Almond Scented White Cake
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup milk
5 egg whites, room temperature
3/4 cup raspberry preserves, melted
1 1/4 cups sliced almonds, toasted, cooled
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350¼F.
Butter and flour 2 round cake pans each 9 inches in diameter and 1
1/2 inches deep. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking
powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on
medium-high speed, beat the butter until light. Gradually add the
sugar, beating until well blended. Beat in the vanilla and almond
extracts. Reduce the speed to low and, dividing the flour mixture
into 3 batches, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture
alternately with the milk just until combined.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with clean, dry
beaters and set on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks
form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten whites into the
batter just until incorporated. Divide the batter between the
prepared pans; smooth with the spatula. Bake until a toothpick
inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Transfer to racks and let cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a
sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cakes. Invert onto
racks and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, combine
the cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer set on
medium-high speed, beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low, add
the confectioners’ sugar and again beat until smooth. Beat in the
vanilla and almond extracts until well blended. Using a long
serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 layer on
a plate. Spread 1/2 cup of the frosting over the top, then drizzle
on 1/4 cup of the melted preserves. Top with another cake layer and
repeat with the same amounts of frosting and preserves. Top with a
third cake layer and again repeat with the same amounts of frosting
and preserves. Top with the fourth cake layer, cut side down. Spread
the remaining frosting over the top and sides. Ring the top with
raspberries, if using, and press the toasted almonds onto the sides.
Serve immediately, or cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for up
to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Makes one 9-inch cake; serves 10 to 12.