Two fluffy layers of buttery almond cake are slathered in luscious cream cheese frosting in this “naked” Almond Layer Cake. Keep it simple with just a sprinkle of shredded coconut or dress it up with a few buttercream flowers.
Why We Love This Almond Layer Cake
This cake is loved for so many reasons right now. At only two layers tall, it yields fewer servings while still packing in lots of flavor. If you're for simpler bakes and less fussy recipes these day, but still wanna make ‘em fancy, then this is for you.
Instead of a multi-layer, heavily frosted cake fit for large gathering, this “naked” cake with a few buttercream blossoms still has enough fanfare to make any occasion feel special. This cake is perfect for Easter, Mother’s Day, and every day in between because honestly, every day that are we are still together is worth celebrating.
Too fancy? Skip the blooms all together and this becomes a simple yet irresistible snacking cake.
Naked Almond Layer Cake
Instead of frosted sides, there are thick, fluffy layers of cream cheese icing swirls. This makes the cake feel a bit more understated and acceptable for everyday cravings. Having less icing all around makes cutting a hefty slice perfect for afternoon tea or even brunch.
The almond cake layers themselves are moist with a tight crumb and are sturdy enough to support the lofty icing. Because they are bit more exposed, “naked” cakes have a tendency to dry out faster but the almond flour helps keep the layers moist for longer.
- The flowers were piped with Swiss Meringue Buttercream on individual squares on parchment paper. They were then chilled in the refrigerator until stiff before being placed on the cake.
- If using fresh flowers, make sure they are non-toxic. Organic, unsprayed blooms are best.
- Serve the cake at room temperature. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Because the sides are “naked” and exposed, the cake will dry out faster than a fully iced cake. Be sure to wrap the sides of the cake tightly in plastic wrap.
Almond Layer Cake
For the Almond Cake
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoon baking poweder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter browned and cooled slightly
- 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup milk
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 ½ to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Make the Almond Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer), place the browned butter and brown sugar and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, almond extract, eggs - one at at time, and the yolk. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add the milk and mix until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Evenly divide the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers of the cakes comes out clean. Place the cakes on a wire cooling rack for 10 to 20 minutes before removing them from their pans. Cool the cakes completely before frosting.
Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese together on medium speed for 1 minute, or until smooth.
- Add in 2 ½ cups of confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoons milk and the vanilla bean paste. Mix on low until combined.
- Once incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium and mix until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 more minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- Add the remaining sugar and or milk until desired consistency. The frosting should be thin enough to spread smoothly but thick enough that it doesn’t slide off the cake layers.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread on half of the cream cheese frosting with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Top with the layer of cake and repeat.
- Decorate the cake with buttercream flowers, fresh flowers, and/or a shower of shredded coconut.