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Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake)

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Ingredients:

Cake: – 3 cups sugar – 2 cups (4 sticks) Real California unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans – 2 large eggs – 1 cup almond paste, room temperature – 4 cups all-purpose flour – 1 teaspoon salt – 1 tablespoon Real California milk (if not frosting cakes) – 3/4 cup sliced almonds (if not frosting cakes) Frosting and glaze (optional): – 1 cup (2 sticks) Real California unsalted butter, room temperature – 1/3 cup vegetable shortening – 9 cups powdered sugar, divided – 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon salt – 7 to 8 tablespoons Real California milk, divided – 2 tablespoons grenadine or cherry juice – 1 to 2 tablespoons hot water

Directions:

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes, plus time to cool and for optional frosting

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly butter two 9 1/2- to 10-inch cake pans. Line the pans with parchment and butter the parchment.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together sugar and butter, beating on high speed until mixture is light and pale. Add eggs, beating until fully incorporated. Crumble in almond paste, beating until fully incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add flour, about 1 cup at a time, and salt, mixing until all flour is just incorporated.

Divide mixture between the prepared cake pans, smoothing the top. If not frosting, brush with milk and sprinkle with almonds. Bake until pale brown at the edges and center is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Set on a rack and allow to cool completely before unmolding and serving or finishing with frosting and glaze.

To make the frosting and glaze (optional): In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, combine butter and shortening. With the mixer on low speed, add 6 cups powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in vanilla, salt, and 5 to 6 tablespoons milk to reach desired consistency. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine grenadine, hot water, remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of milk, whisking until smooth.

To finish the cake with the frosting and glaze: Spread top of each cake with half of the frosting (or less if you want to save some for decorating). Divide glaze between cakes, pouring it over frosting and smoothing it to the edges. Use remaining frosting, if any, to decorate top of cakes.

Servings: Makes two 9 1/2- to 10-inch cakes, to serve 16 to 20.

Recipe Courtesy of Renae De Jager, California Dairy Farmer

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