almond butter cake with chocolate frosting

i realize that tahini is my go-to alternative to peanut butter when mum or any other peanut-allergic human is around, but the last time that mum and i baked together and needed to quick whip up a cake, we used almond butter in the motr party trick cake because she always keeps almond butter around when eggboy visits since his other name is nutbutterboy. it was so good and easy that we made it again the next day. it tasted kind of earthy. 

i made it again for my contribution to the annual round robin holiday gift exchange with the extended eggfamily. (that’s the cake you see here.) i had so many random cookies and meringues lying around after a week of playing in the kitchen that i just stuck them all on. it’s half covered with leftover chrismukkah cookies, half valentine’s day cookies that i was in the middle of testing, i know, it's a bit of a mess, but i'm calling it a january cake since it’s smack in the middle of the holidays and valentine’s day. i am so excited for valentine’s day.

i also added a bit of ground mahlab because its nuttiness enhances almond flavor really nicely. if you're in a pinch and don't have any, you can omit it, but i highly recommend seeking some out if you have access to a specialty spice store or middle eastern grocery. it's expensive but you just need a little tiny bit.

almond butter cake with chocolate frosting

makes one, 4-layer 6-inch cake


1 3/4 c sugar

2 1/4 c flour

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tb ground mahlab (optional)

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp almond extract

1 c buttermilk

1/2 c flavorless oil

3/4 c water

1 c almond butter

for the frosting:

1 c unsalted butter

3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of kosher salt


preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease four 6-inch, round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

in a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and mahlab, if using. in a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the egg, vanilla, buttermilk, oil, water, and almond butter. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. pour into the pans.

bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes.

cool in the pans for 10 minutes. remove to a rack to cool completely.

for the frosting:

beat together the butter with an electric mixer until creamy. beat in the cocoa powder, and then the powdered sugar. add vanilla and salt. taste and make adjustments as desired. 


add frosting between the layers and stack the cake. frost all over with chocolate frosting. decorate with cookies, meringues, sprinkles, or whatever goodies you have in the kitchen! enjoy!


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