A baked from scratch almond cake, with a tender buttery crumb and a whipped cream filling. Glazed with vanilla cream and decorated to resemble an ornament for a special Christmas dessert centerpiece.
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2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter softened
2 large Land O Lakes® Eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1 3/4 cups Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1 cup maraschino cherries, coarsely chopped
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 to 8 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Half & Half
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans; set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; set aside.
Combine sugar and 2/3 cup butter in bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon almond flavoring; beat at high speed until well mixed. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition.
Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 30-33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans; remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.
Cut each cake in half horizontally making 2 layers each; set aside.
Place whipping cream in bowl; beat at medium speed until slightly thickened. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add maraschino cherry juice; continue beating until well mixed. Gently stir in maraschino cherries.
Place 1 layer onto serving plate, cut-side up. Place strips of waxed paper under edges of cake. Spread 1 cup filling over top. Place second layer over filling, cut-side down; spread 1 cup filling over top. Place third layer over filling, cut-side up; spread 1 cup filling over top. Place remaining layer over filling; cut-side down. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate 15 minutes.
Combine 5 cups powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in bowl. Add enough half & half for a thick glaze consistency; beat at low speed until well mixed. Spread glaze over top of cake, allowing glaze to flow over sides, covering top and sides completely. Let stand until glaze is set; remove waxed paper strips from bottom edge of cake. Decorate as desired. Store refrigerated.
- If using dark cake pans, reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- To make ahead, prepare cake layers as directed; do not slice. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 2 weeks. If frozen, thaw at room temperature 30 minutes; slice cakes into layers. Prepare filling and glaze as directed. Assemble cake as directed.
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