Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cherry and almond cake with amaretto glaze

I’m not done with cherries just yet, no. I am obsessed with them and I’m dragging you down this road with me; this time with a cherry bundt cake.

It was only recently that I talked to you about bundt cakes with this almond and chocolate marble cake, but one can never have too many bundt cake recipes, right?

The protagonists in this bundt cake are two; cherries and almonds. The cherries are present in two forms, fresh, sweet dark cherries and glacé cherries, those bright, crunchy, red ones that give another flavor dimension to the cake. The almonds are present in four forms, ground almonds and almond extract in the cake batter, almond liqueur in the glaze and flaked almonds scattered over the top.

The fresh and glacé cherries are blended to make a purée which is then swirled into the fluffy cake batter and even though the cherry flavor is not intense, it is undoubtedly present. The cake is dense and smooth but not heavy at all. It’s soft, moist, a little crunchy from the ground almonds and a little sticky where the cherry purée has caramelized at the sides of the cake.

It’s ultra buttery and the cherry flavor marries beautifully with the almond. The glaze on top is sweet, with the amaretto enhancing the nut flavor even more, and it is great served with a few fresh cherries on the side to accentuate the cherry purée in the cake.

It’s a cake that keeps very well due to the addition of ground almonds that keep it moist and tender for longer, and it is even tastier the next day and the day after that.

Cherry and almond cake with amaretto glaze
Adapted from Stirring Slowly by Georgina Hayden

I’d say that the glaze is optional. The cake is adequately sweet without it but it does add a certain je ne sais quoi in flavor and appearance.

You could leave the cherry purée unswirled (is that a word?) inside the cake in order to get a more concentrated cherry flavor, because the swirling/rippling dissipates the flavor of the cherry a bit throughout the cake.

This recipe makes a lot of batter and thus cake. I used a large bundt pan (2.4 liters / ~10½ cups capacity) and it overflowed while baking. So, the second time I made the cake, I filled my bundt pan by ¾ (which is what is advisable anyway when it comes to filling cake pans) and baked the rest in a small, individual cake pan as I didn’t want to adjust the recipe and nor should you. So I would advise you to do the same unless you have a larger bundt pan than mine.

Yield: 16-18 pieces


for the cake
250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the pan
350 g all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
150 g fresh sweet dark cherries, rinsed and pitted
75 g red glacé cherries
2 tsp baking powder
500 g caster sugar
6 large eggs
½ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt
300 ml fresh whole milk
75 g ground almonds

for the glaze
100 g icing sugar
1-2* Tbsp amaretto (almond liqueur)

1-2 Tbsp flaked almonds, for topping the cake

* Use 1 Tbsp if you want a thick glaze or 2 Tbsp if you want a thinner one. I used 2 Tbsp.

Special equipment: large bundt pan (at least 2.4 liters / ~10½ cups capacity), pastry brush (optional), small food processor, stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer


for the cake
Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Using a pastry brush or your hands, grease the inside of your baking pan very well with some softened butter, being careful not to leave small pieces of butter in the pan walls. Sprinkle some flour inside the greased pan and tap it to go all over the inside of the pan. Tap out the excess flour.

In the bowl of your food processor, add the fresh, pitted cherries and the glacé cherries, and process to a smooth and creamy purée. Set aside.

In a bowl, add the flour and baking powder and mix with a spoon.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl), add the butter and sugar and beat with the paddle attachment (or with a hand-held mixer) on high speed until creamy, light and fluffy, for about 8 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time beating well on high speed after each addition, fully incorporating each egg in the mixture before adding the next. When you have finished with all the eggs, add the almond extract and salt and beat well.
Add the flour-baking powder mixture and milk alternatively in 3 batches, starting and finishing with the flour, and beating the ingredients until just combined in the mixture on medium speed. You don’t want to overbeat the mixture or the cake will be tough. Finally, add the ground almonds and beat on low speed until just mixed through.

Note: Before you start adding the two mixtures into the pan, please be aware that you shouldn’t fill your pan more than ¾ up. Eyeball it and if you have see that you have excess cake batter (not purée, you should add all of that) empty it in an individual cake pan and bake it next to the cake otherwise you will run the risk of the batter spilling over while baking.

Take your prepared bundt pan and using a large spoon add 1/3 of the cake batter into the pan. Using another spoon, pour 1/3 of the cherry purée on top of the batter and using a skewer or the back of the spoon, swirl the purée into the cake batter gently. Add another 1/3 of the cake batter on top and 1/3 of the cherry purée and swirl it, making sure not to reach all the way down, you only want to swirl the top layer. Then, add the remaining 1/3 of the batter and the remaining 1/3 of the cherry purée and swirl again the top layer only. Don’t overdo the swirling.

Note: You can just add the purée without swirling it, in which case you will have a more concentrated flavor and presence of the cherry purée in the cake. The choice is yours.

Place the pan on the lower rack of the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Then transfer to the middle rack and bake for a further 15 minutes or until or a wooden skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean. Please be aware that not all ovens bake the same and not all bundt pans are the same, some have thinner or thicker wall, and are made from different materials, which make baking times differ. This cake takes between 50 and 60 minutes to bake (mine takes 60 minutes). You can start checking it from 50 minutes onward to make sure.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Then, take the cake carefully out of the pan and onto the wire rack and let cool completely. When it has cooled, you can pour the glaze over it.

for the glaze
In a small bowl, add the icing sugar and the almond liqueur and mix well with a wire whisk until smooth and creamy.

Pour the glaze over the cake and scatter the flaked almonds on top.

Serve with a few fresh cherries on the side.

The cake keeps well for 4-5 days, at room temperature. Because it contains ground almonds that become moist as days go by (due to the oils in the almonds), they keep the cake from drying out so it stays fresh for longer.


  1. This looks amazing, Magda - and I love your bundt pan, too. I am bookmarking this to try while cherries are abundant!

  2. This is a gorgeous cake!! And I'm right there with you; I'll never be done with cherries!