Yield: 1 Three-Layer Cake
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Slowly add oil to buttermilk/flour mixture and beat on medium-low until fully blended.
5. 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:
1. Combine honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest, confectioner’s sugar and half and half in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
2. 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:
1. Combine mascarpone, crème fraiche, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
To Assemble Cake:
1. place first cake on cake pedestal or serving plate.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Top cake with strawberries, toasted almonds and fresh mint sprigs.
5. 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.