Pinecone Cakes


Sliced almonds transform simple cakes into festive pinecones. Look for slivers with a bit of skin showing for a more realistic result.

Pinecone Cakes
Photo: Philip Ficks
Prep Time:
1 hr
Bake Time:
18 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 18 mins



  • Nonstick cooking spray for baking

  • 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ cup whipping cream

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla

  • cup buttermilk or sour milk

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cup powdered sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • pinch salt


  • 1 - 1 ½ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted if desired

  • Silver edible luster dust or powdered sugar (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat each 4x3-inch cup of two 6-cup mini egg pans with nonstick spray for baking; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; whisk for 30 seconds; set aside.

  2. In a small bowl whisk the cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Scrape down the bottom and sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing to just combine after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of bowl again and with the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture. Beat until combined. Add the buttermilk, beating until combined (batter may appear curdled). Add remaining flour mixture, beating until combined. Fold in the whipped cream.

  3. Divide the batter among the egg cups, spooning 1/3 cup batter to each. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool in molds for 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool completely on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and beat on low speed until combined.


  1. Frost each cake with about 2 Tbsp. icing to coat, holding each from the bottom as you frost. Arrange cakes on serving platters, then arrange almonds on frosted cakes in overlapping rows to resemble pine cones. If desired, use a small paintbrush to brush edges of nuts with luster dust, or sprinkle cakes lightly with powdered sugar.

Bourbon Whipped Cream:

In a large bowl beat cream, sugar, and bourbon with a large whisk or electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

462 Calories
25g Fat
54g Carbs
7g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 462
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 105mg 35%
Sodium 264mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Total Sugars 39g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0.2mg 1%
Calcium 114mg 9%
Iron 1.5mg 8%
Potassium 158mg 3%
Folate, total 45mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.2mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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