Cherry and Almond Cakes

Sticky glace cherries paired with ground almonds and a hint of almond extract combine to make these delicious, and super simple, cherry and almond cakes- the flavours of a cherry Bakewell in individual cake form!

cherry and almond cupcake

I have been reading recipes for cakes now for as long as I can remember. However recently, I’ve been stumbling across several recipes that have both vanilla extract and almond extract in it, and it was a flavour combination I was really intrigued to try.

I still haven’t got round to trying it- but I have bought a bottle of almond extract and have discovered a love of almond flavour. I’ve been throwing it in everything so far and it’s been brilliant. Who knew you could be so enthusiastic over almond extract?!

Paired with some leftover glace cherries, this recipe, of classic cherry Bakewell flavours, was an obvious choice. These cherry and almond cakes started life as simple cupcakes, with swirls of creamy almond icing and chunks of marzipan. They were delicious and the buttercream almond icing was so amazing- plus I love all things marzipan- but they were a bit un-exciting. Photographing them in an interesting way proved difficult, and making the cherry and almond flavours apparent was even harder. They looked like they could be any bog-standard cupcake, and although they looked good, they didn’t exactly make for a great blog photo.

I didn’t want to give up with the recipe. These are so nice, and so perfectly flavoured with almond, that I had to give it another go. Feeling inspired after last month’s carrot cakes, I baked these as mini cakes, rather than cupcakes, and drizzled with red icing. Plus a tiny green stalk and they resemble cherries! (Somewhat…)

The hint of almond extract really brings out the flavour, and the ground almonds add a slightly denser texture, which works well in this type of cake. It’s important to wash and dry the chopped glace cherries thoroughly, and then tossing them in a spoonful of flour, before adding them to the cake mix. If not, they’ll sink to the bottom and form a sticky, chewy base. They should be suspended through the whole cake, so you can see them just peeping through the outside, like little cherry jewels.

I think these look so cute as individual cakes. However, I realise not everyone has a baking tray cupboard quite as well-stocked as mine (or, indeed, a dedicated baking tray cupboard) so this would work just as well baked as a large round cake. You could then use a round cookie cutter to cut them out and if they’re decorated with the drizzled red icing, they’ll look just like individual cherry cakes.

* * *

Cherry and Almond Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 10 mini cakes

Cherry and Almond Cupcakes

Sticky glace cherries paired with ground almonds and a hint of almond extract combine to make these delicious, and super simple, cherry and almond cakes- the flavours of a cherry Bakewell in individual cake form!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKES
  • 70g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 75g glace cherries
  • FOR THE ICING
  • 25g white chocolate
  • Green food colouring (oil-based)
  • 75g icing sugar
  • Red food colouring
  • Few drops of water

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. Grease a 12-hole mini cake tin with a little melted butter and line the base with a circle of greaseproof paper.
  2. To prepare the cherries, cut them into eighths and tip into a sieve. Run under cold water to wash off the sticky juice, then pat dry with a piece of cloth. Place into a small bowl along with a spoonful of flour and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
  3. Sieve the remaining self-raising flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the almonds, then whisk together. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the almond extract and the beaten egg, a little bit at a time, and mix in.
  5. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour, baking powder, and almonds until just combined. Finally stir through the cherries.
  6. Spoon evenly into the mini cake tins, about two thirds full. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly in the tray then transfer to a wire rack.
  7. To make the chocolate stems, melt the white chocolate in the microwave in short bursts. Add a few drops of green food colouring, then transfer into a piping bag. Snip off the end, then pipe into leaf shapes. Make them quite thick so they don’t break. Chill in the fridge for about half an hour or until set. Once set, push into the tops of the cakes.
  8. Mix the icing sugar with a few drops of water until it reaches a thick consistency. Add a few drops of a dark red food colouring to achieve a cherry red colour and to thin the icing. Use a piping bag fitted with a thin nozzle, or use the end of a spoon, to drizzle the icing across the cakes. ▪
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