This gluten free cherry bakewell cake made with fresh cherries and ground almonds is soft, moist and the perfect summer cake!
This bakewell cake takes the flavours of that British classic, the bakewell tart: frangipane, fruit jam and crunchy almonds. Whereas the tart has a pastry case, this cake is made with a thicker frangipane which stands up to being baked in a tin, and then sliced. I love pastry, but for me, the best part of the bakewell tart has to be the almond – or frangipane – filling, and this cake is inspired from that!
Carrying on my love of using ground almonds (aka 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 and moist almond sponge is a delicious, impressive – but very easy! – summer cake.
I love fresh cherries in a cake; the juicy sweet-sour fruit adds a delicious burst of flavour amongst the orange-scented almond sponge. It’s a wonderful way of enjoying this beautiful summer fruit! As a bonus, this cake is also a great way of using those cherries which are slightly past their best.
Enjoy this bakewell cake as a cake with coffee or a cup of tea, or serve it as dessert. It’s delicious with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on the side (or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!)
How to make cherry bakewell cake:
- 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, don’t stir too much as the juice from the cherries can make the cake turn a pale pink-brown.
- Spoon it into a prepared tin, lined with baking paper.
- Sprinkle with flaked or slivered almonds.
Hints for making the best bakewell 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.
Cherry Bakewell Cake
- 60 g caster sugar
- 60 g butter softened
- 180 g almond meal (ground almonds)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ orange, zest
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp almond essence (almond extract)
- 160 g fresh cherries
- 2½ tbsp 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!