Good morning! I’ve been taking some time off lately and I think it’s paying off. We’re finally feeling settled (sort of) in our new apartment, and I’ve been using my free time to pump up my creativity again. I was starting to feel really drained and stretched in a few too many directions. That’s why I finally felt ready and excited to bake in my new kitchen!
I’ve been practicing my layer cake skills more lately, and this honey almond cake my most successful so far. I have a hard time creating even layers and making a straight, smooth cake, but I recently started a new Craftsy class, bought Tessa Huff’s new book Layered and watched a ton of YouTube videos and they’re all really helping me get better.
This cake shall go down in my personal hall of fame just because it was something totally out of my comfort zone that turned out really well. I can honestly say I’m so proud of this cake, and the flavors of honey and almond pair beautifully with the smooth butteriness of the swiss meringue buttercream to form a light but sweet blend of flavors.
I’ve made swiss meringue buttercream before, but this is my best batch EVER. Shout out to the Craftsy tutorial by Erica O’Brien! It’s not the most ideal for frosting a cake (better for fillings), but it worked perfectly for me, especially because I only wanted a very light layer on the outside. The honey gave it extra sweetness without being overpowering. Personally, I find swiss meringue buttercream a little too buttery and vanilla extract alone doesn’t balance it out enough, but it’s great for adding other flavors too and it’s less sweet than my usual American buttercream recipe (which I still love).
Anyway, enough chatter! Here’s how to make the honey almond cake!
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk, room temperature
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
Preheat the oven 350 degrees and spray two 8-inch cake pans or 3 6-inch pans with cooking spray and set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and fluffy (about one minute). Add the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix on low until it forms a crumbly mixture.
In another bowl or a measuring cup, whisk together the milk, vanilla, almond extract and egg whites until fully combined (about one minute). Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed. Scrape the bowl and continue to mixing for about 30 seconds until batter is smooth.
Distribute among the greased cake pans and bake for about 20 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in the pans.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey
For making swiss meringue buttercream, there are two things to know before you start: all bowls and utensils should be clean and grease-free and your butter should be softened to room temperature.
In a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Whisk consistently until the sugar dissolves into the egg whites. If you see small white patches forming in the mixture, turn down the heat. Once the temperature reaches 120 degrees (check with a candy thermometer), remove from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
Beat the mixture on high speed for about 5 minutes until it turns a glossy white and forms stiff peaks (just like meringue). Change out the whisk attachment for a paddle attachment and beat again on medium speed. As it mixes, add the softened butter in chunks until it is fully combined into the meringue. If it appears curdled, just keep mixing and it will likely correct itself.
Once completely mixed, add the honey and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Fill and frost the cooled cake with frosting. Drizzle with honey or coat with almonds, or both! The almonds are nice because they add a little crunch. I also drizzled some extra honey between the layers because the flavor is so light.
Also, I have to give a special shoutout to Massey Honey! I bought a few of their honeys at Renegade Craft Fair in December and it’s the best. They’re a local company, and I used an orange blossom honey for this cake. So perfect!
The cake is light and smooth but absolutely delicious. Enjoy!