Made with ground almonds and fresh cherries, this light and moist cherry and almond cake is naturally gluten free. A soft almond sponge studded with cherries and topped with crunchy almonds makes this the perfect summer cake!
Carrying on my love of using ground almonds (also known as ‘almond meal’ or ‘almond flour’) in baking, alongside this flourless chocolate cake, soft and chewy almond chocolate chip cookies, Italian almond biscuits and almond meringue; this light flourless cherry almond cake is an impressive – but very easy! – summer cake.
I love fresh cherries in a cake or dessert. Juicy plump cherries add delicious bursts of sweet flavour amongst the orange-scented almond sponge making this recipe a wonderful way of enjoying this beautiful summer fruit! The crunchy almond topping is a tasty contrast against the soft sponge too.
Why we love this recipe
- It’s a beautiful summer cherry recipe to enjoy cherries during their short season.
- A great recipe for using cherries that are slightly past their best.
- Can be enjoyed for morning or afternoon tea, or as a dessert.
- Fresh cherries – I prefer making this cake with fresh cherries, but they can be expensive (and the season is short!) If using frozen cherries, don’t defrost completely. If using canned cherries, dry on a kitchen towel before adding to the cake mix.
- Ground almonds – also called almond flour or almond meal. They make a soft and moist cake compared to regular wheat flour.
- Butter – softened unsalted butter.
- Sugar – caster sugar.
- Slivered almonds – can also use flaked almonds, or roughly chopped blanched/ nibbed almonds.
- Orange – orange is a delicious pairing to cherries, and adding orange zest adds a subtle flavour to the sponge. If you don’t have an orange you can leave it out. The cake will still taste great!
How to make this cherry and almond loaf
(These steps are a guide only, for detailed recipe please see the recipe card below.)
- Beat together the butter and sugar in a bowl until soft and fluffy.
- In another bowl mix the dry ingredients: the almond meal/ground almonds/almond flour, baking powder and orange zest.
- Mix the flour into the butter and sugar.
- Add the eggs and mix well before adding the fresh cherries.
- Spoon it into a prepared loaf tin, lined with baking paper.
- Sprinkle with flaked or slivered almonds.
My tips for making the best almond and cherry cake:
- Prepare the cherries before you begin to make the cake. If you don’t have a cherry pitter then cut around the washed cherry with a paring knife and twist, pulling off the fruit from the stone (pit). You can leave the flesh of the cherries in halves, or cut into quarters. I like to have a mixture of both.
- Preheat the oven and line your tin before you mix the cake batter. As soon as the baking powder comes into contact with the liquid from the eggs it will start to react. You want to capture this by placing it into the oven as soon as possible, to make a light and fluffy almond cake.
- When adding the cherries to the cake batter, don’t stir too much or the colour can bleed into the cake and cause it to turn a funny brown-pinky colour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ground almonds add a delicious moist and crumbly texture to a cake. The oil in the nuts adds moisture to the cake, and also means that the cake doesn’t go dry the day after it is made.
Yes it is, you may also see it called almond meal (more common in Australia), ground almonds is the British term.
Almond meal/ground almonds is made from ground up almonds. If you don’t have any almond flour to hand, then you can use flaked or slivered almonds in a food processor and blend until fine. Don’t use whole almonds as they can break your processor!
This cake keeps in an airtight container for 3-4 days. (If it is warm and humid I’d eat it within 2-3 days.)
Enjoy this gluten free cherry cake with a cup of coffee or tea as an afternoon treat, or serve it as a dessert. It’s delicious with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on the side (or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!). Serve it alongside egg sandwiches, cheese scones and bourbon biscuits for a simple English afternoon tea party.
Storing the cake
- Store – at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Freeze – you can freeze this cake (freeze before you dust it with icing sugar). Once completely cool, wrap well and freeze for up to 2 months.
More Summer baking recipes
Cherry And Almond Cake
- 60 g caster sugar
- 60 g butter softened
- 180 g almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ orange zested
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond essence (almond extract)
- 160 g fresh cherries
- 2½ tablespoons slivered or flaked almonds
- icing sugar to serve, optional
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 160˚C fan/ 356˚F/ 320˚F convection.
- Line a 11cm x 21 cm / 4.3" x 8.3" loaf tin with baking paper.
- Prepare the fresh cherries: cut around the cherry with a paring knife and twist, pulling off the fruit from the stone (pit).
- Mix the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
- In another bowl mix the almond meal with baking powder and orange zest, mix well.
- Beat the eggs and add the almond essence.
- Add the flour mixture to the sugar and butter and stir, then add the eggs and mix until well combined. It will seem very thick.
- Gently stir in the cherries – try not to stir too much or the colour can bleed into the cake.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and spread lightly with the back of the spoon to get an even top, then sprinkle over the almonds in an even layer.
- Place into the oven (lower shelf*) and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Test to see if the cake is cooked after 40 minutes by sticking a skewer in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean then the cake is done. If some batter sticks to it then place back into the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
- Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before carefully removing it from the tin to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To serve, dust with icing sugar, an optional step but does make the cake look pretty!