This recipe is from The Mountain Baker Cookbook, by Mimi Council and Kimmy Fasani. Looking for a beautiful cake to grace your holiday table? The Snow Day Cake (Almond Cardamom and Coconut) is a dreamy 6-inch layer cake that is perfectly tender and flavored with the delicious combination of cardamom and almond. The cake is finished with creamy vanilla frosting and sprinkles of shredded coconut.
The Mountain Baker Cookbook – High-Altitude Recipes
Yet another masterpiece from my friend Mimi Council! This time, Mimi partnered with Kimmy Fasani (a professional snow-boarder b.t.w – how cool is that!?) to write the recently released The Mountain Baker cookbook. And this cookbook has become one of my favorites – the folded pages-spills-hand–scratched-notes, kind of favorite.
All of the recipes in The Mountain Baker by Mimi and Kimmy are tailored for high-altitudes. Have no fear though – if you are not living a ‘mile-high’, like me – the recipes have an adjustment to make them at sea-level, and gluten-free!
And the recipes are not all about baking. There is a little bit of everything – appetizers, snacks, sweet, savory, breakfast, desserts … you name it, you can make a meal out of what is in this beautiful cookbook!
Naturally, I was drawn first to the cakes. Go figure.
The Snow Day Cake
My photos don’t do this cake justice. I mean, how do you capture the deliciousness of almond and cardamom? What you do see in the photos is just how stunning this cake is.
I love the simplicity of white cake with coconut – very minimalistic and sophisticated. I can just picture it as the centerpiece of my green, red, and gold holiday dessert table. And the name couldn’t be more fitting for this cake – delicate drops of coconut remind me the snow that falls here in the Rockies.
Some highlights of the Snow Day Cake:
- This is a smaller layer cake – it is a two-layer cake and both layers are baked in a 6-inch cake pan. My kind of cake!
- Fla-Vor-Ful – if you have been following along with some of my other recipes, I am turning into a cardamom fanatic. And this cake does not disappoint in the flavor category. I may now be an almond cake fanatic because of this recipe!
- Organic ingredients – I use the quotes because Mimi and Kimmy are all about organic and more natural ingredients. I like this for two reasons: we’re omitting some of the artificial, and, it enhances the flavor. There is just something a tad-bit better about organic cane sugar. But, they are not sticklers about it – what we have in our pantries is ok too.
- It is easy to make – I love a straight-forward cake recipe: mix the wet ingredients, add the dry, bake. The hardest part for me was frosting the cake – probably because I am a perfectionist …
What Does The Cake Taste Like
Imagine sitting by a roaring fire, sipping cocoa, while the snow falls outside … Ok – that’s a bit much, but it is pretty darn good.
- Tender and moist – the butter, milk, and coconut milk help with the moist-factor.
- Great ‘crumb’ – while the cake is moist, it still has a tight crumb. Which makes it a sturdy cake to hold plenty of frosting and be pierced by a fork.
- Almond – I will advocate all day long for almond extract. Used in the right recipes in the right quantities and it can take a recipe from ‘meh’, to ‘wow’! That is this cake.
- Cardamom – think citrus+mint+floral+spice. Cardamom is complex and yet it brings a sophisticated flavor to recipes. And it pairs beautifully with almond.
- Coconut – this goes without saying since the exterior of the little cake is dusted with shredded coconut. But there is a hint of coconut in the cake too thanks to the coconut milk.
Tips For Making The Snow Day Cake (Almond Cardamom and Coconut)
- Try the organic ingredients – I recommend using the organic ingredients (specifically the sugars) Mimi and Kimmy recommend – at least the first time you make this cake. Because you may be making it a few more times!
- Room temperature refrigerator ingredients – The recipe notes for the butter to be softened, and I like to bring all my refrigerator ingredients to room temp.
- Whole milk – I used whole milk for the other part of the milk equation. I’m sure this added to the richness and flavor. Though, I’m sure you could any milk-fat percentage.
- Let the cake cool – If you’re like me, you may get a little antsy to dive into this cake. But we don’t want the frosting to melt.
- Don’t stress about your frosting – Mimi notes this as well in the cookbook. Since the frosting is getting covered with coconut, we don’t need smooth-as-glass frosting.
- Buy the cookbook – there aren’t many times that you will see promote something so whole-heartedly. But I love this cookbook and the diversity of the recipes. There is a seasoned almond recipe in the cookbook from Kimmy that has been made a couple (or few) times already …
I think it goes without saying as well, but this cake has made me ready for the holiday’s!
More Mini Cake Recipes
- Classic Mini Yellow Cake (Neapolitan Cake)
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Hot Milk Cake
- Easy Chocolate Mini Cake
- Mini Apple Cider Cake
Snow Day Cake (Almond Cardamom Coconut Cake)
- 2 6-inch Round Cake Pans
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (granulated sugar will work too)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup milk (any %)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened carton vanilla coconut milk
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons cake flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
- heaping 2 and 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened fine shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350o degrees. Line the bottom of two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the 1/2 cup butter, cane sugar, and almond extract. Mix on low until combine and no chunks of butter remain. Add the eggs, milk, and coconut milk, and mix on low until combined.
- In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, baking powder, cardamom, and sea salt and whisk together. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour to the butter mixture and continue to mix on low until combined into a smooth batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans, about 11 ounces (318 grams) each. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from the cake pans. (Cool the pans on a wire cooling rack).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the 3/4 cup butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined and then speed up the mixer to high for 1 minute more, or until light and fluffy.
Assembling the Cake
- Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or spinner, place a generous amount of frosting on the cake layer. Top with the second cake layer and frost the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Immediately, completely cover the frosting with the fine shredded coconut; do this right away before the frosting starts to dry so it will stick.
- Store the cake in an airtight container or a cake dome for up to 3 days.
- Gluten Free – Replace the cake flour with 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon gluten-free flour blend.
- Sea Level – Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.