Swedish Almond Cake

December  8, 2017
17 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes one 8" layer cake
Author Notes

This cake manages to be both delicate and densely nutty at the same time. Swathed in a fluffy custard frosting, it's unusual and perfect for anyone who loves almond flavor. For tips on how to DIY caster sugar, see this article.

Featured In: A Surprisingly Simple Layer Cake, Frosted With Magic (Basically)Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • For the cake
  • 6 egg whites (reserve the yolks for the frosting)
  • 200 grams superfine (caster) sugar, divided
  • 200 grams almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • For the frosting
  • 200 milliliters heavy whipping cream
  • 75 grams superfine (caster) sugar
  • 6 egg yolks (from above)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 150 grams unsalted butter, softened
  1. First, make the custard for the frosting: Whisk together the cream and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until just barely simmering.
  2. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.
  3. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly so as to not cook the eggs. Once combined, transfer the custard back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat (whisking constantly) until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 5 minutes, or more depending on the heat level. Once thickened, transfer the custard back to the heatproof bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface (so a skin doesn't form), and let cool fully in the fridge.
  4. While the custard cools, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and grease and flour (or line with parchment) two 8" round cake pans.
  5. In a clean bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff. Scatter half of the sugar over the egg whites and whisk to combine.
  6. Whisk in half of the almond flour (the mixture will deflate slightly at this point; that's fine).
  7. Using a spatula, fold in the remaining sugar, almond flour, almond extract, and all-purpose flour. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  8. Finish the frosting by beating the softened butter until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the cooled custard with a pinch of salt and beat until spreadable. If it seems too soft, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes then try beating it again.
  9. To assemble the cake, spread a layer of frosting over the first cake layer, top with the second cake layer, then frost the tops and sides.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Raul Estrada
    Raul Estrada
  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • Yureeda Qazi
    Yureeda Qazi
  • Cathy Farmer Early
    Cathy Farmer Early
  • JJ

43 Reviews

Andrew E. December 25, 2022
Cake didn't rise. Perhaps I needed to whisk the egg whites longer to make them stiffer. Recipe doesn't give any tips on how long or what to use when whisking. That would have helped. Cake came out like two giant dry cookies. Bleah! Frosting was good. Leaving it in fridge for some extra time helped.
Raul E. July 4, 2020
This is my absolute favorite recipe to make, especially since it's gluten free. It's light and airy and the frosting is amazing.

To some of the reviews posted, I have also had some issues with flat cakes and curdled frosting when making this recipe.

The way I was able to solve the flat cakes was sieving the almond flour and all purpose flour while adding to the egg whites. Not sure why but sieving solved it for me. Also, I do not use the whisk when adding the dry ingredients at all due to huge loss of air. I use the spatula instead and seems to help.

As for the curdled frosting, for me, the colder the butter and custard mixture, the better. But if you've already attempted to make the frosting, just reheat in the microwave or stove until runny and vigorously beat frosting mixture again. This always does the trick for me. Hope this helps!
Stephanie B. June 1, 2019
This was a hot mess. I went the oiled/floured pan route and that was a huge mistake. Couldn't get the cakes out. Parchment paper should absolutely be used. I had plans to try to decorate this in a pretty way, and bring it in to work to share, but it's a disaster.
Yureeda Q. May 29, 2019
Not sure where I went so badly wrong.
My cake:
1. Hardly rose. Barely one inch high. Don’t know how everyone got 2 layers.
2. The batter, while delicious, was a total disaster. The cool custard just didn’t mix into the beaten butter. It all looked curdled up, like scrambled eggs.
Any thoughts??
Yureeda Q. May 29, 2019
I mean frosting, not batter.
Yureeda Q. May 29, 2019
My cake didn’t rise much at all, hence it was dense. Disappointing. I folded carefully too, but nope. It’s barely an inch high.
Cathy F. May 25, 2019
The recipe states it makes one 8" round cake, but the instructions indicate it makes two. Which is it? Do I need to double the ingredients for 2 rounds?
Posie (. May 26, 2019
It’s an 8” cake with two layers — so you bake the two layers on two separate pans then stack them with the filling to make one cake.
Laura H. December 4, 2018
This cake is perfection. It gets huge compliments every time I've made it! (I use vanilla extract instead of almond, as I'm not a fan of almond extract flavoring.) It's simply terrific, and very easy to make gluten free, should the need ever arise for someone!
Erika B. August 21, 2018
I made this cake as recipe stated, but put the custard thru a fine-mesh sieve before cooling- no lumps! I also used vanilla paste, and the flecks of vanilla bean gave the cake a rustic look. Nice flavor. I want to try it with hazelnut flour and Frangelico...
JJ July 5, 2018
The first time I made this, it came out perfect. But after I upgraded to better pans (nordicware) the cakes stick like glue to the pans whether I use parchment or grease and flour the pans. The first set of pans were just cheap, very old pans from Target. I'm at loss why this would happen.
noele February 19, 2018
This was delicious! I agree with other posters that the frosting was a little bit lumpy, but by the second day (unrefrigerated) the cake/frosting was even better. I may tweak the frosting next time (maybe not add as much cornstarch or add the butter right off the heat) and see what happens. Worthy of making again, imho. I like the idea of adding cardamom. but just the almond/vanilla flavor of the cake was delicious!
Hollis R. February 12, 2018
and just like that, i've got my digital scale and cake pans -- thanks, Amazon Prime!
Hollis R. February 12, 2018
i read every single comment; glad i did. now i want an OXO $10 kitchen scale. this recipe has ruined me -- in a very very good weigh haha.
lilaw February 10, 2018
maybe my butter wasn't warm enough, but I ended up having to put my frosting in the blender to get it smooth. It may not be as fluffy as intended, but I might skip beating the butter and put it all straight in the blender next time.
Olivia S. February 8, 2018
Darn, wish I read these comments. I googled conversions of the grams into cups but they must of been off. Used only 1 cup of almond flour which in retrospect seems wrong. It’s in the oven we shall see....
Karla H. February 4, 2018
I just made this cake and am wondering about the 2-1/2 Tablespoons of cornstarch in the custard for the frosting? I didn't even cook mine for 3 minutes and it was so thick it became like a dough. I expected a thickened custard and had planned to strain it to get any cooked pieces of egg out. I went ahead and cooled it and beat it into the butter, but the frosting tastes starchy. It looks like the photo, but it just doesn't seem as light and creamy as I expected.
Posie (. February 26, 2018
Hi Karla--updated, that should be 2 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch! Hope that gives you a much better result!
Teresa C. February 4, 2018
It's in the oven now--wish me luck!
Pavithra February 2, 2018
I live in the US and I am making this cake for the first time. I found the measurements actually easier. I have a very cheap scale that has both oz and grams. As I started making the custard, I realized that I did not have enough vanilla extract. I decided to add a touch less than 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom powder, which is actually used in Swedish desserts. The custard tastes amazing.
Sherryl M. January 13, 2018
Is there a way to make this gluten free? The recipe calls for everything gluten free except for the 2 tbsp. All purpose flour. Is there something I can substitute for it?
Maria J. January 13, 2018
Sherryl M. January 14, 2018
Thank you!
Melissa January 12, 2018
Oh, this looks delicious! I love making custards, but have never made a custard frosting. Can't wait to try this. As a matter of fact, I have an excuse to make it tomorrow, so I think I shall. And thank you for writing the recipe with measurements; it's so much faster and more efficient that way.
Maria J. January 11, 2018
I'm with the un-American measurement fans here, and hope EllnMllr and Leslye will reconsider their insistence on the measurement system we grew up with. Measuring by volume is especially dangerous in baking-- not dangerous in the sense that you'll be poisoned, but that you risk the recipe not coming out quite right. Flour can be the worst-- even if YOU always sift it, and spoon it into the measuring cup, how do you know the recipe writer did the same? With a scale, the amount of flour you use in grams WILL be identical to the author's! Just get hold of a decent electronic scale and give it a try-- you'll never want to return to cups when you've seen the light of GRAMS!
Maria January 14, 2018
Agreed! I bought a kitchen scale last year because i didn't want the clutter of a set of measuring cups and spoons and it's transformed the way I bake completely.
Maria J. January 14, 2018
We Marias think alike!