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one 4-layer 9-inch diameter torte


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package red velvet cake mix  or 1(18.25-ounce) package white or yellow cake mix plus 1½ ounces red food coloring
  • 4 eggs or the equivalent of 4 eggs in egg substitute IE, Egg Beaters, at room temperature
  • ½ cup cooking oil (corn, canola, or safflower oil)
  • 1 cup water (see note)
  • Amaretto or other almond liqueur as needed (optional) (see note)
  • Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting or Old-Fashioned 7-Minute Icing, or about 4 cups almond-flavored sweetened whipped cream, or 1 (16-ounce) container thawed frozen non-dairy whipped topping or reduced-fat or no-fat whipped topping to which ¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract has  been added
  • Toasted slivered blanched almonds or toasted sliced almonds or red and green decorating sugar for garnish


Prepare cake mix according to package directions using 4 eggs, ½ cup oil, 1 cup water, and 1/3 cup Amaretto or other almond liqueur. (Note: if not using liqueur, increase water to 1 1/3 cups.)  Evenly divide cake batter into two greased 9-inch diameter round layer pans lined with wax paper on the bottom of each.  Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of cake layers comes out clean.  Cool cake layers in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.  When cake layers are thoroughly cooled, cut each in half horizontally, forming four equal-size cake layers.  If desired, poke holes all over each cake layer with a wooden pick or skewer and drizzle almond-flavored liqueur over each cake layer.  (May wrap each layer in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, and frost just before serving, if desired.)


Prepare desired frosting or topping.  To frost torte, arrange one cake layer on a serving plate. (May tuck four strips of wax paper under and around the edge of the cake layer, if desired; remove strips after torte is completely frosted.)  Spread desired frosting over cake layer.  Top with a second cake layer and more frosting or topping; repeat cake layers and frosting or topping twice more.  Spread remaining frosting or topping over top and around sides of torte.  Sprinkle toasted almonds over top of torte, lightly pressing into frosting or topping.  May lightly press additional almonds around the sides of the torte, if desired. Or, sprinkle red and green decorating sugar over the top of torte frosted with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting or Old Fashioned 7-Minute Icing.


Note: If not using a liqueur, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract to cake batter.


Note: To toast almonds, arrange slivered or sliced almonds in one layer on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in a preheated slow oven (300 degrees F.) for 8 to 10 minutes or until almonds are lightly  browned.


Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

enough frosting to frost one 4-layer torte

  • 1 (8-ounce) package plus 1 ounce cream cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • About 5 to 7 teaspoons light cream or half-and-half or milk or reduced-fat or skim milk
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • About 1½  (16-ounce) packages confectioners' sugar, sifted (about 6 3/4 cups)


In a medium bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients; thoroughly cream cheese, beating until smooth.  Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add additional cream as needed to achieve to desired spreading consistency.


Old-Fashioned 7-Minute Icing

fills and frosts top and sides of one round 4 layer 9-inch torte 

  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract


Combine all ingredients, except vanilla in the top of a double boiler over boiling water.  Beat rapidly at high speed of an electric mixer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until mixture forms glossy stiff, but not dry, peaks.  Remove from heat and beat in vanilla.  Frost cake immediately as icing sets up fast.

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