Ingredients for Almond Cake
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp. almond extract
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond meal flour
- 1 ½ tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. canola oil
Ingredients for Vanilla Honey Glaze
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, fresh
- ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 4 tbsp. half and half cream
Ingredients for Mascarpone Crème Fraiche
- 3 (8-oz.) packages mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups crème fraiche
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- As needed, whole strawberries
- As needed, sliced toasted almonds
- As needed, fresh mint sprigs
- To prepare cakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan; spray with cooking spray.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine buttermilk, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract in bowl and mix until fully blended. With a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Add to buttermilk mixture and beat on low until fully blended. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Slowly add oil to buttermilk/flour mixture and beat on medium-low until fully blended.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; invert on wire rack to release cakes.
To Prepare Glaze:
- Combine honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest, confectioner’s sugar and half and half in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Brush tops and sides of warm cakes evenly with glaze. Cool cakes completely. (If making cakes ahead, wrap tightly and freeze.)
To Prepare Mascarpone Crème Fraiche:
- Combine mascarpone, crème fraiche, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
To Assemble Cake:
- Place first cake on cake pedestal or serving plate.
- Spread about ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche over top of cake. Top with second cake layer. Spread about ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche over top of cake. Top with third cake layer. Spread about ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche over top of cake.
- Spread remaining ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche on sides of cake to make a light crumb coating. Using a bench scraper or cake spatula, lightly scrape top and sides of cake to remove excess mascarpone crème fraiche forming a smooth surface.
- Top cake with strawberries, toasted almonds and fresh mint sprigs.
- Chill thoroughly before serving.
NOTE: Find prepared crème fraiche in the dairy aisle of your grocery store. Crème fraiche is easy to make if not available in your area. Combine 1¼ cups heavy cream with 2 tbsp. buttermilk. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours or until thickened. Refrigerate until ready to use.