Every year on the first hot day of the year, I finally cave and turn on my central air only to find out that it does not blow cold air. Every year the apartment maintenance guys have to come out and do something with the freon, and then it works. But meanwhile, every year I somehow decide to bake something and turn my already 80+ degree apartment into an uncomfortable place to be. Sure enough, two days ago my car said it was 87 degrees outside when I was driving home at 5:30pm. And true to form, I thought it was a great idea to bake a cake before checking to see if the central air worked. As a result I am once again reminded how how I am not looking forward to the coming of the Memphis-summer-sauna. It’s early April, I shouldn’t be sweating already! Spring is such a farce here.
Thankfully a storm came through last night to bring the temperatures back down into the 60s for the next few days. But moving on to this cake. I find it very difficult to not make cupcakes instead of full cakes. Cupcakes are just easier to manage with decorating and serving. Plus it always seems like cupcakes get eaten faster than cakes even though it’s the same quantity. But I have two beautiful cake stands that rarely get used for their actual intended purpose, so I decided to practice my cake decorating skills and use my hand painted (by me) cake stand. I was pretty excited by this cake because it’s the first pear recipe to appear on The Spiffy Cookie. The cake is a blend of pear (Chobani’s pear Greek yogurt) and almond flavors (extract and almond meal) topped with a browned butter and brown sugar cinnamon buttercream. And doesn’t it just looks dandy on that cake stand?
PEAR YOGURT ALMOND CAKE WITH CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR BUTTERCREAM
Serves 12 (makes 1 layer cake)
2-1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1/2 cup almond meal/flour, sifted
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup browned butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Sliced almonds, for topping (optional)
- For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom of 2 nine-inch rounds with vegetable pan spray.
- Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then almond extract and vanilla extract to creamed mixture and beat until thoroughly mixed. Add in pear Greek yogurt.
- Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until just incorporated.
- Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake 30 -35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Gently run a thin spatula around edge of cake. Turn out onto cooling racks. Cool completely before icing.
- For the buttercream: In stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, whisk brown butter and shortening until fluffy. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and beat until smooth.
- Add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, beating well after each addition.
- With mixer on medium high speed, steadily pour in the heavy whipping cream pouring nice and slow until desired consistency. When incorporated and fluffy stop mixing.
- Spread frosting onto the top of one layer, place the second layer on top and finish frosting the layered cake. Top with sliced almonds, if desired.
Source: Adapted slightly from Country Cleaver.