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Almond Celebration Cake

Showcase your love of sweets with this buttery vanilla cake and buttercream icing for anyone’s special celebration! This cake is an inspiration from an old restaurant that Emily remembers as a kid. Family members would ask for The Knotty Pine” butter cake. What a wonderful flavour memory to have!

This is the hero dessert from Everyday Celebrations… in the background you can see the Strawberry Shortcakes but you’ll have to get a copy of the book for that one! 

Serves 16
  1. Celebration Cake
  2. 2 ¾ cups (675 mL) allpurpose flour
  3. 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
  4. ½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  5. ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  6. 1 cup (250 mL) 2% milk
  7. 1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
  8. 4 tsp (20 mL) vanilla
  9. 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
  10. 1 ½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
  11. 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  12. Almond Buttercream
  13. 1 ½ cups (375 mL) butter, softened
  14. 6 cups (1.5 L) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
  15. 1 cup (250 mL) heavy or whipping (35%) cream
  16. 1 tbsp (15 mL) almond extract
  17. ½ cup (125 mL) sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Butter or spray two 8-inch (20 cm) springform or 2-inch (5 cm) high cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, sour cream and vanilla.
  2. In a large bowl, using a stand or handheld mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat mixture for about 2 minutes or until light colored and very fluffy. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk mixture; repeat once, ending with remaining flour. Stir until well combined.
  3. Pour batter equally into prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake for about 35 minutes or until light golden all over and tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes, then turn out onto rack and remove parchment paper. Let cool completely.
  1. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using stand or handheld mixer, beat butter until very light in color. Slowly beat in half of the confectioners’ sugar. Add cream and almond extract and beat until combined. Beat in remaining sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Turn cakes over and, using a long serrated knife, trim cake top to level if necessary. Cut each cake in half to get four even layers. Place one layer on cake stand or board and spread with a generous 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the buttercream. Repeat with remaining layers. Spread some of the buttercream all around the cake to create a thin layer of buttercream, which will set the crumbs. Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour or until buttercream is firm and set. (Keep remaining buttercream at room temperature, simply cover with plastic wrap.)
  3. Remove cake from fridge and spread with remaining buttercream and decorate with almonds as desired. Refrigerate up to 2 days ahead. Let come to room temperature before cutting to serve.
Vanilla Variation
  1. Omit almond extract in icing and substitute vanilla. Omit almonds, if desired.
  1. Make this cake your own and add your favourite sprinkles on the inside and outside! If you want a little fruit flavor, spread some of your favorite thick jam on the cake layers before you add the icing. Make sure the cakes are completely cooled before icing to prevent the cakes from sinking from the weight of the layers. If you don’t have high-sided pans, you can use four cake pans that are 1 inch (2.5 cm) high instead. Make sure all of your pans are the same size and made from the same material. If they are different, keep an eye on them, as they may bake at slightly different times. Darker pans may cook more quickly, and heavier pans may need extra baking time.
The Best of Bridge

This recipe is available in the book Best of Bridge Everyday Celebrations.