Cherry Almond Layer Cake
This Cherry Almond Layer Cake is made with a light and fluffy almond cake, cherry frosting and little bits of maraschino cherry! The mix is a totally under-rated flavor combo that you have to try!
This cake just makes me think of spring. The flavors are so light and fresh, it’s like spring in every bite. And I am dying for a little more spring in my life! Our weather has been so crazy lately. I know it’s snowing like mad up North and we aren’t getting that crazy weather, but it’s been so warm that we have flowers blooming and now everything is freezing again. Nutty!
I’m just going to close my eyes, take a big bite of cherry almond cake and pretend like it’s actually spring.
This cake is so fun and has kind of a neat retro look to it that I love. It’s a look that’s easy to create too. All you need is an offset spatula. The 9 inch is my fave. I feel like i have much more control with the smaller one.
To get started, make the cake layers. The layers have the almond flavor, which is so wonderful in a cake. The batter is relatively straight forward to make, beginning with creaming the butter and sugar. The creaming adds air to the batter that helps make it light and fluffy, so be sure not to skimp on the creaming time.
Next you’ve got the almond extract and sour cream. I love sour cream in cakes – it adds so much moisture and flavor. Egg whites are added in two parts next and lend a light cake.
Finally, alternating the addition of the dry ingredients and wet ingredients finishes off the batter. I like to use three 8 inch cake pans for baking because then I get more frosting between each cake layer, but feel free to use a different sized pan if you prefer. You’ll just need to adjust the baking time.
Once the cake is baked, put everything together and frost it. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake. Once you’ve got a relatively smooth frosting, use your offset spatula to drag from the bottom of the cake to the top to create a stripe. Continue around the outside of the cake until it’s striped all the way around. So fun!
Topped with some swirls and cherries, it makes me feel like I should be in an old-school ice cream shop. I love it! And not only is it adorable, it’s so delicious!
Cherry Almond Layer Cake
Yield: 12-14 slices
Almond Cake Layers
3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
3/4 cup (173g) sour cream, room temperature
1 tbsp (10ml) almond extract
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
4 tsp (15g) baking powder
½ tsp salt
3/4 cup (180ml) milk, room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) water, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (280g) butter
1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
5-6 tbsp (75-90ml) maraschino cherry juice
Pink icing color, optional
1/2 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup (56g) butter
1/4 cup (48h) shortening
2 cups (230g) powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp (15-30ml) water or milk
Additional cherries, for decoration
TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:
1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) .
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and almond extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAMS:
9. To make the cherry buttercream: In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
10. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add 4-5 tablespoons of cherry juice and mix until smooth.
12. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional cherry juice, as needed.
13. Color the frosting with some additional pink icing color, if you like.
14. To make the vanilla buttercream: In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
15. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
16. Add vanilla extract and one tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
17. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional water or milk as needed, as needed.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
18. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
19. Spread about 1 cup of cherry frosting evenly on top of the cake.
20. Top the frosting with 1/4 cup of chopped cherries and press them into the frosting. Smooth out the icing and cherries with an offset spatula.
21. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of cherry frosting and 1/4 cup of chopped cherries.
22. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed, or watch the video above.
23. Use an offset spatula to create the stripes on the side of the cake. Watch the video above for guidance.
24. Use the vanilla buttercream to pipe swirls around the top of the cake. I used Ateco tip 844, but Wilton 1M or 2D would work as well.
25. Top the swirls with cherries and sprinkle the cake with some white pearl sprinkles, if desired.
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