Almond-Crusted Butter Cake (The Home Bakers)

I’ve recently joined The Home Bakers hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and each month members bake the same recipe from the same book.

We are currently baking from “Coffee Cakes” by Lou Seibert Pappas and this month the host is Emily of Emily’S Cooking (Makan 2) Foray who has selected the recipe almond-crusted butter cake.

Upon reading the recipe I was a bit apprehensive to try it as it’s a butter cake and the original ingredients did not include any milk so it would be very heavy and dense. Also I have always greased and floured my cake tins and this recipe said to ‘lightly butter & coat sides with almonds’ so I was worried the cake would stick to the tin. After reading how my fellow members went with the recipe I thought I would give it a go as I do love almonds.

Here is how I went:

I’ve had this ‘Rehruecken’ cake tin (Rehruecken translated from German to English means deer back, Rehruecken cake is a typical Austrian dessert cake covered with melted chocolate) for a long time but hardly make use of it so I decided it was time it saw some batter. Plus I like the indents as it acts like a guideline for cutting the slices. I greased the tin really well and took my time covering it neatly with almonds in the hope that once baked it would turn out with ease.

Cream the butter then beat in the icing/powdered sugar. I reduced the sugar and the cake was still sweet.

Add eggs one at a time beating between each addition.

Beat in vanilla paste and elderflower syrup. I used vanilla paste instead of vanilla essence for a more intense flavour and I replaced the almond extract with elderflower syrup.

I folded in sifted flour & baking soda with butter milk. The original recipe does not call for butter milk and sifted flour, it says to beat in the flour.The butter milk suggestion came from Mich of Piece of Cake and Eileen of Hundred Eights Degrees.

The batter was very creamy and thick and it filled the tin nicely without moving the almonds.

I sprinkled extra almonds along with Demerara sugar to cover the batter. The Demerara  sugar adds a lovely sweet crunchy crumbly crust once baked.

The cake took 1 hour to bake at 170 C. 30 minutes into baking I had to cover it with foil otherwise the top would have burnt. My oven is very strong and even with the cake already on the lowest shelf it still browned very quick.

Out of the oven, I let it rest covered for 10 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack to cool.

My worst nightmare came true – the cake stuck to the tin!!  I slowly used a knife and a small spatula to release the cake from the tin, as you can see the two end edges were slightly burnt and some of the almonds on the side did stick to the tin even though I did give the tin a good greasing. I think this tin is only for the Rehruecken cake.

The cake was dense but very moist and it had a slight trace of marzipan flavour. I think the mixture of vanilla paste and elderflower syrup might have been the culprit. The almond crusted boarder gave it a lovely crunch and the Demerara sugar on the bottom complimented the cake very well.

The end result with our guests. The cake went down well with everyone, even with one of our guests who is quite particular about his cakes – he had 3 slices & leftovers for his breakfast! 😉

Incidentally, the plate the cake is served on is a traditional Austrian ceramic plate – Gmundner Keramik – which has been around since the 17th century.  This design is a very traditional design & not a particular favourite of mine but this is the only long plate I have. A whole dining set was given to my in-laws as their wedding gift from  their parents & it just so happens we have this plate.

The original recipe can be found on Emily’s blog here

My modifications:

Half of the original recipe

Sliced almonds – I didn’t measure the almonds, I poured them out and used them as I greased the pan and sprinkled as much or as little as I liked before baking

3/4 cup unsalted butter

200 grams powdered sugar (I reduced to 150 grams)

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (I might only use 1/2 tspn next time)

1/2 teaspoon elderflower syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons buttermilk (6 tablespoons fresh milk + 4 teaspoons lemon juice (I only had lime juice available) left to stand for 5 – 10 minutes)

Demerara sugar for sprinkling

Thank you for reading and if you do try this recipe please let me know how it turns out.

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