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PUT DOWN THE BOX MIX! This recipe for almond cake from scratch is perfect for everything from fondant cakes to perfectly domed cupcakes. Learn how to make it on GoodieGodmother.com

One of the best things a baker will ever hear is “The last piece of cake caused a small argument between my wife and I.” Yesterday, my husband came home from work to tell me that the husband of one of my friends stopped by his office just to share how much he and his wife enjoyed the almond cake I sent their way, so much that there was a bit of tension over who got the last sliver. Since she also bakes, and I know almond cake is a flavor she makes rather regularly, this was a Big Deal. I also wished I had sent a little more their way! Oh well, she’ll have the recipe now.

PUT DOWN THE BOX MIX! This recipe for almond cake from scratch is perfect for everything from fondant cakes to perfectly domed cupcakes. Learn how to make it on GoodieGodmother.com

Almond cake is one of those basic cakes, like white cake, yellow cake, and chocolate cake, where you need a solid recipe you can use as a base for everything else. It’s one of the most popular wedding cake flavors, so you’d think there would be loads of recipes running around, and there are, but the vast majority use box mix. Almond cake has been around longer than box mix, so why wouldn’t the majority of the options be for an almond cake recipe without box mix? I too, am perplexed. I think maybe part of the explanation is that nuts have a tendency to make cakes feel heavy, and while you want the almond cake to be dense enough to use under fondant, you don’t want to feel like you’re eating something as dense as a pound cake either. There has to be a happy medium.

PUT DOWN THE BOX MIX! This recipe for almond cake from scratch is perfect for everything from fondant cakes to perfectly domed cupcakes. Learn how to make it on GoodieGodmother.com

This cake, is that happy medium. It doesn’t dry out easily, has the perfect texture for cake carving or holding its shape under fondant, but it makes beautiful cupcakes as well, light and perfectly domed. I think this is partially due to the method in which the ingredients are mixed. To make the cake, you use what’s called a reverse creaming method. The dry ingredients are mixed first and then you add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. This ensures that your leaveners are evenly spread throughout the batter and prevents over-beating, so you get a perfect almond cake every time.

Almond Cake From Scratch
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Step away from the box mix! This almond cake, from scratch, is the recipe you've been looking for!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 7 cups batter, so one 2 layer 8x2" cake or about 2 dozen cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ⅓ c whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1¾ c unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¼ c cornstarch*
  • ½ c finely-ground blanched almond meal
  • 1½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1 tbsp sections
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour your cake pans, or place liners in 2 dozen cupcake wells.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low for about a minute to ensure that the dry ingredients are well blended.
  3. Add the butter 1 tbsp at a time and mix until it's well incorporated and the mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, extracts, and milk. Add this mixture to your dry ingredients in two parts, scraping the bowl after each addition. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour into your cake pans or fill your cupcake liners ⅔ of the way and bake 20-25 minutes for cupcakes and 30-35 minutes for cakes. The cake is ready when the center springs back when touched gently.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.**
Notes
*You may also substitute 2 cups of cake flour for the all purpose flour and corn starch, but it's just as easy to mix your own if you don't have any on hand.
**To make cutting and leveling cakes easier, I often wrap each layer in plastic wrap while it's slightly warm and refrigerate for a few hours or freeze for an hour or so. Well chilled cake is easier to work with. If you do freeze the cake, thaw in the refrigerator before decorating.
 

The Evolution of Mom

PUT DOWN THE BOX MIX! This recipe for almond cake from scratch is perfect for everything from fondant cakes to perfectly domed cupcakes. Learn how to make it on GoodieGodmother.com

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This Post Has 36 Comments
  1. Most of the “almond” cake recipes I have seen use equal amounts of vanilla and almond extracts. Since this recipe uses double the vanilla, is it more a vanilla flavor? If I wanted more almond could I go 2t almond, 1 vanilla? Thanks

    1. I personally feel that the cake has a definite almond flavor thanks to the inclusion of the almond meal, BUT, you are more than welcome to adjust the extract quantities to suit your taste. It will still turn out delicious, and I’m a big believer in making recipes in a way that makes you happy. 🙂

  2. Hello, I do not have whole milk on hand. What can I use for a substitute? I have 2%, unsweetened almond milk, and buttermilk on hand. Thank you!

  3. I’ll be making my sister’s wedding cake this August and I’ve made this recipe for a cake tasting we’re having this weekend – thank you so much for sharing! Just wondering if you’d recommend going with a vanilla buttercream or an almond buttercream to go with the cake and if you have a go-to buttercream recipe?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed! I would probably go with a vanilla buttercream just because some people aren’t a fan of a very strong almond flavor so it provides a balance. A creamy buttercream recipe that holds up well at room temperature is my swiss meringue buttercream frosting (http://goodiegodmother.com/vanilla-bean-swiss-meringue-buttercream-frosting/). It’s a cooked egg white buttercream. Were you looking for that recipe or something more along the lines of the classic butter/powdered sugar recipe?

  4. I’ve made this cake and it was really delicious! I’d like to make it for my daughter’s first birthday but would need to double the recipe. Is this recipe that will double well or should I make up two batters?

    1. Almond paste is thicker and can’t be sifted in with the rest of the dry ingredients like almond meal. In my experience, baking recipes that call for almond paste often end up quite dense. I’m sure you could try it, but the results would not be the same. I’d love to know the result if you do give it a go.

      1. I made it and used about two ounces of almond paste which I grated super fine into the flour mix. The cake tastes fabulous and it was not too dense. If I could post a picture I would!

  5. Bob Moore. From blanched whole almonds. Almond meal/flour is simply skinless, blanched almonds that have been finely ground. It lends a moist texture and rich, buttery flavor to cakes, cookies, muffins, sweet breads and a host of other desserts, especially the classic French frangipane. It is also superb as a breading for meats and vegetables. I want to make your Almond Cake but never used Almond meal. Is the above listed description from Giant Eagle and Walmart the item I want to purchase for half cup of Almond Meal . Thank you.

  6. This looks amazing! I’m wondering if I can sub out all purpose flour for gluten free all purpose flour instead? Do you have any gluten free almond cake recipes?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Kaitlynne! Your timing is rather impeccable haha, I just posted a gluten free vanilla cake (goodiegodmother.com/gluten-free-vanilla-cupcakes/), and you could follow that, but… looking at the two recipes, I think you very well could just do a straight swap with you preferred gluten free AP flour. I would add a tablespoon of ground golden flax, as I’ve found that helps a lot with getting just the right texture. I will put getting a dedicated gluten free almond cake post written and photographed on my list! 😉

  7. That looks amazing!! I so wish I had the skill to make cakes that beautiful. I figure that if I can even get a simple layer of icing on, it’s a masterpiece! :/

      1. This is a beautiful cake. I am going to try and do this technique for a baby shower I am having. I couldn’t find the frosting recipe, can you send that to me?

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