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Cherry Cake Recipe & Video

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As soon as sweet Bing cherries are in season, I cannot resist putting some aside to make this Cherry Cake. I love its polka dot design. It is very similar in looks to a Cherry Clafoutis, only instead of a thin pancake-like batter, the cherries are suspended in a buttery sweet almond flavored batter. It can be served warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold from the refrigerator.


This Cherry Cake has a sponge-like batter that is made by first beating the eggs with the sugar until very thick and light colored. Then vanilla extract and almond extract are added for flavoring, along with some milk and melted butter. Next, a mixture of all purpose (plain) flour and ground almonds (or almond meal/flour) are folded in. You can buy ground almonds or else take blanched almonds and process them in your food processor until finely ground. If you don't want to add ground almonds you can replace them with an equal amount of all purpose flour.

A common problem when adding a heavy fruit like cherries to a batter is that the fruit tends to sink to the bottom of the pan during baking. While this in no way affects the flavor of the cake, it does not allow us to appreciate the cherry's full beauty. To rectify this problem, instead of adding all the cherries when we mix the cake batter, we put some cherries aside. Then, about halfway through the baking time, we pull the cake from the oven and quickly place some cherries, that have been cut in half, on top of the partially baked cake. This step, while a little more time consuming, keeps the cherries floating on the top of the cake. With an added bonus of producing that wonderful polka dot pattern. 

As always, it is important to choose your fruit carefully. Look for Bing cherries that are bright red, shiny, plump, and quite firm and make sure there is no browning around the stems. Once we have the cherries, we need to remove the pits. Pitting of cherries is always a tedious job and the task is made easier if you have a cherry pitter. However, if you do not own such a tool, than you need to do it by hand. The easiest way I have found to do this, is to make a small slit in the cherry, with a small sharp knife, from the stem end to the bottom of the cherry. Then, using the tip of the knife or your thumbnail, remove the pit. This process is best done over a bowl so any dripping juice will fall into the bowl and not stain your countertop. 

Related Recipes You May Like

Cherry Pie

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry Squares

Cherry Tart

Black Forest Trifles

Cherry Ricotta Muffins

Cherry Cake: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Rinse and dry the cherries. Take 15 cherries, cut them in half, take out the pit, and place on a sheet of paper towel, cut side down. Set them aside as they will be placed on the top of the cake during baking. To the rest of the cherries, pit, and cut into small pieces (to be folded into the cake batter).

In a separate bowl, sift or whisk the flour with the ground almonds, baking powder, and salt. 

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar, on medium high speed, until thick and light colored (about 3-5 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract (if using). Then fold in, with a spatula or wire whisk, the melted and cooled butter and milk just until incorporated. Next, fold in the flour mixture. Gently fold in the chopped cherries (not the 15 cherries that you have halved for the top of the cake). Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon. 

Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until the batter is set, then remove from oven. Quickly arrange the remaining cherries, cut side down, on the top of the cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick, inserted into the cake, comes out clean. If you find the cake over browning during baking, cover with a piece of foil.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly (about 10 minutes). Remove the sides of the pan.

Apricot Glaze: In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the water or liqueur.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the cake, both the cherries and cake, with the apricot glaze. If desired, sprinkle the edges of the cake with the toasted and chopped almonds or pearl sugar.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. This cake can be frozen.

Makes 8 - 10 servings.

Note: To toast the almonds. Place on baking sheet and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 6 to 8 minutes or until brown and fragrant. Let cool and then finely chop.

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Cherry Cake:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter

3/4 pound (350 grams) fresh sweet cherries (I like to use Bing cherries), divided

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (55 grams) ground almonds

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) fine kosher salt

2 large eggs (100 grams out of shell), at room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) pure almond extract (optional)

1/3 cup (80 ml/grams) milk, at room temperature

Apricot Glaze: (optional)

1/4 cup (70 grams) apricot preserves

1 teaspoon water or Grand Marnier

Garnish: (optional)

1/3 cup (35 grams) sliced Almonds or Pearl Sugar #ad

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