Almond Sheet Cake

March 16, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes one 9" x 13" cake
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. For the cake
  2. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" cake pan.
  3. Whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the milk in three additions, alternating between each. Mix until the batter comes together.
  6. Mix in the almond flour.
  7. 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.
  8. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before frosting.
  1. For the frosting
  2. Add the milk, flour, and salt to a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sarah Gladieux
    Sarah Gladieux
  • janet tipple
    janet tipple
  • Adam House
    Adam House
  • Rachel Feinstein
    Rachel Feinstein
  • CHeeb

44 Reviews

Sarah G. April 15, 2023
I wanted to make an almond sheet cake for sisters birthday since she lives two hours away. I needed something that would be easy to bring with me. Almond is her favorite and this was the first recipe on google. The cake is very simple to whip up. I did add 1/4 tsp Diamond kosher salt to the dry ingredients though. The cake came out beautifully golden in 25 minutes. It took about 2 full hours to cool. I’ve make cooked flour frosting before but it’s been awhile. I forgot how amazingly delicious it is! It’s perfectly sweet and so smooth! My only complaint is that I should have doubled it so I had leftovers to eat on graham crackers. I will for sure be making this recipe again. I think I might do a layer cake instead perhaps with a raspberry jam between the layers with the frosting.
Carolyn B. March 16, 2021
Baked at altitude in Denver with no modifications and the cake turned out perfect! I did add a bit of cream cheese to the frosting to even out the butteriness (personal preference).
Sonya December 29, 2019
Has anyone tried the frosting w a milk substitute like almond milk or lactaid?
Catie B. February 21, 2020
Did you look through The comments? There are some answers within.
janet T. August 28, 2019
Great cake, although mine was a little dry, maybe I overbaked. This frosting is one my mother made for all our cakes, with whole wheat flour and brown sugar! I kept checking the texture of the frosting and finding it a little grainy but continued to beat it in my Kitchenaid; and eventually it became fluffy and luscious.
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?
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?
Catie B. February 21, 2020
I’ve used it with just vanilla extract, good quality, and it came out tasting delicious.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Catie B. February 21, 2020
Yes I have made cupcakes with this recipe for frosting.
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?