Almond Layer Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream + Mandarin Curd {vegan}

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Almond ‘butter’ cake is layered with zesty mandarin curd and cloud-like white chocolate buttercream in this elegant cake. A dreamy cake for citrus season, when fragrant mandarins abound.

This cake is an unassuming beauty. I could imagine it at a wedding, though I could imagine just about any cake at a wedding because all cake is good cake in my opinion. I’d never thought to use mandarins in baking, I’m not sure why, but I found myself with a whole basket of them from the farmer’s market and they were so sweet and fragrant, I really wanted to do something beautiful with them.

So I made a layer cake, because it had been a while, and I also wanted to celebrate reaching my first 5k on Instagram (yay!). I infused the mandarin into all parts of the cake: there’s zest and juice in the almond cake, mandarin curd sandwiched between the layers, and extra curd in the white chocolate frosting (white chocolate frosting – credit to my housemate with that brilliant idea).

Almond Layer Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream + Mandarin Curd {vegan}

vegan, egg-free, dairy-free
Almond 'butter' cake is layered with zesty mandarin curd and cloud-like white chocolate buttercream in this elegant cake. A dreamy cake for citrus season, when fragrant mandarins abound. Curd adapted from Domestic Gothess.

Ingredients

cake

  • 2 cups almond milk, or other non‐dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp mandarin zest, from about 3 large mandarins
  • 1/4 cup mandarin juice, from about 2 large mandarins
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups all‐purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 225 g / 1 cup / 2 sticks vegan butter, softened, I use nuttelex buttery
  • 1 1/2 cups raw caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 1 tbsp extract

curd

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp mandarin zest, from about 2 large mandarins
  • 1 cup mandarin juice, from about 8 large mandarins, strained
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • 125 g raw caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 100 g vegan butter

frosting

  • 250 g vegan butter
  • 3 1/4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup / 100g cacao butter, melted and cooled
  • 5 tbsp mandarin curd
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste, or 1 tbsp extract
  • 1 tbsp almond milk

Instructions

cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius / 350 degrees fahrenheit and oil & line two 20 cm / 8 inch round cake tins with baking paper on the bottom and sides. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, mandarin zest and juice, and the apple cider vinegar. Set it aside for about 10 minutes to activate and become 'buttermilk'. In a large bowl, whisk together the all‐purpose flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand beater, cream the butter until it is a little whipped, then add the sugar and vanilla paste and beat until it is combined and fluffy – about 3 minutes. Now begin adding your dry mix & buttermilk to the butter mixture – slowly add 1/3 of the flour mix to the whipped butter whilst mixing on low speed, then add 1/2 of the milk mixture slowly, then another 1/3 of the flour mix, then the remaining milk mix and then finally the last 1/3 of the flour mix. Once you have incorporated the last bit of flour, turn the mixer off.
  • Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans, bake the cakes on the centre rack of the oven for 45–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before removing from the tins and assembling. If you chill the layers for an hour before assembling, it will be an easier task.

curd

  • Place the cornstarch in a medium saucepan with the mandarin zest, and gradually whisk in the orange and lemon juices. Whisk in the sugar and milk, then cook over a low-medium heat, whisking often, until the sugar dissolves. Stir with a wooden spoon until the curd thickens (It should be coating the back of the spoon!). Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until combined. Pour into a covered container and chill until completely cool.

frosting

  • Cream the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use a hand beater) until creamy. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined and fluffy. Slowly pour the cacao butter in 1 tbsp at a time on medium speed, then turn the speed up to high and beat until very fluffy and cloud-like, about 5 minutes. Add the curd, vanilla, and almond milk and beat for another 2-3 minutes until combined. Keep at room temperature for frosting.

assembly

  • Take one cake and place it on your serving plate, top with 3/4 cup frosting, pipe a layer of frosting around the edge to seal in the curd (a moat of sorts), then fill the middle in with about 1/3 cup of chilled curd. Place the next cake layer on top, then repeat until you've placed the last cake layer on top. Coat the cake with a thin layer of frosting for a naked cake look, then chill for 30 minutes to an hour before serving to set the layers.
Course: Dessert, Morning or Afternoon Tea
Keyword: Baking, Dessert

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  1. This is beautiful 😍 I’m adding to my list, thank you!!

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