We are so happy to share our moist Almond Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting recipe with you! It is light, flavorful, and has just the right amount of almond.
If you like almond desserts. you are going to LOVE this cake!
The cake consists of soft almond cake layers which are filled and frosted in a luscious layer of almond cream cheese frosting. Yum!
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 that are sprinkled into the cake pans just before adding the cake batter.
*You can find the full, printable cake recipe below, but here is a quick rundown of our steps!
Chopping the Almonds
Chopping & Sprinkling the Almonds Finely chop the sliced almonds in a blender. 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.
Grease and flour three 8 inch round pans, add a circle of parchment paper or waxed paper. Sprinkle the finely chopped almonds over the parchment paper 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, fluffy, and tender cake.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Whisk the Dry Ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda for 30 seconds to combine and aerate. Set aside.
Combine the Wet Ingredients Next, in another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and almond extract. Set aside.
Creaming Butter & Sugar, Add Eggs In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the 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 eggs one at a time mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
Add Dry and Wet Ingredients Alternately 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). Be careful not to over-mix or mix above medium speed.
Adding to Pans Divide the cake batter between the three 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.
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.
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 Almond Cake
To decorate the Almond Cake, I placed the first cooled layer on the cake pedestal. Next, I spread the layer with almond cream cheese frosting and topped with the next layer. Fill once again and top with the final layer of almond cake.
At this point, 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.)
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 also if the heat from the kitchen is softening it.)
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the cake layers be frozen?
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 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.
What Does Buttermilk Do for the Cake Recipe?
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.
Is there a Substitution for Buttermilk?
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.
Why is Cake Flour Used in this Recipe?
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.
What is the Substitution for Cake Flour?
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:
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 almond cake recipe 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
More Cake Recipes to Try
We don’t have very many almond cake recipes in our Recipes Section- but we do have a few favorites for you to try!
- 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 (spooned into measuring cup and leveled off) If you do not have cake flour see substitution in Notes below.
- 2 teaspoons (8g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 ¼ cups (296g) buttermilk — if you do not have buttermilk, see substitution below
- ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil (we use canola oil)
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) almond extract
For the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks ,1 cup, (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g), slightly softened. I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft.
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) 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
- 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.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of liquid).
- Do not mix above medium speed or over mix the cake batter. 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 slightly 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
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