Almond-Lover’s Birthday Cake

My friend is hard to buy for, simple as that, plus 21st Birthdays…even harder! But she is definitely the type to appreciate a little time and effort, and a half decent bit of cake made with her in mind. So I planned a little dinner party for her with this as the centrepiece; a vanilla and almond buttermilk cake, with a vanilla buttercream icing and pick n’ mix candy decoration!

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1.5tsp vanilla extract
1.5tsp almond extract
200ml buttermilk (or 75g yogurt mixed with 125ml semi-skinned milk)
125g softened butter, plus extra for greasing
200g golden caster sugar
3 large free-range eggs
icing sugar and plenty of margarine/butter to decorate (with added vanilla extract)

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Butter a 23cm ring mould cake tin.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate and salt together. Mix the buttermilk (or yogurt mixture) and
lemon zest.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little of the flour with the last one.
Gradually add the rest of the flour with the buttermilk, one after the other, until thoroughly mixed.
Pour into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes or until well risen and pale golden brown. Loosen the sides of
the cake with a round-bladed knife and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

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When cold, mix butter and icing sugar until a thick paste and pile on moving around in swathes using a palette knife, making sure to cover the entire surface down to the base

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Now the really fun part! Decorate with anything you like, from sweeties and marshmallow as I have, to fruits, crushed biscuits, various colours of buttercream, or just leave it as it stands 🙂

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