Sunday, March 23, 2014

Almond Cake with Strawberry Almond Cream Cheese Buttercream

If you're drawn to photos of pretty cakes, you'll notice there are very distinct trends when it comes to cake decorating.  One such recent trend is the buttercream petals technique, which I've been wanting to try.  I just love the rainbow petal pattern on this beautiful cake.

Mine is not nearly so stunning, but pretty nonetheless, and I thought a good technique for cream cheese frosting which is really too soft for very structured piping.

A smooth buttercream will yield sleeker looking petals, but with the strawberry preserves and chopped almonds in mine, the result was a little less precise.  It sure was a lovely flavor combination, though.

One Year Ago:   Cookies 'n' Cream Icebox Cheesecake
Two Years AgoAndes Mint Chocolate Cookies with Mint Cream Filling

Almond Cake with Strawberry Almond Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
buttercream and filling:
  • 12 ounces good quality strawberry preserves
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and very finely chopped

Bake the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray the bottoms of 3 eight-inch pans with non-stick baking spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper as well.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and the extracts.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg.  Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour, mixing just until moistened.  Stir in the almonds.

Divide batter between the pans and bake cakes for 25-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack, covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.

Make the Buttercream:
Measure out 1/4 cup of the jam; set the rest aside for the filling.  In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the 1/4 cup jam with the cream cheese, butter and almond extract until smooth.  In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder and nutmeg.  With the mixer on low, add by spoonfuls.  Increase speed to medium high, and whip until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the almonds.

Turn the cooled cakes out of the pans.  Place one cake bottom side up on a cake board or pedestal.  Spoon half the remaining jam on the cake.  Repeat with the second layer of cake and the rest of the jam, then the third cake.  Frost with the buttercream.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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