, in addition to cake flour, giving us a light, tender, and fluffy cake. 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk the Dry Ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda for 30 seconds to combine. Set aside.
  • Combine the Wet Ingredients Next, in another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil and almond extract. Set aside.
  • Creaming Butter & Sugar, Add Eggs In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) or electric hand mixer, add the unsalted butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and continue mixing on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Next, add the room temperature eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk is blended.
  • Add Dry and Wet Ingredients Alternately With the electric mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (We like to do three additions of dry ingredients and two of liquid). After the last addition, mix just until blended.
  • Adding to Pans Divide the cake batter into the prepared cake pans which have been sprinkled with finely chopped almonds. 
  • Bake at 350 Degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Baking times can vary and so make sure to keep an eye on it during the final minutes.
  • Cooling: Allow the cake layers to cool in their pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack before turning out. 

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Our Almond Cream Cheese Recipe is based on a classic cream cheese frosting that we have used for years, only we've replaced the vanilla extract in the recipe with almond extract.

The resulting frosting is silky smooth and SO good. It pairs perfectly with our almond cake.

Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Alternative to Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese frosting does require refrigeration up until a couple hours of serving and so if you would rather use a buttercream frosting, you can add almond extract to our Classic Vanilla Buttercream recipe (or your buttercream recipe of choice)!

If Cream Cheese Frosting is too Soft

Cream cheese frostings are much softer than American Buttercream frosting recipes like our Classic Vanilla Frosting mentioned above. I like to chill the frosting for several minutes before applying it to the cake if it seems a bit soft.

Simply chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes or so until the consistency is easier to work with.

Also, if you are frosting the cake and find that the cream cheese frosting is too soft either on the cake or in your piping bag, chill the cake and/or piping bag as needed to firm things up!

Decorating the Cake

  • To decorate this scratch Almond Cake, I placed the first cooled cake layer on the cake pedestal.
  • Next, I spread the layer with almond cream cheese frosting and topped with the next almond cake layer. Fill once again and top with the final layer of almond cake.
  • Next, I like to fill in any gaps between the cake layers with frosting.  (I do this with a piping bag with the tip snipped away..or if you are using a star 21 piping tip for your borders as I did, you can use it for this step also.)
Almond Cake Recipe- SO moist and flavorful!

Crumb Coat and Chill

  • Next, crumb coat the cake with a thin layer of almond cream cheese frosting.
  • At this point, I often chill my crumb coated tier for about 15 minutes in the freezer to firm things up before proceeding to the final coat of frosting.
  • (You may also want to chill your bowl of cream cheese frosting during this time if the heat from the kitchen is softening it.) 

Texturing the Frosting

Next, apply the final layer of frosting. I first smoothed the sides of the cake with my bench scraper (you can use a spatula for this also) and then went back in with a small offset spatula for texturing. 

Almond Cake Recipe from Scratch! So moist and delicious!

Add the Borders

I added a rosette border around the top of the cake using a star tip 21 as an optional step- and then added additional sliced almonds to the border as well as around the bottom of the cake. 

I love this delicious recipe! We hope that you enjoy it too.

Moist Almond Cake Layer
Almond Cake Recipe


Yes they can! You can bake your cake layers weeks in advance and freeze them as a time saver. In fact, whenever time allows, we freeze our cake layers individually *while still warm*- wrap them in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Label with the date.Freezing the layers while still warm actually makes them even more moist as the trapped steam becomes locked into the layer. Thaw with the cakes still wrapped so that the condensation forms on the foil, rather than the cake itself.


I love cakes that contain buttermilk! Not only does it add a subtle tanginess to the recipe, but also (and most importantly) because the  acidity interferes with gluten formation, yielding a softer, more tender cake.

Yes there is! Add one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup. Next, add milk to the 1 ¼ cup mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use. This is the most commonly used buttermilk substitution and we have had good results with using it in our recipes in a pinch.

We often use cake flour in our recipes as it results in a softer cake. Cake flour is a finely milled white flour made from soft wheat. It has very low protein content, between 8% and 10%, making it perfect for layer cakes! Flours with a higher protein content will not be quite as tender.

If you only have All Purpose Flour on hand, here is a commonly used substitution that will give you something very close to cake flour:

For each cup of all purpose flour (plain in UK) in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This almond cake has 3 cups of flour and so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend

Almond Cake Recipe

More Almond Cake Recipes to Try

Here are a few more Almond Recipes that belong on your must-bake list. Some of our favorites are Almond Coconut Cake, White Almond Sour Cream Cake, Lemon Almond Cake and Almond Cream Cake!

*Make sure to check out our roundup of favorite Cakes from Scratch too! 

Enjoy the Cake Recipe!

Thanks so much for stopping by our site today.

Whether you need a birthday party cake, bridal shower cake, baby shower cake, or just because, this elegant cake is sure to please!

Almond Cake Recipe

Almond Cake (A Scratch Recipe)

This delicious recipe consists of moist almond cake layers with a flavorful almond cream cheese frosting!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Cakes and Cupcakes
Servings: 15 servings
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • ½ cup (48g) sliced almonds
  • 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened. (holds it shape but dents when pressed)
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups (342g) cake flour See notes for substitution if needed. (If not using a scale, lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and level off).
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (296g) buttermilk See notes for substitution if needed.
  • ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil (We use canola oil.)
  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) almond extract

For the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese (total weight 452g),softened. (We use two 8 oz packages) Full fat is best.
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt 2g optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar

Cake Decoration

  • We used additional sliced almonds to decorate the cake and created texture in the frosting using a small offset spatula. Rosette border was piped with a star tip 21


Prepare Pans and Add Chopped Almonds

  • Finely chop the almonds in a blender. (We used a small bullet blender for this) You could also do a rough chop of the almonds, if you like
  • Grease and flour three 8 inch round pans, add a circle or parchment paper or waxed paper. Sprinkle the finely chopped almonds over the parchment paper before adding the cake batter.

Prepare the Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside
  • In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and almond extract.  Set aside..
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
  • With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid). Mix just until incorporated.
  • Divide batter between the three cake pans, pouring the batter on top of the finely chopped almonds on the bottom of the pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 22 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just few crumbs attached. Let cool 10 minutes and turn out.

For the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Cut the softened cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
  • Add the almond extract. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
  • Increase mixing speed and mix until fluffy. Don't mix above medium speed or it may become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly, then remix. Do not microwave to soften chilled frosting.
  • Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.


Substitute for Buttermilk: No Buttermilk? Here is a substitution: To a measuring cup, add 1 Tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice. Add milk to the 1 ¼ mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.
Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend
Recipe makes 7 ½ cups batter
4.58 from 256 votes (252 ratings without comment)

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  1. Hi Fatimah, I haven't tried using almond flour for the recipe so I'm not sure of the outcome. Almond flour would change the texture of the cake.

    1. Hi Kathy, you could do two 9 inch-- I think the layers for a 3 layer 9 inch may be a little thin but we haven't tried it. I would probably increase the batter to be on the safe side.

  2. Boa noite.
    Amei amei suas receitas,ainda não fiz,mas creio que fica uma delícia,pelos ingredientes e a forma respeitosa de elaborar a receita .
    Parabéns 👏👏👏👏

    Uma pergunta.

    O que é uma receita de raspadinha?.

    1. Hello, thanks for your comment! A scratch recipe means that it doesn't start with a boxed cake mix. ;0)

  3. Darn I got lazy and used a Bundt—now there is a blob next to the baking pan. Maybe it will make a delicious cookie. It smells heavenly though!

  4. I just want to say this is my favorite cake. I have struggled baking cakes and I came across this recipe and made it and it was absolutely perfect. So it’s my go to. Now I just have a question. Can I cut this recipe in half to do smaller portions? And is this recipe OK to use with cupcakes?

  5. Hi - I want to make this for my son's birthday If I add food colouring to the cream cheese icing, will it impact consistency? Also - if I make the cake and icing a day ahead, will that be okay?

    1. Hi Roshika, You can add color to the cream cheese frosting, if you have gel coloring it would be the best choice because it does not add as much liquid. If your frosting becomes too soft you could add a bit more powdered sugar. Also, refrigerating the frosting will firm it up to the consistency you want. It would be fine to make the cake layers in advance. The cake layers could be baked, wrapped in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and frozen until ready to use (up to 1 month). Did you want to make and frost the cake the day before serving? If so, you could do that. Put the completed cake under a cake cover to keep it airtight and store in the refrigerator because the cream cheese frosting is perishable. When ready to serve remove from the refrigerator about 2 hours before serving, for best flavor and texture. Let me know if you have other questions.

  6. I tried this recipe, taste is really good, but too thin for 3 9” layers. I’m making a bday cake so I had to remake for just 2- 9” layers. I need a strong sponge that’s why I went with a pound cake.

  7. This is the best scratch cake recipe I’ve ever found. As a pastry chef graduate - this is now my forever yellow/almond cake go to. I FINALLY FOUND IT!!

    1. Hi Rachael! Yay! We are so glad that you found your go-to! Thanks so much for your feedback! xo

  8. It really is delicious. If I can make a cake that tastes this good, anyone can. My mom passed in 2021 and she was an amazing baker. This is my first homemade cake. I am so pleased with the result. I used butter milk, salted butter, and cake flour. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    1. Hi Triscelyn! Thank you for your feedback, we are so happy that you enjoyed this recipe! Congratulations on your first homemade cake, we hope that you continue experimenting with new recipes! xoxo

  9. Could you please tell me what altitude you are preparing these cake recipes at? I am at 4500 feet and I sometimes need to make adjustments. Thank you

    1. Hi Sandra, We are near sea level so we do not have first hand experience with high altitude baking. Below is a link that I think you will find helpful. I hope you will enjoy the cake.

      High Altitude Baking

  10. 5 stars
    This is my favorite go to recipe for a delicious cake. Sometimes I make it simple and don’t decorate it. Or I go all out. Everyone loves it.

  11. Hello! I made this cake last year for my daughter’s birthday. It was so good! Can I add a small tof sour cream to the batter?