10 1/2 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar (separated)
1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the middle position. Line two 8” cake pans with parchment paper, pressing the parchment into the sides of the pan as well as you can.
Beat the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is creamy.
Add the flour and baking powder and mix well on low speed.
Mix in the egg yolks and milk.
Scrape the batter into the cake pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, beat the egg whites for about 1 minute, then add in the sugar slowly and beat until it is foamy and white with small soft peaks (egg whites don’t get as firm of soft peaks as heavy cream does). Spread on top of the cake layers. Sprinkle with the almond slices. (I preferred to use almonds on just the top layer).
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown and puffy. Cool on a wire rack in the pan.
When the cake has cooled completely, make the whipped cream.
Put the cream in a medium bowl and add vanilla extract. Beat to soft peaks with an electric mixer or in a food processor, about 3 minutes.
Remove the bottom cake from the pan and place on a serving platter. Cover with almost all of the whipped cream and fruit (strawberries, raspberries, cherries or lingonberry jam), reserving some whipped cream to cover the sides of the cake.
Layer the final cake on top and garnish with more fresh fruit if desired.
Chill in the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!