And you thought it was only make believe. NOPE. It’s real.

To die for Amaretto cake with apricot filling and Vanilla buttercream icing. Every time I make this cake people go banokers. 

Best cake evuh. Seriously. These directions are very detailed. I’m not trying to insult anyone’s intelligence, but I figure it’s better to over explain than under.

Before you start. I highly recommend reading all the directions first. Also, the most important ingredient with this cake is time. It has to sit fully iced and ready to go at least twenty-four hours before you serve it. I do a full forty-eight. My poor husband looks at it for days. Can we eat it now?


The yummy cake.

Okay for you guys with stand mixers. I have personally never had much luck with them and this recipe. The batter gets too much air and the cake falls. I use a hand mixer. *

*Always remember and never forget. Under mixing won’t hurt your cake nearly as much as over-mixing. Over-mix and that baby falls every time. I do this with a hand mixer on medium / Medium high. Also for you guys not so confident with from scratch, you can go with a box cake mix. Follow directions of back of box adding in an extra egg yolk, increase the butter to 1/2 cup, and deduct a quarter cup from the water added and make it Amaretto.  Di Amore is my preferred. 

Here’s the cake from scratch.

1 ¾ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup salted butter softened (I highlighted that for you folks not from the southern united states. You guys have a tendency to reach for the unsalted butter. Not this time, baby.)

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¾ cup buttermilk

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons di amore amaretto


*Heat oven to 325.

Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans. Personally, I line the bottom with parchment paper. Helps keep the bottom from browning too quickly and it’s a breeze to dump.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl. Yes, you will be happier with your cake if you sift it. If you don’t have a sifter you can use a wire mesh strainer and a whisk.

In a separate bowl combine the 1 ½ cups sugar, ¾ cup butter, and ½ teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons amaretto. Beat at medium speed scraping bowl often until fluffy.

(Now this always confused me because sugar and butter don’t really get fluffy. It’s more of a fluffy, clumpy, grainy.)

Add eggs and yolk one at a time. Blending well with the mixer still on medium. Now you’ll start to see some fluffy.

Add flour mixture and Buttermilk alternating between the two. Start and end with flour.

You’ll have a fluffy creamy batter.

Spread batter evenly into pans. Place pans in center of pre-heated oven and bake for 25 to 32 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. If it looks deep golden brown it’s okay, the alcohol makes it brown a little more.  Cool in the pans on metal racks for ten minutes then dump and cool completely before icing.

*Now at this point I always double wrap these cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them.  This is what most professional bakeries do for two reasons. One – the cake is much easier to work with and two – it makes the cakes moist. Seriously. It does. Cakes that are wrapped well can be frozen for up to seven days. Possibly longer but I cut it off at seven.


Apricot filling.

1 cup of tart apricot jam.

  • I say tart because I have found that not all apricot jams are created equal and you need the tart to balance the sweetness of the buttercream icing. I use D’arbo Rose Apricot. It is soooo good

¼ cup Grand Marnier.

  • Again don’t substitute another orange licqueur. They are not created equal. If you don’t want to invest in the large bottle cause it’s a little pricey, one of those tiny bottles to one cup of jam is perfect.

Mix your Grand Marnier and your apricot jam I do this in a saucepan but you can use the microwave. As long as you warm the jam to a thinner consistency so the licqueur gets all through there you’re good.


Buttercream Icing…oh yummy.

¾ cup butter

½ cup vegetable shortening. (I know I know, but trust me, it makes the icing much fluffier and lighter.)

4 1/2 to 5 cups confectioner’s sugar.

3 teaspoons vanilla (I know it seems like a lot. What we are doing is taking down the sweet a little and punching up the vanilla. It will taste a little bitter. This is why we add the next ingredient.)

1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (This kills the bitter left over from the vanilla)

2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

Cream your butter and shortening together and gradually add your sugar. This will save you from the sugar cloud and keep you from smelling like a giant cupcake.

Add the rest of your ingredients. If it’s too soft add a little more sugar if it’s too stiff add a little more milk.

Buttercream icing keeps well in the fridge so you can make this ahead of time as well.


Two days. That’s right two days before you serve your cake. Pull your layers out of the freezer and thaw for about twenty to thirty minutes. To make these directions clearer we are calling them layer 1 and Layer 2. Get a really good bread knife and split your layers in half.


Now here’s a little tip. To make icing easier and make sure your cake is stunning. You’re going to put them together bottom to bottom.  So the top half of layer 1 is going face down on the plate or cake board.  Spread a generous amount of the apricot filling and carefully fit the other half of layer 1 on top. Now you are looking at the bottom of your cake layer. It’s nice and flat. Throw on a glop of buttercream and spread it over the layer. Take the bottom of layer 2 and place it on top. Spread the apricot jam and fit your final layer on top. Now you’re looking at the top of your cake.

Ice that baby.

An easy way to make your cake pretty without having to be an expert. Do the best you can to get the icing on the cake. Then after it’s on there, take a large spoon and touch the back to the icing in a little swirl motion. Do this all over the cake. Oh, so pretty. Keep it under glass and hide it for two days. You’ll thank me later. It tastes like a different cake two days in.



*You experienced bakers are going what 325 what’s up with that? 350 is the universal temp for all cakes everywhere? The alcohol causes the cake to brown more quickly.  Thus the temp reduction.