Classic Almond Cake

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Easy almond cake is baked in a sheet pan and iced with a fluffy white almond icing. This classic recipe is the perfect dessert to make ahead. Just top it with fresh raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries, cut it into squares and serve.

A square of almond cake with white almond icing is on a blue plate and topped with fresh strawberries. A fork is taking a bite.

This easy almond sheet cake with its pretty white almond icing is such a simple dessert you can make in just about 30 minutes.

I served ours with in-season fresh berries.

It would be amazing as an almond raspberry cake, an almond cherry cake, or a festive red, white, and blue flag cake with strawberries and blueberries.

We think the cake tastes even better once it has been chilled so you can easily make this ahead of your party or special event and just keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

Jump to:

Why This is the Best Recipe

We do a lot of baking at our house, but we're pretty convinced that this is the best almond cake recipe because:

  1. Quick & Easy: Even a beginner baker can have the cake baked in around 30 - 35 minutes.
  2. Just as Easy as a Box Mix: There are no tricky cake skills needed to make the cake batter. If you can use a measuring cup and a hand mixer, you have all the skills you need.
  3. Sweet and Delicate Flavor: The almond flavoring for the cake is just the perfect amount of sweetness and it pairs so well with fresh fruit or chocolate chips.
  4. Easy to Slice and Serve: The cake slices so neat and pretty. This would be a perfect potluck party dessert or bake sale cake.
  5. Easy to Travel With: Need to bring a dessert to a party? This cake would travel so easily.

Ingredients

The ingredients to make the cake are on the counter.

Truly, this almond cake is just about as easy as a box mix would be! You only need a few basic ingredients:

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Almond Extract
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk

Make the Cake Batter

First, measure and whisk the dry ingredients.

Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir them together with the whisk:

The dry ingredients are in a mixing bowl.

Melt the butter in the microwave on HIGH.

Add a cup of hot water to the butter and stir them together.

The butter has been melted and a cup of hot water is next to it.

Pour the butter mixture into the fry flour mixture and use a hand mixer to beat them together until smooth.

Then add the eggs, sour cream, and almond extract to the batter and beat them in until just combined.

The batter has been mixed and then the eggs and sour cream are added to it. The beater is ready to mix it together.

Bake the Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Rub softened butter all around the inside of a 12x17-inch rimmed baking sheet. I keep this handy 2-pack of baking sheets in my kitchen for tons of uses.

Pour the prepared cake batter into the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula:

The cake batter has been spread into an even layer in a baking pan with a rim.

Bake the cake for 25 - 28 minutes or until the center is firm and the cake is golden brown.

A toothpick pricked in the center should come out clean.

The cake has come out of the oven and is a gorgeous golden brown color.

Let the cake cool completely before trying to frost it with the almond icing.

Make the Almond Icing

Once the cake has cooled completely, you can make the quick and easy almond icing.

Add the melted butter to a large mixing bowl. Stir in milk and almond extract.

Add the powdered sugar to the bowl. Use a hand mixer to stir them together on low speed for 30 seconds or until they are fully combined.

The mixing bowl has the melted butter on the bottom and the powdered sugar on the top ready to be mixed in.

Increase the speed to HIGH and beat the icing for another minute or until it is thick and fluffy like this:

The icing has been beaten with a hand mixer and is thick and fluffy.

Scrape the icing onto the cooled cake and spread it with a spatula or knife.

The icing has been scooped onto the top of the cake and is about to be iced.

The almond icing should be easy to spread and will hold its shape. Just give it a gentle swirl to make a pretty pattern.

The cake has the almond icing spread evenly over the top. Pretty swirl marks cover the top of the cake.

This almond icing is so delicious, I plan to use it on several other desserts in our future.

If you want to use it by itself to frost a pan of homemade brownies or cupcakes, I have a printer-friendly version of just the icing recipe here:

Serving Suggestions & Variations

The cake has been served with fresh strawberries over the top.

This stunningly simple white cake can be easily tweaked for several delicious dessert ideas:

  • Toasted Almond Cake: Toast almonds and sprinkle them over the icing after you frost the cake.
  • Almond Chocolate Chip Cake: Add mini chocolate chips to the cake batter or sprinkle them over the top of the cake after you frost it.
  • Almond Raspberry Cake: Sprinkle fresh raspberries over the icing just after you frost the cake or over each slice when you serve it. You could add toasted almonds for crunch.
  • Almond Peach Cake: Arrange cooled and sliced caramelized peaches over the top of the cake after you've frosted it.
  • Cherry Almond Cake: Top the cake with sweet roasted cherries and slivered almonds.
  • Almond Lemon Cake: Add lemon zest from 1 lemon and fresh squeezed lemon juice to the cake batter. You could even add some poppy seeds.
  • American Flag Cake: Decorate the top with strawberries and blueberries for a patriotic dessert for Memorial Day or 4th of July.
  • White Texas Sheet Cake: Substitute vanilla extract in the cake and icing.

📖 Recipe

A square of almond cake with white almond icing is on a blue plate and topped with fresh strawberries. A fork is taking a bite.

Almond Cake

5 from 38 votes
This old fashioned almond sheet cake has a delicious fluffy almond icing. Serve it with fresh raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries for a quick and easy dessert in under 30 minutes.
TOTAL TIME 35 minutes
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 25 minutes
YIELD 14 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Sheet Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter plus 1 more tablespoon softened for the pan
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp almond extract

For the Icing:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt

Instructions

Bake the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Grease a 12 x 17-inch rimmed baking sheet with softened butter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt it on HIGH heat. Add the water to the butter and stir them together. Pour the butter mixture into the reserved flour mixture. Beat with an electric hand mixer until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add the eggs, sour cream, and almond extract to the batter bowl and use the mixer to beat them in on low until incorporated and then on HIGH for 1 minute.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 - 28 minutes or until just golden brown. The cake should be set in the middle.
  • Cool completely before adding the icing.

Prepare the Icing:

  • Add the butter to a microwave safe mixing bowl and melt it on HIGH heat. Remove from the microwave and add the milk and almond extract. Stir them together until evenly combined.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the melted butter mixture. Use a hand mixer to combine everything together on low, about 30 seconds. Beat on high until the icing is light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the pinch of salt and beat it in. Spread the icing evenly over the prepared cake.
  • Cut into squares and serve. Cake should be stored in the fridge so the milk in the icing doesn't spoil.
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The photo collage shows the almond cake served with fresh strawberries on top and the sheet pan of iced cake on the bottom.

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