Almond Sheet Cake

September 13, 2016

Author Notes: A light, delicate, almond-scented sheet cake is topped with swirls of a smooth, creamy, almond frosting. Perfect for birthdays, picnics, or a family dessert, this cake is ideal for almond lovers. The flour frosting technique yields a silky icing that is easy to top with an extra garnish: berries, pears, figs, toasted nuts, or chocolate would all be excellent.Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: one 9" x 13" cake


For the cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup almond flour or meal

For the frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
In This Recipe


For the cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" cake pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until each is well-incorporated. Add the almond extract and mix well.
  4. Add the flour mixture and the milk in three additions, alternating between each. Mix until the batter comes together.
  5. Mix in the almond flour.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth with a spatula to level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before frosting.

For the frosting

  1. Add the milk, flour, and salt to a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth.
  2. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and just begins to boil (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes until the mixture is warm but not hot. (If the mixture is too warm, it'll melt the butter in the next step.)
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar and almond extract until very light and fluffy. Add the warm milk mixture, one spoonful at a time, until the frosting gets pillowy and smooth. Frost the cooled cake and serve!

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Reviews (36) Questions (2)

36 Reviews

Sonya December 31, 2018
Couple questions... I used this on xmas cookies with vanilla extract instead of almond... still delicious.

How can I store the left over frosting? Can I freeze it? For how long?
Or refrigerate? For how long?
I’m going to try freezing a couple frosted cookies and see what happens.

Also - with the flour mix mine got reeeeally thick once it cooled. Like paste thick. It was very smooth and think it still worked okay but curious if it’s supposed to do that or I cooked too long.

And for those asking about granular sugar - I was concerned too but once I added the roux it smoothed it out.
Adam H. April 4, 2018
This is delicious, but the cake recipe doesn’t call for any salt?! I made it exactly per directions, and didn’t notice the lack of salt until my first bite... definitely needs some! The frosting is great, though!
Rachel F. February 12, 2018
Could I decrease the amount of milk and add a fruit puree into the liquid mixture to flavor the frosting?
Author Comment
Posie (. February 12, 2018
Hm, I would be wary of adding a fruit puree although totally worth experimenting! If you wanted to add fruit, how about trying freeze-dried fruit? That might be amazing! Just pulse it in a food processor to turn it into a powder.
Average J. January 30, 2018
This cake was a big hit at a potluck I attended this evening! I substituted oat milk for dairy milk in the cake and frosting and it still came out great. I served it with fresh raspberries, which I think was a great addition.
CHeeb December 23, 2017
Sonya, it would be a delicious cookie or cupcake topping. Just be careful to NOT stack anything with it ( exception being another cookie to make a great Sammy)
Sonya December 23, 2017
Do you think this frosting could be used on cut out Xmas cookies? I find so many frostings too sweet but this seems like a nice middle ground. And I love almond!
Sonya December 23, 2017
Actually I'm out of almond extract. How's the taste without it or with vanilla extract?
Annamay G. December 14, 2017
My husband's grandmother showed me how to make this frosting almost 50 years ago. It is so special! She was very special too. A bit worried at first about her Italian grandson's Irish wife, but more than willing to help.
Terrye C. December 5, 2017
I'm confused. My sheet cake pan is twice the size of a 9x13. Would I just double the ingredients?
Author Comment
Posie (. December 5, 2017
This batter fits a 9x13 pan that’s at least 2 inches high. If you’re going to make it in a 18x13 half sheet pan, you could use the same amount of batter as those pans are quite thin. But you’ll need to reduce the baking time!
Sbdse November 13, 2017
The frosting was too salty using table salt. Should specify between table and kosher salt.
Jan P. August 22, 2017
How would I adjust for high altitude....8,000 feet above sea level?
Author Comment
Posie (. August 22, 2017
Hi Jan, King Arthur has a good guide I'd trust to help you figure out how to adjust recipes for altitude. Good luck!
Cathi A. August 16, 2017
Would the recipe also make a two layer 8-9" round cake?
Author Comment
Posie (. August 16, 2017
BellaRasa February 9, 2017
I made this last night and my family loved it. I only used 1 cup of sugar for the cake and we felt it was plenty sweet, especially with the yummy frosting. Thanks for the delicious recipe.
CHeeb October 17, 2016
I'm sure you could,Pritchard. Just adjust you time down to bake them and test with a toothpick for doneness after 15 minutes or so. That is for a regular sized cupcake, a mini cupcake will be done even quicker.
Pritha R. October 17, 2016
Could I make this as cupcakes?
CHeeb September 27, 2016
Yes,Suzi it is normal table sugar. This frosting is mentioned online and commonly known as ermine or boiled frosting. It helps to read up a bit as cooking the base is a little tricky if the flour gets lumpy. I also changed the process after reading some helpful Irvine recipe tips,and added the sugar to the milk and flour. Cooking base. This ensures the base,and subsequent frosting , is smooth. The biggest key to this is to let the cooked flour mixture cool. The butter needs to be soft,but not warm,to fluff up your frosting once whipped together. Cool cream cheese or mascarpone can also be added for a tangier frosting flavor. The cake is so mild,it can handle the additional flavor.
suzi September 27, 2016
do you use granulated sugar in the frosting?
VanessaJo September 24, 2016
This was fantastic. Made it for a dinner party and people ate seconds. Served it with 2 options: fresh raspberries, or ginger beer/star anise/cinnamon-poached pears. Thank you!
CHeeb September 21, 2016
I baked this cake using toasted almond meal . It tastes good and extra nutty. The frosting is easier to make than it would appear,having to cook the roux as part of the frosting. Cooling the cake and the roux before adding it to the butter, are two important steps. Any heat from the cake or the flour paste will prevent the frosting from being as fluffy as it should be. This is a good cake and frosting combination.
Kate V. September 20, 2016
Strike my previous comment about the dry cake. Wrapped up overnight it became a lot more moist and dense, what a relief!
Olivia C. September 20, 2016
Is the sugar for the frosting confectioners sugar? My frosting was very grainy and I keep thinking maybe I used the wrong sugar?