Almond Custard Layer Cake
The silky smooth custard in this recipe takes the cake! It’s piped generously between layers of nutty, aromatic sponge, creating a concoction of warm and rustic flavors. For a pop of color, customize your frosting with natural food coloring or top it all off with fresh seasonal fruit – you can’t go wrong with blueberry and almond. Our thanks to Life, Love and Sugar for the recipe.
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups (325g) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon almond extract
4 large Nellie’s Free Range Eggs
1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk
For the custard:
3 Nellie’s Free Range Eggs, yolks only
1/2 cup (104g) sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoom cornstarch
1 1/2 cups (360ml) milk
2 tablespoon (28g) salted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
For the frosting:
1 1/4 cups (280g) salted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
5 to 6 tablespoons (75 to 90ml) water or milk
To make the cake:
- Prepare 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottoms and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350F (176C).
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl, and set aside.
- Add the butter, sugar, oil and almond extract to a large mixing bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure that all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
- Gradually add the milk and mix until well combined. The batter will look curdled, but that’s okay.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Do not over-mix the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then (without removing from pans) transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
To make the custard:
- While the cakes cool, make the custard. Put the egg yolks in a medium-size bowl and gently beat them together. Set aside.
- Add the sugar, cornstarch and milk to a large saucepan and mix until combined.
- Cook, stirring continuously, over medium-high heat until mixture begins to thicken and bubble.
- Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add a little bit of milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk together, then add egg mixture to milk mixture. This process ensures that you don’t cook the egg yolks too quickly and and risk scrambling them.
- Place pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Remove from heat and add butter and almond extract. Stir until smooth, then set in the fridge to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- When everything has cooled, make the frosting. Mix the butter and shortening in the large bowl of an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add the almond extract and 3 or 4 tablespoons water or milk, then mix until well combined and smooth.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until combined.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons water or milk as needed to achieve the right consistency, and mix until well combined and smooth.
To assemble the cake:
- To assemble the cake, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the tops of the cakes.
- Place the first layer of the cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round. Pipe a dam of frosting around the outside edge of the cake. Lindsay uses an Ateco tip 808 for the dam so that it’s tall.
- Spread half of the custard evenly on top of the cake layer inside the dam, then smooth out the dam of frosting so that it’s even with the custard.
- Add the second layer of cake and repeat the dam and custard filling.
- Add the final layer of cake on top, then spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- Frost the outside of the cake, then use food coloring to create your desired frosting color and create a “spackled” look.
- Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best when eaten within 2-3 days.
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