Amaretto Cake with Cinnamon Swirl

April 6, 2012

amaretto cake

I have this bottle of Amaretto that has been sitting in my cupboard for almost 3 years now. It’s just barely been used. Every once and a while I remember it’s there and think “I need to make something with Amaretto” and then I just as quickly forget about it. Well I was looking through my collection of notebooks with old recipe clippings, as I do from time to time, and came across this delicious treat. “PERFECT- let’s use up some of that Amaretto!” And so I did : ) Finally. It took me long enough… 3 years to put a dent in it. Pathetic really. Regardless, I am really glad that I got around to doing so because I just loved this cake. And anytime I get to use almond paste I am all for it.

amaretto cake

This cake is one of those “plays” on a boxed cake mix, where instead of following the ingredient list you substitute in some sour cream, an instant pudding box, and a few other tricks. Very similar to the Healthy Pumpkin Bundt Cake I made last fall. The variation with this cake lies within the use of vast amounts of Amaretto, along with a tasty  cinnamon-almond swirl. Ground almonds are mixed with cinnamon for the topping and then almond paste is added to the mixture for the swirl. Quite delicious. And the glaze? A simple syrup really, with a pad of butter added to it for extra flavor. Although it creates an incredibly moist crust, I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. I think a confectionary sugar glaze made from powdered sugar and just a splash of Amaretto would be just as appropriate. Plus it would add a little extra bit of decor to this beautiful cake.

amaretto cake

Can I tell you a secret? I forgot to add the water asked for in the cake… I had the cake in the oven and went to re-read the recipe and realized instantly that I had made a terrible mistake. Surely the absence of 1/2 cup of water would make a HUGE difference and just ruin the cake I had just put so much effort in to. Nope. It came out fine! You probably would have never known I had made such a terrible mistake if I hadn’t mentioned it. It looks fine and tasted great. But, I like to be honest with that kind of stuff. It lets you all know that for as often as I bake, I still make mistakes every now and then. Although, I honestly  blame it on the author of the recipe- they didn’t write the water in the ingredients list, just in the instructions. I hate when they do that! I went through and measured out everything and had all the ingredients out and ready to go. When I went through the motions I didn’t even know about the water. To save you from the same mistake I put the water in the ingredients list. You’re Welcome : D

amaretto cake

Isn’t the cake just lovely though? Kind of sophisticated with the swirl, but at the same time still homey because it’s from a boxed cake mix. And aren’t my photos getting better?! I mentioned in another post that I purchased a book on food styling and have been trying to apply it to my photography. I think I am getting the hang of it. I still have pretty far to go, but I am definitely much farther along than where I was a year ago…

amaretto cake

Amaretto cake with Cinnamon Swirl
Serves: 12 to 16
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 Tb ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tb almond paste
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 (4 svg) pkg white chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) carton light sour cream
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup amaretto or additional ½ cup water plus 1 tsp almond extract
  • Glaze:
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tb butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10" bundt pan. In food processor combine almonds and cinnamon. Process until nuts are finely chopped. Coat bottom and sides of pan with half almond mixture. Add almond paste to remaining mixture in processor. Process until combined; set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, eggs, water, oil, and amaretto. Beat with mixer on low speed to combine. Beat on medium speed two minutes, scraping bowl as needed. Spoon half the batter in the pan. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon mixture over batter. Spoon remaining batter in pan and smooth out.
  3. Bake about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes and remove. Using wooden skewer poke several holes in cake. Prepare glaze and spoon over cake.
  4. For the Glaze: In a small saucepan combine water, sugar and butter. stir oven medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

emma April 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I know the feeling of forgetting one ingredient well – too too well:( Just last month there were the financiers without the melted butter and the bread dough without the yeast….. both were just rescued in time, otherwise my husband would have had a kitchen tantrum to deal with!


lmachell April 7, 2012 at 3:42 am

haha yeah, I probably would have had a pretty hefty tantrum myself if it hadn’t miraculously turned out okay…


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