There are two types of cake that vie for the position of favorite cake. One of those is carrot cake, which I adore for its moist texture and sweet yet savory frosting. The other is wedding cake, which I’ve enjoyed since I was a little girl who got to try a piece when my parents returned from a wedding. For a long time I wondered exactly what it was about this cake that gave it a special taste. In recent years, as I expanded my culinary experimentation, I discovered that almond extract gave the cake its je ne sais quoi.
The first time I attempted homemade wedding cake was based on necessity. The bakery that made our wedding cake had closed, and I was determined to serve wedding cake on our second anniversary, as I had at our first. I began my research and discovered that there were many recipes and disagreement over whether butter or shortening was the better ingredient.
I made two different versions of wedding cake and found that butter was the better choice for me. While shortening may provide a moister cake, I found it difficult to ignore the slightly plastic taste to the shortening. Thus, my recipe uses butter, which still produces a tender and flavorful cake. As my recipe is meant to serve a small crowd, such as two with leftovers for other family members, it is made in a loaf pan. This recipe could easily be doubled to create a round, layered cake.
When making wedding cake for us, I always use a buttercream frosting, but the filling in the middle varies. Most recently I used blackberries from our backyard, which I macerated. I have also used lemon curd and raspberry jam. Almost any fruit that pleases you could be used.
- 3 Tb. unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1-2/3 cake flour
- 1-3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9×5 baking pan*.
- Cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Add egg, and beat well. While mixing add almond extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and beat just to combine. Add half of milk and, again, beat just to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and place on baking rack to cool completely.
- Decorate cake with desired frosting and filling. If you want to use buttercream frosting, you can find the recipe here.
- *You also can make a single layer 9-inch cake.