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Need a birthday recipes!!!

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Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone had a tried and true recipe for an almond flavored cake. I have found some online but am a little nervous about baking a recipe unseen and untried. I want to make an almond cake with raspberry filling and with a cream cheese frosting. (Will take suggestions for the frosting too.)
This is for my mother-in-law's 83rd birthday and we are giving her a surprise party next Saturday. She is absolutely a wonderful lady and I want to bake something outstanding. Any recipes are greatly appreciated!!!

Also, we are going to have a cookout with hotdogs and sliders. If there are any recipes for starters we can set out while the grill is warming up, I would appreciate that too!!!!!!! (we are going to have bbq beans, cole slaw, potato salad, deviled eggs) I just want this to be the best day in the world for her. She deserves it!!!!!!!!!
Many thanks!

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  1. Can't help you with the cake you want to make but I did just make two cakes from the epicurious site that were both a huge success. Ambrosia cake which was an orange cake with a tangy orange custard and a light merangue frosting and then the whole thing was covered in toasted coconut. Really yummy and impressive looking. The other one was a tropical carrot cake. The cream cheese frosting had coconut cream in it and was outstanding. I made the recipe exactly as instructed but I left out the ginger as I thought too many people would not like that.

    Here's the links:
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    For snacks before dinner I just like chips and salsa and guacamole. My fav snack.

    1. The recipe on the can of Solo almond filling makes a scrumptious cake that keeps very well. Some stores sell it in the baking supplies aisle, some with the kosher/ethnic foods. They also have a number of recipes on their www.solofoods.com website. I'd trust anything from there, or from the Odense (makers of almond paste and marzipan) site.