Birthday Cake Club : Almond Orange Blossom Cake
Moist almond cake gets fancy with frilly orange blossom buttercream.
Hi Bakers! Here is your February Birthday Cake of the Month:
We are nearly halfway through the shortest month of the year - what have you baked recently? I’ve been testing this Birthday Cake Club recipe for a couple weeks now. It started as a decadent chocolate mousse cake, then a brown butter sprinkle situation, before eventually evolving into something completely different.
By the final round, the cake found its true identity - fun, flirty, with notes of citrus. This Almond Orange Blossom Cake is a far cry from the chocolate sponge and ultra rich mousse I started with, but I couldn’t be happier with the results and am thrilled to be sharing it with you this month.
I love working with almond flour. Swapping in a portion of almond flour in a classic butter cake recipe adds richness and moisture. It might look dense with its tight crumb, but I promise the cake is plush and tender. Almond flour doesn’t necessarily make the cake taste like almonds, so I added a splash of almond extract along with orange zest for subtle nutty and citrus flavors.
Keep in mind that almond and all-purpose flour are not 100% interchangeable. All-purpose flour contains the gluten that is necessary for structure building in this recipe. Almond flour is made up of fat from the ground nuts that adds richness and will extend the shelf-life of the cake by keeping it moist longer.
This recipe utilizes the creaming method to help give the cake some lift. Make sure that the butter is soft but not greasy or melted before you add it to the orange-infused sugar mixture. Review The Creaming Method here:
Orange blossom water adds delicate floral notes to the buttercream. Less is more here, so make sure to use it in moderation. Treat the orange blossom water as you would rose water or lavender - too much and the flavor will be overwhelming, bitter, and soap-like.
Neither orange extract nor orange juice work well as substitutes. If you don’t have orange blossom water, then I suggest adding vanilla bean, almond extract, or melted and cooled white chocolate to the buttercream - all of which would pair lovely with the soft almond cake.
I had so much fun decorating this cake. The new baby was having a marathon nap, so I was able to play around with different piping tips and finally get this retro design idea from inside my head out into the world. Vintage buttercream piping has made a comeback over the last year or so. Pull out your star tips and give it a try!
Of course, the cake tastes just as good without the ruffles and extra flair if you’d like to skip the last few steps. If you are new to cake decorating (or even if you are confident in your piping skills), then I recommend chilling the cake between frosting and decorating. This way, any mistakes made while piping are easier to remove with minimal damage to your final coat.
New to cake decorating? Start here:
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