Cherry Almond Cake Bars

Cherry Almond Cake Bars (Vegan Gluten-Free)

Light and fluffy almond-y cake bars topped with juicy fresh cherries and golden flaked almonds; these cake bars are great for dessert of afternoon tea. They are naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and quick to make.

One of my dad’s favourite desserts has to be anything with cherries. Cherry cheesecake, cherry pie, cherry Bakewell cake… you name it. Anything with cherries in and he’s sold. So, when it came to creating a recipe for a simple and healthy flour-based recipe that would be quick to make in the week leading up to this birthday, I just had to add cherries.

Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars

These Cherry Almond Cake Bars are:

  • Light, fluffy and spongey
  • Packed with cherry Bakewell flavours 
  • Nutty and sweet
  • Naturally vegan and easily gluten-free
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • A great bake with a cup of tea or as dessert with ice cream

The ingredients for these Cherry Almond Cake Bars are quite simple, wholesome and accessible, too. You probably already have most of them to hand and I’ll add some substitutions and swaps in the section below. Or, you’re already sold, skip straight to the recipe card below. The cake recipe is slightly lighter with some health-boosting ingredients:

  • Banana: always use ripe bananas to bake with as this will make the batter naturally sweeter and also the texture is better. You could also use apple puree, as both add sweetness, moistness and help to bind the mix.
  • Plant-based milk: use your favourite milk or whatever you have open like almond, oat or coconut. Almond is my preferred to stick to the almond theme of the recipe.
  • Coconut sugar: this keeps the recipe refined sugar free, but you can use any sugar. Golden caster or light brown sugar would also be great.
  • Almond butter: this replaces a lot of the oil or butter and makes sure the batter is nice and moist. The smooth, runnier almond butter is best or you could use another nut butter (the flavour of the cake will change) like cashew or use sunflower seed or tahini for nut-free options.
  • Coconut oil: just a little keeps the Cherry Almond Cake Bars really fluffy and moist.
  • Lemon juice: this helps to bind the batter and you could also use apple cider vinegar which behaves in a similar way.
  • Vanilla or almond essence: for a stronger Bakewell-style flavour, use the almond essence, but vanilla essence also works really well.
  • Plain flour: or use a gluten-free flour blend (with xantham gum) to make these cake bars gluten-free. The white flour makes sure the bars are really light and spongey.
  • Baking powder: for the rise.
  • Ground almonds: these add another level of almond-goodness to the batter, and I love the slightly coarser texture it adds to the bars. If you are looking for an alternative,  use a ground up nut or seed of your choice.
Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars

The steps to bringing the batter together are simple: blitz together the wet ingredients until really smooth and then whisk together with the dry ingredients and pour into a lined tin. Top with the fresh cherries and flaked almonds and that’s all there is to it. If you don’t have fresh cherries, you could use another fruit like raspberries, blueberries or chopped up peach, too.

Bake until golden on top and smelling amazing and then allow these Cherry Almond Cake Bars to cool down to slice or enjoy them warm. They are great served cold with a dusting of icing sugar and a cup of tea or coffee, but equally as delicious warmed back up and served with vanilla ice cream. 

Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars

If you love fruity and nutty cakes, these Cherry Almond Cake Bars are for you. They are quick and easy to make and will last well for a few days (or longer in the freezer, if you can resist!).

If you are looking for other simple cake recipes, how about my:

Cherry Almond Cake Bars (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 9-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Light and fluffy almond-y cake bars topped with juicy fresh cherries and golden flaked almonds; these cake bars are great for dessert of afternoon tea. They are naturally vegan, easily gluten-free and quick to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana (100-120g)
  • 150ml plant-based milk
  • 70g coconut sugar
  • 50g almond butter
  • 20g coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond essence
  • 180g plain flour (or GF flour)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 80g ground almonds
  • A pinch of salt
  • 100g cherries, pitted weight
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line an 8-inch square tin with parchment paper. Half and pit the cherries and toss with the 1 tsp flour. Leave to one side.
  2. Add the banana, plant-based milk, coconut sugar, almond butter, coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla/almond essence to a blender and blend until smooth. Or, mash the banana really well and stir in the other ingredients mentioned.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl and add the ground almonds and a pinch of salt. Pour in the wet mix and whisk to a smooth batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the tin, smooth over the top and evenly add on the cherries, leaving any excess flour behind. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and gently press down.
  5. Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then remove and cool fully on a wire rack.
  6. Slice into 9 or 12 bars/squares and dust with icing sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container for 3-5 days or in the fridge if it is warm. The cake will also freeze well for up to 1 month.
Cherry Almond Cake Bars
Cherry Almond Cake Bars

I look forward to hearing what you think of these Cherry Almond Cake Bars so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make them, I would love to see so please tag me in your cake bars – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With cherry almonds love x

13 thoughts on “Cherry Almond Cake Bars (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  1. hinkebakker says:

    Ahh Amy!! I just made these with some swaps, I used apple sauce instead of banana and olive oil for the coconut oil. And I can say they’re so delicious! Perfectly moist and not too sweet! Just perfect 😍
    Oh and I used frozen cherries because that’s what I had on hand ☺️
    Next time I will try and add some almond extract, this time I used the vanilla and it did not disappoint.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe Amy, keep up your beautiful work and I hope you have an amazing day ✨❤️

    Like

    • nourishingamy says:

      This makes me SO SO happy to hear, I am so glad you love them! The apple sauce is a great substitution and so happy that the frozen cherries were on hand! Thank you for the lovely feedback and enjoy the cake bars 🍒

      Like

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