Get ready for a romantic treat with this Zabaione Almond Cake. The cake is moist and infused with the elegant notes of almond. Zabaione is ultra smooth yet sturdy as a cake filling!
Romance is, supposedly, dead. In love’s place is a plastic grin-and-bear-it ritual. Yet a bit of sweet changes it all.
The Italians got it right with desserts. This Zabaione Almond Cake’s filling is silky, not plain. Zabaione filling is sultry with alcohol that’s whisked with the egg yolks. In America, it feels like zabaione is typecast into a single roll of tiramisu filling. However here in this cake, the zabaione is the center stage with soft hints of almond, rum, and vanilla.
Zabaione Almond Cake
For the Almond Cake:
- 1 cup (226g, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp (4g) fine salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp almond extract
For the Buttercream:
- 2 cups (452g, 4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 cups (934g) powdered sugar
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup heavy cream room temperature
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp (1g) fine salt
- Pink and blue food gel
For the Zabaione Filling
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons (60g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon brandy Marsala or rum will work
- 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10 ounces marscapone room temperature
To make the Almond Cake:
- Preheat oven to 345 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine butter and water, cooking on a medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is coming to a boil. Once boiled, take off heat and add remaining 7 ingredients, whisking to combine. Pour into prepared pans. Baking for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating halfway. When done, the cake will be golden on the top and a toothpick inserted will come out with a few moist, not wet, crumbs.
- Let cakes cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. For an even moister cake wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
To make the Buttercream:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on a medium speed, scraping frequently, ensuring there are no clumps of butter. Lower speed, gradually adding powdered sugar alternately with heavy cream followed by vanilla and salt. Remove 3/4 to 1 cup frosting, tinting this smaller portion pink. Tiny remaining frosting with blue.
- Frosting can be made a day before, but let frosting come to room temperature and give it a few stirs with a spatula to loosen it up again.
To make the Zabaione:
- Over a double boiler, whisk yolks, sugar, and alcohol continuously until a pale opaque yellow color and billowy in texture, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Strainer mixture into another bowl, add vanilla, and let cool, about 15 minutes.
- While egg-mixture cools, whip heavy cream until sturdy peaks form. Fold egg-mixture with whipped cream, and mascarpone. Use within a few hours. If not using immediately, the filling will store refrigerated for only 24 hours.
To assemble the Zabaione Almond Cake:
- Use a serrated knife to level off the cake layers.
- Secure the first cake layer onto a cake board with frosting. Pipe a ring of blue frosting on cake perimeter. Fill in with zabaione filling. Top with second layer. Create crumb coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Apply a thicker layer of frosting, using a bench scraper to smooth layers. Pat sprinkles onto sides. Use a toothpick to trace a heart. Pipe pink frosting onto traced section with a star tip.
- Add bottom boarder of frosting.