It has become a birthday tradition in our family to let the birthday girl or boy select their own cake from my modest cookbook collection. When my son spied this Chocolate Almond Cake, he begged for me to make it for his special day. I will be honest and say that Chocolate Almond Cake would have been last on my list of culinary delights at the age of ten, so it surprised me a lot he would select it. Chocolate Almond Cake seemed a rather sophisticated birthday cake choice, but it made me happy to hear that this was the special cake that he wanted and proud of his smart little palate.
Chocolate and almond do make the perfect pairing and the flavors are laced not only through the entire richly moist cake, but it is also throughout the delicate chocolate cream cheese frosting that it is topped with. This cake was a huge hit at our party especially among the chocolate lovers in the group. The cake itself is rich, but the lighter chocolate frosting really pulls the cake together.
I decided to make two of these cakes so we had enough cake for all of our guests and ended up using three of the layers (shown here) for a fuller cake for our family. The last layer that I made was tucked into the freezer for my son & his friends who are coming this week for a birthday get together.
I prefer to make my cakes in a two day process and the best part about this cake is that the flavors seem to meld better if they are allowed a day to set. I went ahead and wrapped the cooled cake layers in plastic wrap and then covered them in foil. When the cake is frozen it is much easier to decorate and I have a lot less crumbs to have to work around. That little tip came courtesy of a Michael’s cake decorating course I took and has served me well over the years of making and decorating special occasion cakes.
I am looking forward to sharing more about his birthday party in the upcoming weeks and hope these ideas will offer some party planning inspiration for your family!
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 package (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 package (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract (for your frosting)
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 9-inch cake round pans by generously greasing them with vegetable shortening and then dusting them with flour. Set your pans aside.
- Heat the chopped chocolate and water in a a saucepan over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Set the pan aside to cool for ten minutes.
- Place the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, almond extract, and melted chocolate mixture in a large mixing bowl. Blend your cake mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared pans, smoothing with a rubber spatula.
- Bake the cakes for 28-30 minutes.
- Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for five minutes. Take cakes out of the pans and allow them to cool on the wire rack for thirty minutes.
- Place the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl. Blend well until combined.
- Add cocoa powder, almond extract, and confectioners' sugar and blend until the frosting is fluffy.
- Frost your cake.
- Place the cake uncovered in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, approximately 20 minutes.
- Cover the cake with waxed paper and store in your refrigerator for up to one week.
- To freeze the cake, wrap it in aluminum foil, for up to six months.
- Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator before serving.