Burnt Almond Torte

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream…oh yeah, and it’s smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!Let’s talk about one of the great foodie debates of all time.  Should your pizza be cut into squares or triangles?  Both sides have valid arguments.  With the square cut (also known as “party cut”), the pieces are generally smaller, so you can eat the perfect amount of pizza.  (On a side note, my perfect amount of pizza is usually the whole thing.)  With the triangle cut (also known as “pie cut”), there is a glorious uniformity in every slice – each slice contains plenty of toppings and plenty of crust.  (As I’ve noted before, the crust is actually one of my favorite things about a homemade pizza.)

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!Me?  I fall wholeheartedly on the side of the “pie cut.”  Call me a traditionalist, but square pieces of pizza just don’t work for me.  When a square cut pizza arrives, everyone grabs the edge pieces, and then you’re left looking at the middle pieces wondering how to tackle that problem.  Sure, the middle pieces are loaded with cheesy toppings…but there’s no good way to eat them.  I mean you could grab a knife and fork, but using a knife and fork for pizza is just downright wrong.

Burnt Almond Torte

And with that, we turn our attention to this Burnt Almond Torte.  This cake is a copycat version of a famous dessert made by Prantl’s Bakery in Pittsburgh, PA.  We’ll circle back to the obvious almond coating shortly, but the first thing you might notice about this dessert is that it’s a square.  We’re back to that age-old pizza slice debate.  Square or triangle?  Not surprisingly, I also fall on the triangle side for cake.  For similar reasons as above, square cut cakes mean the corner slices have 2 edges of frosting while the middle slices have no edges of frosting.  That just doesn’t feel fair.

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!With that said, the Burnt Almond Torte is typically baked in a square shape, so I dutifully pulled out my brownie pans for baking the cake layers.  (However, I won’t fault you if you choose to bake this cake using round pans.)  Putting the shape debate aside, I have to say that this Burnt Almond Torte is a new favorite cake around here.  As Laura noted, this cake would be great to take somewhere – to a party, to a friend’s house, to bed, etc.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s unique.  The generous amount of sugared almonds covering this cake add a tremendous amount of flavor…and they look cool, too.

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!Speaking of those sugared almonds, I suspect the Prantl’s version is a bit more toasted than mine.  After all, the name is burnt almond.  However, there is a fine line between nicely toasted and downright burnt.  I decided to pull the almonds from the oven at the nicely toasted stage.  I probably could’ve gone a few more minutes, but I think this version worked out just fine.  The almonds had a noticeable crunch…so much so that I couldn’t stop snacking on them straight off of the pan!

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!Although Laura grew up in central Pennsylvania and went to undergrad in Pittsburgh, I myself have not had the opportunity to try the original Prantl’s version of this cake.  I have a reliable source who confirmed that this version is quite similar to the one from Prantl’s.  I’m good with that.  I mean I could order Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte to be shipped, but the cost is pretty high.  Plus, I just enjoy baking, so I’m good with this copycat version instead.

If you’re looking for a unique cake idea, then look no further!  This Burnt Almond Torte is delicious, and I suspect it will make regular appearances around here when we need to take a dessert somewhere.  However, next time I might go with the round version.  Happy baking!

Did you bake this Burnt Almond Torte at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version – and whether its square or round!

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!

Burnt Almond Torte

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 638kcal

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 2⅓ cups cake flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 additional large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 additional large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature

For the Frosting

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • cups powdered sugar
  • cup sweetened condensed milk
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Toasted Almonds

  • cups ~10 oz. sliced almonds
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spray (2) 8” square or 9” round cake pans with nonstick baking spray. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.
  • Using a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir until well combined. Set bowl aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add buttermilk; mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Add remaining dry ingredients, mix on low speed until well combined.
  • Divide batter equally into the two pans. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean.
  • Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes before transferring cakes to a cooling rack until completely cool.

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • Using a medium saucepan, add milk and sugar; stir until well combined. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to simmer.
  • Meanwhile, using a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks and cornstarch. Once milk is hot, slowly pour into the bowl with eggs, stirring constantly while you pour.
  • Return mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Continue cooking for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.
  • Pour mixture through a fine-meshed strainer into a clean mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract and unsalted butter; stir until well combined and butter has completely melted.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly to the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until cool.

For the Frosting

  • Using an electric mixer, add all ingredients (butter, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and vanilla extract).
  • Beat on low speed until well combined and then increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

For the Toasted Almonds

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Using a large bowl, add sliced almonds and water; toss until well coated.
  • Add sugar; toss until well coated.
  • Spread almonds evenly onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes, stir and continue baking for 5 more minutes. Set almonds aside until cooled.

To Assemble

  • Place one layer of cake on a large plate. Spread pastry cream on top, leaving ~½” border around edges. Place second layer of cake on top.
  • Using an offset spatula, frost edges and top of cake with frosting.
  • Using a cupped hand, carefully press toasted almonds into sides and top of cake.

Looking for a unique cake idea?  This Burnt Almond Torte is filled with vanilla pastry cream...oh yeah, and it's smothered in sugared almonds.  Talk about a delicious sweet treat!

Looking for more unique cake recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

Decadent chocolate cake topped with a scoop of whipped peanut butter frosting...and then coated with chocolate glaze!  These Chocolate Peanut Butter Radio Bars are one heck of an awesome dessert!Chocolate Peanut Butter Radio Bars

This Lemon Pistachio Cake uses pudding mix in both the cake and frosting for an extra creamy (and extra delicious) cake!Lemon Pistachio Cake

Featuring 3 different layers of cheesecake, this Blueberry Chocolate Cheesecake is a fun dessert to make for friends and family!Blueberry Chocolate Cheesecake

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19 Comments

  1. Will be making this soon with few subs i never had burnt almond cake before perfect for my after office snacks will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. I hope you get a chance to make this cake, Ramya! Those toasted, sugared almonds all over the outside are absolutely delicious! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    This is my kind of cake, David! That vanilla pastry cream center has my mouth watering! And, as for food shapes, we have one rule in our house: triangles taste better, lol! (Sandwiches and pizza…)

    1. Preach on, Marissa! Triangles always taste better! 🙂 And, yes, that pastry cream inside of this cake is amazing – I could eat it with a spoon. Haha!

  3. 5 stars
    Pizza…humm good question! I’d say that as long as you have pizza, it doesn’t really matter how do you slice it (As long as a have enough slices for myself haha). But generally I prefer a “pie cut” too because of that perfect ratio of the crust to the filling. And this cake? What a wonderful combination of flavours! Let’s simply cut it in half, and you will ship one part to me? 🙂

    1. You make a good point, Ben. Pizza is still pizza…no matter how you slice it. The only bad pizza is the empty box of pizza. Haha. And as far as this cake, I think I still have a few slices in the freezer. I’ll drop them to you in the mail today!

  4. 5 stars
    Oooh, I just made something similar, but haven’t posted yet! This almond torte looks so decadent — I’d love a scoop of that delicious pastry cream!

    1. Ah – exciting! I can’t wait to see what you had in mind here, Michelle. I know burnt almonds might not sound appetizing, but lightly toasted just doesn’t have the same ring. Haha. All I know is I couldn’t stop eating these almonds!

  5. 5 stars
    What a delicious looking cake David! I don’t think this would last long enough in our household to share or take to friends though. Ha ha! That vanilla pastry cream centre just looks so so good!

    1. Ah, that vanilla pastry cream is so tasty, Neil! I found it fun to use that as a filling in between layers of cake. All together, this was a delicious cake!

  6. okay not having any luck posting a comment. oh well trying again. just saying i would enjoy sugared almonds and your cake looks fabulously delish!

    1. Ah! Not sure what was going on there, but glad you were about to post this comment, Sherry. This cake really is quite delicious…it’s unique and fun! 🙂

  7. The square cut pizza issue can be resolved by making a rectangular pizza. There is one place here in New Zealand that sells them, basically they are one metre pizza where it is cut in rectangle shapes as well, like the round ones everyone has the same amount of edges apart from the four corners. So basially like your torte but instead of 3 x 3 squares that pizza is like 10 x 2 rectangles. Anyways your burnt almond torte looks good, I will definitely take those corner ones :p

    1. You make a very good observation here, Raymund. There is a 3rd solution to the classic pizza problem! I have seen those rectangular pizzas, but the ones I’ve seen are still wide enough to include a row down the middle with no crust. A skinnier rectangle is the answer! Either way, I’ll send you a corner piece of this cake! 🙂

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