Just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean we’re done with making fancy cakes! This all-white Lambeth cake is a timeless classic.
It was recently Tyler’s step-mom’s birthday, and I remember her mentioning at some point that artificial almond was her favourite cake flavour, so I decided to use that as the base for a new recipe! However, I wanted to take it a step further and really drive the almond flavour home, so I also added some toasted almonds as well. The result was a dang delicious and moist almond cake; the combination of artificial and real almond flavours created a depth of flavour that was just perfect.
As for the decorating, I wanted to go with a wintery theme that would be appropriate for a birthday celebration, without being too Christmassy. I decided on an all-white colour scheme, which I thought would give the cake a clean and elegant look. To add a touch of sophistication, I used lambeth style piping on the surface of the cake. This intricate design, named after the London suburb where it originated, involves creating a series of loops and swirls using various piping tips. The final product was beautiful and elegant; the perfect centrepiece for a winter wonderland themed event (or just an elegant birthday bash!).
My favourite decorating tools are linked here: Baking and Decorating Essentials
Here are some close-ups, along with the piping tips I used to achieve each feature.
Here’s a short video showing the decorating process:
All-White Almond Cake
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1.1 cups white sugar
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- 1.8 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 tsp artificial almond extract or almond emulsion
- 1/3 cup sour cream room temperature
- 2/3 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1.8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/5 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup almond slices toasted
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (162.8°C).
- Grab 3 6-inch round cake pans, line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand mixer), combine the butter and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Add the egg whites, vanilla, almond extract, and the sour cream. Mix until combined. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and finishing with the flour.
- Using a kitchen scale, divide the batter evenly among your pans.
- Bake until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with a few crumbs when inserted into the center, about 23 to 28 minutes. Check the cake at 23 minutes and then set the timer for 2 to 3 minute intervals if the cake needs to bake longer. You’re looking for a few moist crumbs to come out on the toothpick when inserted into the center of the cake.
- Let the cake layers cool slightly (but not fully!) before wrapping each cake layer with plastic wrap and chilling in the freezer for at least an hour before using. The cake layers can be stored for up to a few days wrapped once in plastic wrap and frozen. To store longer than a few days, wrap twice in plastic wrap, then seal in a zip-lock bag.
- Make buttercream according to instructions (check the "Classic American Buttercream Recipe" page!). You will add in almond extract along with vanilla extract, to make it almond flavoured.
- Start by placing one of the cake layers on a cake stand or plate. If your cake layers are uneven, use a serrated knife to carefully level the top.
- Spread a layer of almond buttercream frosting over the top of the cake layer. Sprinkle a layer of toasted almond slices over the frosting.
- Repeat this process with the remaining cake layers, making sure to press gently on each layer to ensure it is secure.
- Once all of the layers are stacked, use a thin layer of frosting or “crumb coat” to seal in any crumbs and give the cake a smooth base for the final frosting layer. This can be done with a thin layer of almond buttercream frosting.
- Once the crumb coat has set, use an offset spatula and cake scraper to spread a final layer of frosting over the top and sides of the cake.
- The lambeth style involves creating a series of loops and scrolls using a pastry bag and a special tip, so you will want to have a selection of tips on hand to create the desired design. Fill a piping bag fitted with your desired piping tips with almond buttercream frosting.
- Starting at the base of the cake, pipe a series of overlapping loops around the circumference of the cake, working your way up towards the top.
- As you reach the top of the cake, continue piping loops and scrolls to cover the surface of the cake. You can experiment with different sizes and shapes of loops to create a unique design.
- Once you have finished piping the lambeth style design, you can add any additional decorations such as toasted almond slices or fresh fruit to the top of the cake.
- Serve and enjoy your beautifully decorated almond cake!