“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward”
Kurt Vonnegut

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream CakeHappy New Year with an Ombre Almond Layered Cream Cake. Sorry I haven’t made an appearance yet. The beginning of the year is always BUSY! Call it bad planning, but the elder teen was born on the 2nd of Jan 17 years ago. In this absolutely freezing cold, where the temperature dips and the power trips, I’ve been baking birthday cakes every 1st January for the past 16 years.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream Cake 2We’ve broken ‘cold‘ records for the past 45 years this January. With a country not planned with central heating, we are surviving in ice boxes at 0.7 C temperatures. Absolutely bone chilling here these days. It’s one thing to shiver; another to shiver and bake!! Must be a glutton for punishment as I shiver through the process every year. I made an ombre cake a while ago for a dear friends birthday. It was TALL with many shades of pink. How the daughter whined! “You never make tall cakes in shades of pink for me”, “Why have I never got one like this”, “I WANT pink for my birthday”.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream Cake 3Then I saw this beautiful piece of art at BS in the Kitchen. Stunning and inspiring. I set off to replicate it but this January has been tougher than ever. Bitterly cold, power cuts galore … and if I may be allowed some more whining, cream that refused to oblige! I got down to whipping the low fat cream thrice … every single time we had a power cut. It usually obliges. Not this time though. I almost wept.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream Cake I should have made a buttercream; really should have. We don’t particularly love buttercream at home, so I decided to innovate. Lesson learnt: roses are made from firmer stuff i.e. buttercream! In sheer desperation, I began piping my frosting which was good enough to pipe roses on top, but played slip sliding roses on the walls of the cake. Thank heavens for lace collars. When all else fails, it seems to salvage the situation somewhat.

Ombre ... Almond Layered Cream CakeThe cake tasted great and the birthday teen loved it to bits, pink and all. It got over really quick. In all the running around that day, I never did manage a proper picture before it was cut. It was worth the heartache though, well worth it!

[print_this]Recipe: Almond Layered Cream Cake 
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Summary: A light almond flavoured sponge sandwiched and frosted with an equally light almond whipped buttercream. Inspired from here. Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • Sponge X 2 {to make 4 round cakes. Each portion makes 2 X 7″ cakes}
  • 4 eggs
  • 110g raw sugar {or powdered}
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 4 drops almond extract
  • 80g plain flour
  • 25g almond meal
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp light olive oil
  • Pink colour
  • Filling and frosting
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 400g low fat cream, chilled
  • 150-200g icing sugar {adjust according to taste}
  • Few drops almond extract


  1. Sponge {each portion of batter makes 2 cakes}
  2. Line the bottoms and sides of 2 7″ round tin. Preheat oven to 180C.
  3. Sift the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt together. Reserve.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar over simmering water on high speed for about 10 minutes until the mixtures becomes thick and mousse like, tripling in quantity {Thermomix, Speed 4, Butterfly insert, 37C, 10 minutes or more}
  5. Take off water, add vanilla bean almond extract and continue beating for 3-4 minutes until it cools down a bit. {Thermomix, Speed 4, Butterfly insert, 3-4 minutes}
  6. Gently fold in the flour mixture in 3-4 goes. {Thermomix, Reverse Speed 2}, followed by the olive oil.
  7. Divide batter into two {approximately 200-210g per portion}.
  8. Pour one plain white portion into tin nbr 1. Add 2 drops of pink to the next. Repeat for another portion of batter but increase the amount of pink in the next two. You could use a drop of purple additionally in the 4th portion to get a darker hue.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the sponge springs back when touched lightly, or a tester comes out clean. {Don’t overbake els the sponges will get dry}
  10. Cool on rack for 5 minutes, remove from tin and cool completely.
  11. Filling and frosting
  12. Whip the cream and sugar to medium peaks. Add the butter and almond extract and whip until light and fluffy. {You cannot pipe roses with this}
  13. Sandwich the layers with this, then frost the top and sides with remaining cream. Pipe rosettes on top if desired.
  14. Chill for 2-3 hours for flavours to mature.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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