Almond Custard Layer Cake
This Almond Custard Layer Cake is made with moist almond cake layers, a smooth almond custard and classic almond frosting! The flavor is light and lovely and I’m a big fan!
This was such a fun cake to make and even more fun to eat! The colors are also great for summer or any festive celebration. And even though it looks more fancy than your average cake, it’s actually fairly simple to do with a couple different sizes of round piping tips and an offset spatula.
So to get started with this cake, you’ll want to make the cake layers and custard filling. The cake layers are an almond version of this cake, which is a wonderfully moist, tender cake. It uses a mix of butter and oil to give you the lovely flavor of butter, with the moisture from oil. Yay!
The custard is made right over the stove with some egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and milk. The cornstarch thickens the custard as you heat it over the stove. As you heat the cornstarch with the milk and sugar, you’ll add it to the eggs to temper them and ensure that they heat up gradually, giving you a custard and not scrambled eggs. When the custard is done cooking, you’ll want it to cool completely before adding it to the cake. It’ll thicken while cooking, but thicken even more as it cools.
Once nice thing is that the cake layers and custard could be made a bit ahead, if you like. I wouldn’t suggest making the cake layers more than a day ahead though, if you really want the cake to be fresh. The custard could be made 2 to 3 days ahead though.
When you’re ready to put the cake together, you can make the frosting. It’s your classic american buttercream flavored with almond, which I love. If you plan on decorating it similarly to what I’ve done, you’ll just want to make sure to have the right consistency of frosting. Not so thick that it’s hard to work with, but not too thin to hold up well.
Once you’ve frosted the outside of the cake, it’s time for the fun to begin! Divide the remaining frosting evenly between three bowls and color them to the shades you want to work with.
I started the decorating with the sides of the cake and making the “spackled” look. You’ll want to take the tip of your 9 inch offset spatula and get a little bit of frosting on it. The size of the frosting you have on the tip of the spatula will end up being the size of the speck on the cake.
Once you have some frosting on your spatula, press it up against the side of the cake firmly, then quickly slide your spatula up and lift it off of the cake. Continue doing that and alternating colors until you’ve covered the bottom of the cake as you’d like.
The top of the cake uses two sized round tips to pipe little dollops of frosting around the edge. I find it’s helpful to start with one color and size and pipe a few of those around the edge, then grab another color and do the same thing. Once you’ve kind of evenly dispersed the three colors, go back and fill in the gaps with the size and colors that seem appropriate for the spaces left.
The final cake really is something to be proud of – pretty and yummy all in one! The custard is so smooth and creamy and has just the right amount of almond flavor. The cake is light and moist and the frosting is nicely sweet to compliment everything with plenty of almond flavor! It’s such a wonderful combination – love it! I hope you do too!
Almond Custard Layer Cake
Yield: 12-14 slices
2 1/2 cups (325g) all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp almond extract
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (104g) sugar
2 tbsp, plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups (360ml) milk
2 tbsp (28g) salted butter
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cup (280g) salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
3 tsp almond extract
5-6 tbsp (75-90ml) water or milk
Golden yellow gel icing color
Pink gel icing color
Teal gel icing color
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. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
3. Add the butter, sugar, oil and almond extract to and large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
6. Slowly add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter will look curdled, but that’s ok.
7. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over mix the batter.
8. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
9. 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 CUSTARD:
10. While the cakes cool, make the custard. Put the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl and gently beat them together. Set aside.
11. Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a large saucepan and mix until combined.
12. Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
13. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
14. Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. This process ensures that you don’t cook the egg yolks too quickly and get scrambled eggs.
15. Place the pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
16. Remove from heat and add butter and almond extract. Stir until smooth, then set in the fridge to cool completely.
TO BUILD THE CAKE:
17. When everything has cooled, make the frosting. Combine the butter and shortening in a large mixer bowl until smooth.
18. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
19. Add the almond extract and 3-4 tablespoons of water or milk mix until well combined and smooth.
20. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until combined.
21. Add additional water or milk as needed to get the right consistency and mix until well combined and smooth.
22. To assemble the cake, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes.
23. Place the first layer of cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Pipe a dam of frosting around the outside of the cake. I use Ateco tip 808 for the dam so that it’s tall.
24. Spread half of the custard evenly on top of the cake layer, inside the dam, then smooth out the dam of frosting so that it’s all even.
25. Add the second layer of cake and repeat the dam and custard filling.
26. Add the final layer of cake on top, then smooth out the frosting around the sides of the cake.
27. Frost the outside of the cake (see my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake with buttercream).
28. Divide the remaining frosting evenly between three bowls. Color your frosting to your desired colors.
29. Use your offset spatula to create a “spackled” look. See the photos and description of how to do this in the written post above.
30. Use two sizes of round piping tip (I used Ateco 808 and Ateco 804) to pipe the dots onto the top of the cake around the edges.
31. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best when eaten within 2-3 days.