A simple, unfrosted almond cake with a filling of mascarpone cream with a topping of strawberries. It’s rustic appearance is quite charming for spring and summer.
By Emily Nelson
A couple years ago Ryan asked me to bake him a simple no frills almond cake for his birthday. A request for a simple unfrosted undecorated cake was a bit disappointing to me, but since it was his birthday I obliged.
And wouldn’t you know, the cake in all of its simplicity was outstanding and it far surpassed any expectations I had for a “plain” cake. I knew it was a cake that I would be making again. So here it is, although this time I did dress it up with some fresh strawberries and mascarpone cream. (Although it’s not quite strawberry season here in Michigan, I couldn’t resist the recent sale I came across on organic strawberries.) Even with the strawberries and cream, it’s still quite beautifully simple and rustic.
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 7 ounces almond paste
- ¾ cup evaporated can juice sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup mascarpone cheese
- 2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
- powdering sugar for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- Butter two 9-inch cake pans. Use a cake pan to trace two 9-inch diameter circles out of parchment paper. Carefully cut the circles slightly smaller than outlined and place in the cake pans. Lightly butter the parchment papers.
- Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium mixing bowl.
- In a stand mixer, mix together the almond paste and sugar on medium speed until almond paste is in very small pieces. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.
- Using the stand mixer again, beat the butter until creamy and lightened. Add the almond paste mixture and the vanilla. Cream together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down sides of the bowl when necessary. Add flour mixture half at a time, mixing until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes and then turn cakes out of the pans onto wire cooling racks and remove the parchment paper. Allow cakes to cool completely before assembling.
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (or use a handheld mixer), whip the cream and sugar until fluffy and soft peaks begin to form. Add the mascarpone and vanilla beat for an additional minute, until thickened with soft peaks.
- Spread half of the mascarpone cream onto one of the cakes, leaving a 1 inch border around the edge. Arrange with half of the strawberries. Top with the second cake and layer remaining cream and strawberries. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. This is best served the same day it's made.