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Orange Almond Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Try this orange almond cake, adapted from "Entertaining," for an irresistible end to any meal.

  • Yield: Makes one 8-inch two-layer cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2010


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for pans
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 2/3 cup strained, freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups finely ground blanched almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Martha's Swiss Meringue Buttercream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment and flour cake pans; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together 1 cup of sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy. Add orange zest, juice, and almond extract; mix until well combined. Turn mixer off. Remove the whisk and add the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium, slowly add ground almonds, followed by flour; mix cake batter until well combined.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Add salt and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar; beat until stiff but not dry. Set aside.

  4. Fold melted butter into cake batter, a little at a time. Gently fold in egg white mixture, taking care not to deflate whites. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cake layers to a wire rack to cool completely.

  5. Invert cakes to remove from pan and remove parchment paper; reinvert cakes. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make level. Place four strips of parchment paper around perimeter of a serving plate or lazy Susan. Place the first layer on the cake plate. Spread frosting over the first layer with a small offset spatula so it extends just beyond edges.

  6. Place the remaining layer on top, bottom-side up. Gently sweep away any loose crumbs with a pastry brush. Using an offset spatula, cover the top and sides with a thin layer of frosting (also use any of the excess frosting visible between the layers). Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

  7. Using an offset spatula, cover cake again with remaining frosting.


To make this recipe as prepared on "Martha Bakes," omit the Swiss meringue buttercream. In step one, butter one 8-inch round cake pan and one 6-inch round cake pan. Then, after step 4, refer to the Orange-Almond Cake with Buttercream Frosting recipe.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Jannied
    3 MAR, 2013
    Fabulous cake! I am making an almond cake for my nephews wedding. I've tried 2 other recipes but am so thankful that I tried this one. It is simply delicious and filled 3 6 inch rounds perfectly! It is outstanding with a fig filling and a SMBC frosting. Everyone that have tasted my first try said it was the best cake they'd ever eaten. I will definately be making this again.
  • emmap34
    19 JAN, 2013
    This was very, very labor intensive (including the dishes, oof!). This was my first time attempting this cake, I may attempt one more time, and will more carefully fold in the egg whites (just as I had begun, my three month old began wailing, ah well...).
  • donnagreen
    19 JAN, 2013
    I, also, had difficulty with the cake rising. I was very precise about the directions. I was surprised that it didn't include any baking powder or baking soda. ???
  • Amandajx
    20 OCT, 2012
    i tried this recipe twice once by hand and once with a mixer and both times the cake came out very eggy and dense, like it had fallen or never risen. could it be because of my altitude? im at about 5280Ft I really want this cake to work out. :/
  • lmferragut
    28 OCT, 2011
    This cake is delightful. I have made it several times--it has become one of my staples. I have done a variation with dark -chocolate ganache frosting as well. Orange. almond, and chocolate. MMM.