Almond Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream
What inspired this strawberry cake recipe
Hi, everyone! Sarah isn’t here. Instead, it’s me, Rebecca! A.K.A. Rebe, A.K.A. her younger sister. Today, July 28th, is Sarah’s birthday. So in celebration of her, I decided to do a guest post and give Sarah a day off. Sarah is my best friend and my kitchen companion (she’s the baker, I’m the cook), so she deserves a very special dessert — an almond-flavored strawberry cake with strawberry buttercream roses.
So last September for my birthday, Sarah gave me the best gift ever. I was at my college apartment upstairs in my friend’s room when I heard someone say, “Hey Becca, can you come downstairs?” I walked down the stairs to find Sarah standing in my living room, having flown all the way from Michigan to upstate New York. It was my last year at school, and she hadn’t yet visited me there.
But there she was! She had coordinated the weekend with my housemate, made dinner plans, and gotten my friend to record a video of the surprise greeting. I started crying the happiest tears of my life. We had the best weekend. We went to the farmers market, ate cider donuts, and walked around campus. On Saturday, she accompanied me throughout my night of 21st birthday galavanting, taking videos of me that I will forever cherish.
Since we’re living together, I can’t surprise her with a visit, but I think this almond strawberry cake might be at least 20% as good as that weekend. It’s really the perfect dessert to celebrate the lovely lady in your life, whether that be your sister, mom, girlfriend, etc. Its nutty center is moist and light, and it was a total breeze to whip up. The fruity, summery frosting is a perfect complement to the almond cake.
And how seasonally appropriate are those roses? They were so fun — and remarkably easy — to pipe onto the cake. (Do I sound like Sarah yet!? Lol.)
I’ve marveled at Broma’s growth over the past year since Sarah decided to be a full-time blogger. She has channeled her talents — photography, baking, communications, outreach — to create a stunning blog that I’m so proud to tell my friends and coworkers about. This strawberry cake is sweet, complex, and beautiful, just like my sister. I hope you all enjoy it, and all of the other wonderful things that Sarah makes on Broma Bakery.
Tips on making this almond strawberry cake
Really whisk the butter and sugar — For the fluffiest strawberry layer cake, you need to really whip the butter and sugar well. You’re looking for the butter to become fluffy and light in color — this will take a solid 2 to 3 minutes. It’s easy if you’re using a stand mixer, but it’ll require some patience if you’re doing everything by hand.
Use almond flour, NOT almond meal — Almond flour is slightly different from almond meal. Almond flour has been processed a little more and doesn’t have any almond skins in it. This makes it better for baked goods and won’t weigh down the almond cake layers as much.
Use fresh strawberries — For the best flavor, you should use fresh, in-season strawberries to the strawberry buttercream. The buttercream is the star of the show here, so buy the best ingredients you can for it!
Do a crumb coat first — Before you pipe on the strawberry buttercream roses, you need to first spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. This is called a crumb coat, and it’ll make it easier to pipe on the buttercream roses and will make your strawberry cake look a little more polished.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 8″ cake pans and line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl using a whisk, mix the butter and sugar util light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in eggs, vanilla extract, and almond extract, mixing until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternate mixing in the flour and the buttermilk until everything comes together. Do not overmix.
Divide batter among cake pans evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden and a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting.
While the cakes are baking, place the strawberries in a small saucepan and heat over low heat for at least 25 minutes, until the mixture reduces to 1/2 cup. Allow to cool to room temperature.
To make the frosting, whip the heavy cream until it forms a stiff whipped cream. Remove from mixing bowl and set aside in a small bowl.
Whip the butter until light and fluffy, then alternate adding in the strawberries and the powdered sugar until fully combined. Add in the salt and vanilla extract, then carefully fold in the whipped cream.
Before piping your roses, you will make a very thin layer of frosting over your entire cake. Place the first layer of cake on a cake stand or plate, and spread 1/2 cup buttercream on the top of the cake, leaving the sides unfrosted. Repeat with the next later of cake. For the third cake, top with 1/3 cup buttercream. Now frost the sides of the cake with 2/3 cup buttercream.
Fill the rest of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip. Slowly pipe roses onto the top and sides of the cake, beginning in the middle of the flower and spiraling outward until the rose is about two inches in diameter. Fill in any gaps between roses with small buds of frosting. Cake should be kept in fridge until ready to serve.