Almond Berry Layer Cake

In honor of my Ecuadorian host mother’s birthday and in celebration of a wonderful new intern and volunteer and the remarkable progress we’ve made in the battle against a forest of weeds, I decided to make a cake! I began once again with the basic yellow cake recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, but added a generous amount of almond extract to the frosting. Then topped it off with borage flowers and black raspberries from the garden, and sprinkled on some chopped almonds. It was challenging to spread frosting when it kept melting so quickly in the heat, kept having to stick the cake and frosting back in the fridge every few minutes to chill it enough to be workable. And it sure takes a long time and makes your arm sore to make a layer cake without an electic mixer! But lots of fun nonetheless, and I was pleases with how gorgeous (and delicious) it turned out!

BerryAlmondCake

Almond Berry Layer Cake

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 375ºF and grease and flour two 9” diameter cake pans.Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. With an electric mixer, beat in butter, vanilla, and milk at low speed until combined.Then beat on high for 2 minutes.  (Or stir until smooth) Add eggs and beat on high for 2 additional minutes (or stir vigorously until smooth!). Divide batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pans, then turn onto racks to cool.

Almond Buttercream Frosting:

1/3 cup butter, softened

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1-2 teaspoons almond extract

Beat butter with an electric mixer (or fork) on low until fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar, then beat in the milk a little at a time. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar. Stir in extract to taste. Thin with a little more milk, a teaspoon at a time, if necessary.

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