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+ servings

Lemon and Almond Streamliner Cake

yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
4 from 1 vote


For the Lemon Custard Topping

    (makes enough to top a 9-inch cake)

    • grated zest of 2 medium lemons
    • 3/4 cup whole milk , at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar , divided into two 1/4 portions
    • 4 egg yolks at room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice , freshly squeezed
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes

    For the Almond Buttermilk Cake

    • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) almond paste, at room temperature
    • 10 tablespoons (5 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 3 large eggs at room temperature
    • 2/3 cup buttermilk , at room temperature


    For the Lemon Custard Topping

    • Combine grated lemon zest, 3/4 cup whole milk, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until just hot.
    • While the lemon zest/milk/sugar mixture is heating, whisk together 4 egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until well combined, then whisk in 2 tablespoons cornstarch, then 1/2 cup lemon juice.
    • Slowly whisk a third of the hot milk mixture (from the first step) into the yolk mixture (from the second step). Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk mixture and cook over medium-low heat, whisking steadily until the custard begins to thicken and bubble for 1 minute. You'll need to stop whisking to check if it's bubbling. Be warned — it'll take a good 5 or 10 minutes for the custard to thicken, so be patient and don't make the mistake that I did!
    • Once the custard has thickened, strain the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl and whisk in 1/2 cup cubed cold butter until it has melted.
    • Once the butter has been fully incorporated into the custard, place a piece of plastic wrap directly upon the surface of the custard and place in the refrigerator to cool for about 2 hours — it'll thicken more and set once it cools. Note that you have to wait for the custard to set in order to top the cake.

    For the Almond Buttermilk Cake

    • Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 (F); prepare a 9-inch cake pan by greasing with butter and lining the bottom with a parchment paper circle. Set aside.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cups cake flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 3/4 cup almond paste, 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons canola oil, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract on low speed until blended; gradually increase the speed to high and cream until very light and fluffy, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer to its lowest speed; blend in 3 eggs one at a time, adding the next egg as soon as the previous egg has disappeared into the batter.
    • Once the eggs have been fully incorporated, keep the mixture on low speed and add the flour mixture (from the second step) in three parts, alternating with adding 2/3 cup buttermilk mixture in two parts. Make sure you begin and end with the flour, and make sure you only mix until each ingredient has just been incorporated into the batter.
    • Pour the batter into the pan and rap it firmly on a surface to get rid of any air bubbles in the batter. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan. Bake for 42 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or, until the cake is a deep golden color and a wooden skewer poked in the middle of the cake comes out just barely clean.
    • Cool the cake in its pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, before turning out to cool completely.

    Putting It All Together

    • Make sure your cake is completely cooled before topping it with the custard! Otherwise the cake will melt the custard and make it hard to work with.
    • Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of the lemon custard along the sides of the cake to "seal" the cake and give it a light shine.
    • Use a rubber spatula to gently scoop the rest of the lemon custard on top of the cake, spreading it out barely out over the edge of the cake — don't worry if it spills down the sides, just use an offset spatula to "clean" the edges and spread it along the sides of the cake as part of the seal.
    • Allow the assembled cake to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes; bring to room temperature before serving.


    Adapted from Vintage Cakes