Cherries, almonds, vanilla… it can only mean one thing: Cherry Bakewell. The sweet aromas of this Cherry Almond Bakewell Cake sing to the memories of my youth. As the smell spread throughout my kitchen I was transported back to school days, visiting friends houses and being offered one of these as a pre-dinner snack. Now, these are a far cry from the heavy, very processed yet readily available teatime treat from a packet, but I’ve kept in all the best bits:
- Cherries: I use glace cherries to reduce the amount of added moisture going into the cake. I’m not usually a fan of glace cherries and always took them off the top of my Bakewell, but these morello ones are a game changer. If you’re all about the glaces, then feel free to use ordinary ones.
- Almonds: ground almonds are in equal amounts to flour in this cake which means the bake isn’t too dense while not compromising on the classic almond-y taste. They also add a great texture and crumb.
- Vanilla: I use vanilla essence to heighten the subtle sweetness and really compliment the ground almonds.
I first made this cake for Father’s day as Dad loves cherries and I am pleased to say it went down well. Don’t you just love the gifts that you can also enjoy? In fact, it was a gift that the whole family could enjoy, sorry Dad, it wasn’t just for you!
A few notes before we get our Bakewell Bake on… the lemon juice is essential here as it mixes with the milk to ‘curdle’ and help form a buttermilk which is great for cakes. Make sure the milk isn’t too cold and the coconut oil too hot as the mix may separate and the coconut oil may begin to harden, so it’s best to let them both settle for a bit before using. I’ve used spelt flour, so I cannot vouch for a gluten free flour, but as long as it has a binder in it, I can imagine it would taste great. One more thing! Don’t be tempted to keep checking on the cake as it cooks as opening the oven door often may cause the cake to sink as it cools and cause an uneven bake (this happened to me first time, although this is very easily masked with a few carefully placed strawberries!).
Cherry Almond Bakewell Cake
Makes 1 round 20-cm cake
60g coconut oil, melted
200ml soya milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
7 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
150g ground almonds
150g spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
140g glace morello cherries, in ½
Flaked almonds, for the top
60g glace morello cherries, in ½ (or fresh)
10 large strawberries, in ½
Flaked almonds, to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a cake tin with baking parchment.
Melt the coconut oil and add to a mixing bowl with the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup and vanilla essence. Mix roughly with a spoon – the mix may look like it has curdled but this is OK.
Now add the salt and ground almonds and mix in.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir well with a spoon, be careful not to over-mix. Now stir in the cherries until evenly distributed.
Pour into the lined tin, smooth over the top and sprinkle over some flaked almonds if desired. Place into the oven then bake for 22-25 minutes, or until turning golden at the edges and the middle springs back. Check with a toothpick that the centre is cooked.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack in the tin, and then carefully remove from the tin, leaving the bottom circle of parchment and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
Once cooled, top with the halved strawberries and cherries and sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
Serve in slices – it is delicious warmed back up (or still cold) with ice cream, cream or yoghurt. Store in an airtight container for a few days (in the fridge because of the fresh strawberries, or remove them to store at room temperature) – if it lasts that long!
What were your favourite childhood treats, perhaps you were a Cherry Bakewell Fan? I’d love to hear your thoughts on my Cherry Almond Bakewell Cake, so please leave a comment below and tag me in your bakes – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy.