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Zabaione Almond Cake

This elegant cake takes no time to make with an easy to assemble zabaione filling that creates consistent results and an quick one-saucepan cake batter
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people


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.


You can make the cake and frosting ahead of time, but it's ideal to make the zabaione filling on the day of assembly.