Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Almond Layer Cake

Sorry we haven't posted lately! I made chocolate cake batter sandwich cookies with cake batter frosting. Sounds delicious, I know, but it was somewhat of a fail. I mean, I ate it but it wasn't 'blog worthy'. The frosting was perfect, but I didn't love the cookies. So maybe I'll try again sometime for yall. I had to redeem myself with a cake, what could go wrong with almond flavored cake? Nothing, it was absolutely lish! The one thing I worry about most with my cakes is the moistness, this was definitely moist. Here's what you need for the cake
White cake mix, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, sour cream, oil, water, and egg whites. First, sift cake mix, sugar, flour, and salt into a large bowl
Stir until fully combined
Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, sour cream, oil, and water, mix until just combined. Separate the eggs and put the egg whites in a small, deep bowl. (Since you don't use the egg yolks in the cake, you can just throw them away, unless you think you will use them for something else.)

*Beating the egg whites before adding them to the cake will create a slight spongey and fluffy texture to the cake. That is optional, if you want a denser cake, do not beat the egg whites. Add them straight into the cake when you mix in the vanilla extract, almond extract, sour cream, oil, and water.
Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy, just before soft peaks start to form
Add to the first mixture and gently fold in
Pour into 3 8-inch greased and parchment lined baking pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, making sure the pans do not touch in the oven.
Pull the cakes out of the oven and let cool about 2 minutes in the pans
while cooling set out wire racks topped with parchment or wax paper
Gently flip the cakes out onto the wracks
Peel off the parchment paper
While the cakes are cooling completely, prepare the almond cream cheese frosting!
You'll need unsalted butter, cream cheese, almond extract, and powdered sugar. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes
(Sorry about the shadow, I'm still not so hot at photography) Anyways, add the almond extract and the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time
After all the powdered sugar is mixed in, you should have this bowl of almond heaven
You may need to add a little more powdered sugar for extra sweetness. Blob about a tablespoon of frosting onto the middle of the plate you are going to use. Spread it around (this is so the cake won't slip around on the plate)
Place the first layer on the plate top-side down (beacause it is the moistest side)
Scoop a cup of frosting onto the first layer and evenly spread it out. Repeat for the rest of the cake
Coat the rest of the cake with frosting, if you want to pipe it all pretty like, then leave a little bit to the side. Fully iced cake..
Since it's an almond cake, I bought some handy-dandy sliced almonds to decorate it with
I piped the frosting all around the top and bottom edges of the cake and sprinkled almonds in the center of the cake
I couldn't stand it, so I cut into it right away
And ate this honkin piece of cake
I'm not a fan of cold cake, so I heated my piece in the microwave about 10-15 seconds and it was one of the best decisions I've made. Dramatic, I know. Exaggerated, not at all.

Almond Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

1 white cake mix                1 cup sugar
1 cup flour                          1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cup water                   1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs. vegetable oil            1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. almond extract          4 egg whites

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 3 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spay onto of the paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the white cake mix, sugar, flour, and salt. Add the water, sour cream, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract until just combined. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Pour into the first mixture and gently fold in, making sure it's well combined. Pour even amounts into the 3 pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 2 minutes. While cooling in pans, set out wire racks lined with parchment or wax paper. Carefully, flip cakes out onto the prepared while racks. Cool completely. While cooling, prepare the frosting.

8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.         3/4 cup butter, room temp.
2 tsp. almond extract                         5 cups powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter about 2 minutes. Add the extract and 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Add the rest of the powdered sugar by 1 cup-fulls until it is all mixed in. Keep beating until the frosting is light and fluffy (you may need to add more powdered sugar). When the cakes are cooled, frost. Spread one tablespoon of frosting in the middle of the plate you are going to use for the cake. (this is so the cake will not slide around while frosting). Set one cake layer on the plate top-side down. Measure 1 cup of forsting and place on top of the first layer of cake. Evenly spread around, adding more frosting if needed. Do this with the next two layers. Frost the outside of the cake, making sure it is fully coated. If you have left over frosting, you can pipe a design on the cake. I also sprinkled sliced almonds on the top of the cake, but that is optional. Serve! Keep cake stored in the fridge.  
*If you don't like cold cake, heat your slice in the microwave about 10 seconds, I think it makes it extra flavorful. :)

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