Almonds are one of my favorite nuts and this almond cake is filled with almond flavor!! It is a bit dense, very moist and it pairs perfectly with an almond buttercream or a chocolate ganache.
This summer I was on a college visit with my daughter and after a long day of driving we went to a cute little ice-cream place and bought what ended up to be GIANT bowls of ice-cream. My daughter and I both picked pistachio as one of our flavors. As we were eating them she remarked, “I forgot how much I love pistachio ice-cream.” I laughed and said, “you like pistachio flavoring.” That isn’t really the taste of pistachios. I was at the same time experiencing both a regret for ordering the flavor and an annoyance that I kind of liked what was surely a taste provided by flavoring. There are pistachios in the ice-cream but I think that they are the nuts you find in the ice-cream itself, not used as flavoring.
The love of pistachios really took off in the 1930s and the ice-cream was invented by James W. Parkinson of Philadelphia in the 1940s. Pistachio butter cookies, puddings, gelato, ice-cream and more are popular all around. Most cake recipes call for pistachio pudding mix which has added artificial pistachio flavoring. My pistachio cake recipe calls for pistachio paste. I have always happily used Love-n-Bake. While writing this recipe post, I have learned a few things to share with you to help you make your choice for pistachio cake, ice-cream, filling or frosting.
Of all the cakes I make, strawberry has been the most challenging to develop a recipe for. I’ve created several recipes for strawberry cake and ultimately none of them have been good enough … until now! This cake was inspired by a recipe in a book that came with my KitchenAid mixer. The original recipe is for orange cake, but it modified well for a strawberry cake.
There are a few things to consider. This batter is a lovely pink color before it goes into the oven, but then it emerges from the oven with much less pink. If color is important to you, you can add food coloring to keep a stronger pink hue. It will have a stronger strawberry flavor if you use concentrated strawberry juice instead of drained juice, too. You can make your own by reducing the strawberry juice, or you can purchase strawberry juice concentrate online. The cake does still tastes lovely if you just use strawberry juice drained from the berries, but it won’t have an incredibly strong strawberry flavor. You could also add a tablespoon of freeze-dried strawberry powder to give it an extra strawberry kick. If you use the powder, you will also get a stronger color for the cake. If you have time and access to great local strawberries, make your own fruit powder. As I write this, we’re midway into strawberry season! I usually freeze a lot of berries, but am ready to pull out my dehydrator this year to make some awesome fruit powder. Check out this the Cupcake Project to learn how to make your own.