Cake with Almond Butter
February 3, 2021 6:29 AM   Subscribe

I want to make an almond flavored cake. I have almond butter and whole almonds and typical cake ingredients (flour, sugar, etc.). How can I make this work?

All my recipe searches turn up almond butter cakes that call for extract or paste because they are butter cakes that are almond flavored, not made with almond butter. Do you have a recipe that uses almond butter?
posted by carrioncomfort to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I tried to make rice krispy bars once using almond butter, instead of peanut butter. They didn't taste good at all. Almond butter actually doesn't have much of an almond flavor, at least not in the same way as marzipan or almond extract.
posted by akk2014 at 6:33 AM on February 3, 2021 [4 favorites]

I've never seen one. If you have whole almonds you can grind them up and use those; there are many cakes that use almond flour as an ingredient and they are delicious; but even they use it as more of a textural element than a flavoring element. Ground almonds don't taste like "almond flavor"; even marzipan uses flavoring to make it taste like that.

You could make a torte with the ground almonds and make a glaze for it with the almond butter (thinned, with powdered sugar.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:46 AM on February 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

This Is an amazing almond cake. It uses almonds and almond flour. I don’t really think almond butter from a jar would work in most cake recipes but ground almonds do. This is another truly superior cake recipe with almonds. These two cakes are staples in our house.
posted by chuke at 6:55 AM on February 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

This search on Eat Your Books is not perfect - as you've found, it's hard to distinguish "almond butter" from "almonds, butter" - but it's a search for online cake recipes with almond butter, and at least some of the results actually do use the ingredient in question. To see the full recipes, click the little "Recipe Online" links rather than the main recipe titles.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 7:03 AM on February 3, 2021

Almond butter, as in the thing used as a replacement for peanut butter? Or is it more like a margarine thing?

If it's the first thing, it isn't likely to be usable on its own as a substitute for butter in a cake. You'll have to include another oil as well. What you might want to do is look for peanut butter cake recipes and just sub in almond butter (the recipes will often have substitution directions). Alternately, you can use it as a base for a frosting (but as fingersandtoes points out, it won't actually taste that almond-y).

If it's the second thing, maybe you want to look at vegan cake recipes.

Overall, though, the almondy flavor itself is going to come from almond extract or almond flour. (Which is just finely finely ground almonds.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:26 AM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

(In short, an "almond butter cake" is not really a thing. Butter cakes WITH almond is actually the thing you need.)
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:27 AM on February 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

If you can't find recipes specifically using almond butter (and it doesn't seem to be a done thing), I would personally look for cakes that use tahini ("sesame butter," if you will) in a the batter, which a quick Google shows aren't uncommon. Depending on the consistency of your almond butter, you'll probably need add a bit of oil to match the consistency of stirred tahini.

If I was adapting this Claire Saffitz recipe for tahini tea cake, for instance, I would swap the tahini for almond butter (thinned to a just-pourable consistency with oil) and replace the 1.5 tsp of sesame oil with almond extract. Optionally, If you have a food processor that can pulse your whole almonds to almond flour, you could swap that for some or all of the AP flour (but you might want to toss in an extra egg or egg substitute, since almond flour doesn't have the same binding properties as wheat).

And I mean why not? What else is there to do with almond butter? Nasty stuff.
posted by wreckingball at 7:53 AM on February 3, 2021 [2 favorites]

I think if you want a distinctly almond flavor you will need to include at least some almond extract. I find almond meal and ground almonds add a bit of flavor but a welcome change in texture is most of what they add. A light touch with the extract is important - it is strong and too much is a common pitfall, in store-bought pastry, especially. Perhaps the almond butter could be used in a cookie or rice krispy treat kind of confection, though I think again you will want to add some extract.
posted by citygirl at 8:48 AM on February 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

Just jumping in to reinforce what others have said above - while you totally could bake a cake with almond butter as an ingredient (the suggestions to find a recipe with tahini or pb are right on), that isn't going to give you the kind of almond flavor you're after. You would at minimum need some almond extract, but either almond paste or almond filling would give better results.
posted by darkchocolatepyramid at 9:45 AM on February 3, 2021

I mean, theoretically you could make almond paste out of the nut butter by adding an equal weight (or possibly more?) of powdered sugar. It would be much denser than using ground almonds, but the flavor should be the same. I answered a question about how to make almond paste a while back with instructions.

That said, a) it's going to make for a very heavy cake and b) you'll need almond extract anyway.
posted by ananci at 10:42 AM on February 3, 2021

I suggest making a vanilla (or chocolate!) cake and frost it with almond butter frosting. I have made this peanut butter frosting and it is delicious. I can't imagine almond butter wouldn't work instead!
posted by yawper at 12:57 PM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Nthing Chuke's suggestions above but I have a couple to suggest... No almond butter in this one but it is a good cake. There's also Claudia Roden's orange and almond cake.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:24 PM on February 3, 2021

This recipe uses almond butter and ground almond, without extract --> Almond butter and pear cake

I'm sure you could simply leave out the pear if you didn't like the sound of it. I haven't used this recipe before but I have used many other Jordan Rondel/The Caker recipes and they've been excellent.
posted by BeeJiddy at 9:05 PM on February 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Almond butter is just ground almonds, a bit of salt, and oil, maybe a touch of sugar. If you want an overt almond flavor in the end product, extract is recommended.

Recipes using marzipan could be adapted if not requiring the firmness of the marzipan in its use, just add sugar to the almond butter until it's appropriately sweet. Powdered sugar might work to firm the almond butter up to a dough consistency if you are going for a recipe with traditional marzipan, add extra ground almonds if its getting too sweet and not yet firm enough. Again extract is recommended here, it's in marzipan.

Some cake/bread/scone recipes using almond flour could also be adapted to use almond butter. Technically the amount of extra butter or oil in the recipe should be reduced a bit because of the oil in the nut butter... but only by a tablespoon at most, or just add an extra tablespoon of regular flour in the recipe to compensate.

If it were me I would just wing it. I would start with a frangipani recipe and add a bit more flour to address the oil, use it in a pastry or pie, or pipe it into cupcake liners, add some almonds on top for decoration, and bake.
posted by lizbunny at 12:17 PM on February 4, 2021

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