I love fresh cherries, but don’t often bake with them as I’m the only one in our house who really enjoys them. At least, I was until now. Even my husband, who really does not like cherries one bit, loves this Cherry Almond Loaf.
I was inspired to make it by Nigella Lawson, who included a Cherry Almond Loaf made with glacé cherries in her wonderful book How to be a Domestic Goddess. Of course glacé cherries are a very different thing to fresh in terms of flavour and texture so I had to play around with the recipe to get the results I wanted. I even enlisted my husband’s work colleagues to taste test the final two versions of my cake. This recipe was the hands down winner. It does contain quite a lot of butter and sugar but what can I say, it’s the version everyone liked best!
I have a little gizmo by Oxo to help me pit cherries which I absolutely love using. This isn’t a sponsored link, I just want to share what works for me. There’s something very satisfying about popping all the little pits out of the cherries. The splatter shield on this design protects the work surface quite well, although it still gives my hands a case of the Lady MacBeths, especially if the cherries are very juicy!
The cake keeps very well covered at room temperature for a couple of days, although if you think it might be around for longer I suggest storing it in the fridge. And however tempted you may be to sneak a taste of this delicious cake warm, be sure to let it cool completely before slicing.
- 1 generous cup of cherries
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1¾ cup + 1 tablespoon plain (all purpose) flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened (unsalted if possible)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease or line a large loaf pan.
- De-stem and pit the cherries. Slice each cherry in half and place them all in a bowl.
- Sprinkle the cherries with 1 tablespoon flour and stir lightly to coat. Set aside.
- Mix the ground almonds, 1¾ cups flour and baking powder together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in an electric mixer.
- Beat the eggs into the creamed mixture, one at a time.
- Beat in the almond extract.
- Add the ground almond and flour mixture and beat on low speed until it is full incorporated.
- Add the milk with the mixer still on low speed and then beat the mixture on medium speed for a minute or two.
- Gently fold in the flour coated cherries with a wooden spoon.
- Transfer the batter to the baking pan.
- Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, before carefully removing to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.