Almond Layer Cake with Blackberry Buttercream

almond cake with blackberry buttercream frosting

This celebratory Almond Layer Cake with Blackberry Buttercream is an elegant combination of the perfect yellow cake with an unusual tangy berry frosting…don’t be surprised if this easy layer cake becomes your most requested dessert.

Almond layer cake with blackberry buttercream, garnished with berries

My almond layer cake looks fancy but is just a good old fashioned butter cake with a fruity frosting…

I’m always on the lookout for a new special occasion cake, and this one is a nice mix of special without being over the top. The fresh blackberry frosting not only gives it a gorgeous (and natural) pink color, but a bright flavor that keeps this cake from being too rich. The candied almonds give it an unexpected crunch. 

Almond cake with blackberry buttercream topped with fresh blackberries and candied almonds

This is an all butter cake that’s easy to pull together, adapted from my Lemon Layer Cake with Lemon Poppy Seed Buttercream.  

The cake itself is light and fluffy with a subtle almond flavor. I think it might become your favorite all around yellow cake recipe, and you can change up the extract for different flavors. I can imagine it going well with all kinds of frosting, including basic vanilla or chocolate, so you can adapt it for lots of different birthday requests 🙂

almond layer cake with blackberry buttercream topped with blackberries and candied almonds

Why do I use 8 inch cake pans?

  • I love to use 8 inch cake pans when I’m going for a special occasion vibe in my desserts.
  • 8 inch pans create a taller cake overall, which makes a more dramatic presentation.
  • 8 inch pans create a cake that looks a little more professional, or bakery style, as opposed to homemade.
  • If you don’t have three pans, just bake two layers first, and then bake the third layer later, it won’t be a problem.

Can I convert this cake to my 9 inch pans?

  • Yes, this almond cake recipe can be made in two 9-inch pans. The cooking time won’t be dramatically different, but keep an eye on it on the early side.

an almond layer cake with blackberry buttercream being sliced

While vanilla and chocolate are still the favorites for layer cakes, I love to feature fruit in my desserts. Some of my favorite cakes feature berries:

Almond layer cake with blackberry buttercream

tvfgi recommends: non-stick 8 inch cake pans

I love these Chicago Metallic non stick cake pans, the 8-inch makes the perfect tall layer cake, whether you’re doing 2 layers, or going for 3. The pans are nicely insulated and cook evenly. The non-stick surface releases easily, but I always put a round of parchment at the bottom for added security.

*Pan care: hand wash and don’t use any harsh abrasives for longest life. Be sure to dry thoroughly before storing. Don’t use any metal utensils with your pans and they’ll last you many years. 

a slice of almond layer cake with blackberry buttercream

almond cake with blackberry buttercream frosting
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4.3 from 31 votes

Almond Layer Cake with Blackberry Buttercream

This celebratory Almond Layer Cake with Blackberry Buttercream is an elegant combination of the perfect yellow cake with an unusual tangy berry frosting...don't be surprised if this easy layer cake becomes your most requested dessert.  
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks, or 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1-1/4 cup half-and-half (or whole milk, or buttermilk)

For the blackberry buttercream

  • 3 sticks, or 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4-6 Tbsp blackberry puree, see note below
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp half-and-half or milk

For the garnish

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries

Instructions

For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter three 8-inch cake pans, and line the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper. Note: if you don't have three pans, bake two layers first, and the third later.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  • In an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar until very pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Don't skip this step, it's important for the cake's texture. (You can also use a hand held mixer.)
  • Add the eggs, one a time, letting each one get fully incorporated before adding the next. Blend in the extract.
  • Turn the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture. While the mixer is running, slowly add the half-and-half, or milk, and stop when everything is fully incorporated. I like to mix my batter a little bit by hand at the end, to make sure everything from the sides and the bottom of the bowl is fully incorporated.
  • Divide the batter between the three cake pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed, golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without wet batter on it.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove and cool fully on a baking rack.

For the frosting

  • In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until very smooth. Add the powdered sugar, a couple of cups at a time, and mix until smooth.
  • Add the blackberry puree, vanilla extract, and milk, and blend until smooth.
  • You can adjust the amounts of these liquid ingredients to get the color, flavor, and texture you want in your frosting. More blackberry puree will produce a darker color and a more tart frosting. If your blackberries are very sweet, you can also add a little lemon juice in place of some of the milk to make the frosting a bit more tart.

For the garnish

  • To make the candied almonds, add the sliced almonds and sugar to a saucepan, and heat until the sugar melts and starts to caramelize. Stir a few times to coat the almonds in the sugar. Be careful, as the almonds can burn quickly!
  • Transfer the candied almonds onto a sheet of parchment paper, and allow to cool.
  • Coarsely chop or break up the candied almonds into smaller pieces, and arrange them around the top of the cake along with the fresh blackberries.

Cook's notes

To make blackberry puree, cook about 2 cups of blackberries in a small saucepan until they release their juices and thicken slightly (this should take just a few minutes). Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing the berries down to extract as much juice/puree as possible. For me, this resulted in about 1/3 cup puree, which I used just about all of in the frosting. Your milage may vary depending on the size and juiciness of your blackberries.
You could use blackberry jam in a pinch.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Almond cake with blackberry buttercream pin.

 

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29 Comments

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  • Reply
    Chere
    June 29, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    4 stars
    The baking powder might have been old or the paddle may not have incorporated enough air when beating in the eggs. Those are the only leaveners in the recipe. I would suggest using a whisk attachment instead and continue for a full minute after flour and milk are incorporated. If you’re north of the Mason Dixon, use cake flour. If South, all purpose flour will do. Also, if you have access to buttermilk, use that for extra lift. If you substitute with milk or half and half, add 2 teaspoons of white vinegar to it first. Stir, wait a minute, then add to flour mixture. It will have thickened and will now have the effect of buttermilk due to the addition of the acid. ( do make sure your baking powder is fresh. Good luck. Blackberry makes everything better 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna
    February 24, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    Please send me latest resipes

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      February 24, 2021 at 4:17 pm

      I’ll add you to the mailing list Donna.

  • Reply
    Mina
    October 17, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    I used a different cake recipe and this recipes frosting. It’s just my opinion, of course, but I think this frosting recipe has way too much butter. After adding the vanilla and 7 tbsp of blackberry purée, the main flavor was still butter. Disappointing. I think next time I’ll use 1 cup butter and 4 cups sugar.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 25, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    5 stars
    I made this today for my stay-at-home birthday. The cake turned out great, but the frosting wasn’t quite right. I had a lovely buttercream going until I added the vanilla and blackberry puree. It caused the frosting to separate. I added an additional cup of confectioners sugar but it never recovered. 🙁 Any advice on where I went wrong?

    • Reply
      Emilie
      July 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      5 stars
      I had the same exact problem!! Was great consistency up until I added the purée and vanilla. I’ve made this cake twice now and had the same problem both times. Still taste great! Frosting just doesn’t look right

  • Reply
    Dana
    April 12, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    Oy— didn’t over BEAT… it makes ME crazy…

    Today is not my day. Happy Easter!

  • Reply
    Dana
    April 12, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    5 stars
    I’m giving it 5 stars because your recipes have not disappointed. I blew it though- layers came out dense and flat. I bake quite a bit but I’ve not made a layer cake in a long while. Ingredients were room temp, I beat the butter and sugar for the requisite time, i didn’t over eat the rest.I weighed the ingredients. It makes ma crazy. I’d be less frustrated if I had an idea why. And because ingredients are harder to come by right now, I can’t just start over. In any case, I love this site… cheers to you!

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