Trust me, even though this cherry Bakewell cake takes time and effort to prepare, it is worth it! Just have a look at the pictures and tell me you don’t want to cut a piece right now. This cake is perfect for serving to friends and family on a summery afternoon with tea. Or, if you have a birthday coming up in the family, why not make the celebration even more special with a beautiful cherry Bakewell cake?
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cherry bakewell cake
A cherry Bakewell cake is a layer cake version of the traditional Bakewell tart. Instead of a short crust pastry tart with jam and frangipane, the elements have been used in a different way – the cherries and almonds are still key components to the cake. For this recipe, the almonds are incorporated into the sponge base itself by adding almond extract and ground almonds into the sponge mix. In between your four sponges you then spread the lovely cherry jam and Chantilly cream. You can prepare the cherry jam yourself!
The layers of pure joy is then dressed with a sweet lemony icing, adding a bit of acidity to balance the creamy and fruity cake. Whether or not the Bakewell cake takes its name from the Derbyshire town of Bakewell remains unclear. Whoever came up with this cake the first time deserves a medal. Today, it’s one of the most popular cakes in Britain and in other parts of the world.
If you are wondering on which type of cherries to use for this cherry Bakewell cake, look not further! The obvious answer is to use the juicy hand-picked Jerte Picota cherries. The P.D.O. certified cherries will make you wish you hand picked them yourself in Spain, in the Jerte Valley region. Even so, Jerte Picota cherries are certified to be picked by hand. To learn more about the Jerte Picota P.D.O. status, click right here.
The cherry itself has a slight peak towards its base. So, the term ‘Picota‘, meaning ‘peaked‘ is a very suitable name for this type of cherry. When the cherry is ready, it will naturally come away from the stalk. That’s why when you come across these cherries in the supermarket, you’ll see that none of the cherries actually have stalks attached. Also, this means that the cherries are harvested at the perfect time.
Can you believe these 100% natural cherries are only available for six weeks per year? Mid- July is their peak season. Usually the produce becomes available from the end of June and stocks run out in the first weeks of August. Don’t miss out this year, use them in the cherry Bakewell cake recipe before they are all gone!
The sponge forms the foundation of the cherry Bakewell cake. Your goal should be a light and fluffy sponge, not a dense and heavy one. First of all make sure to measure and prepare all the ingredients you need before starting the actual mixing process. Make sure to have the tins buttered at the base and the sides lined with baking paper. This will make it, dare I say, a piece of cake when attempting to get the sponge out in one piece.
Having all of your sponge ingredients lined up on the kitchen counter before you start working, means that you can do it all without stopping and immediately get the batter into the tins. Once it’s in, place the tins straight into the preheated oven.
To give the sponge extra volume, ensure the eggs are not ice cold straight out the refrigerator. When they are cold they are not as easy to beat air into as when they are at room temperature. Another trick is to sift the flour before mixing it in with the other ingredients.
The Bakewell cake can be modified to accommodate your preferred berries. Raspberries, blackberries or even blueberries are good substitutes for cherries in a Bakewell cake. The important thing is to use berries with a certain acidity and not only sweetness. For this reason I would avoid using strawberries in a Bakewell cake.
At the end of the day, I firmly believe that cherries are the best option for the job. Especially, Jerte Picota cherries! Cherries simply work so well with almonds in terms of flavour that the cherry Bakewell cake remains the best version. If you have a different version that is also amazing, please let me know about it and share a comment below.
The icing for the cherry Bakewell cake simply consists of icing sugar and lemon juice. Add the lemon juice slowly until you have the texture and acidity you want. The icing should not be too runny, and should be rather on the thick side so that it sticks to the cake when you pour it over the top, letting it ooze down the sides. For a touch of colour, you can add some cherry juice to the icing mixture and make it slightly pink. Just remember you still want that acidity from the lemon juice in there.
How about some variation in the icing and make a cream cheese icing instead like this one?
To decorate the cherry Bakewell cake, I have used a generous handful of whole cherries, as well as some toasted almond flakes. You could de-pit the cherries first but I prefer the clean look of the whole deep red cherries on the base of the white icing. Instead of almond flakes you can sprinkle the cake with a bit of crushed pistachios.
Other fresh cakes you might enjoy include:
- raspberry and lime cheesecake – get the recipe here
- white opera cake with lemon butter cream – get the recipe here
- baked chocolate cheesecake with a cherry coulis – get the recipe here
Don’t you just love using fresh seasonal produce? A fresh and fruity cake is just what you need for the summer!
Did you get hungry looking at the cherry Bakewell cake recipe? Being a light and fresh cake, it is best enjoyed with some fresh picota cherries on top.
- 200g (7oz) butter
- 200g (7oz) golden caster sugar
- 2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract
- 4 eggs
- 100g (3½oz) ground almonds
- 100g (3½oz) self-raising flour, sifted
- 5ml (1 tsp) baking powder
- 340g (11oz) cherry jam
- 125ml (½ cup) double cream
- 30ml (2 tbsp) caster sugar
- 250g (8oz) Picota cherries, washed, pitted and halved
- 180g (6oz) icing sugar
- 60ml (4 tbsp) lemon juice
- 60ml (4 tbsp) toasted, flaked almonds
- Cherries, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4.
- Butter and line the bases of 2 x 20cm round sandwich tins with baking paper.
- Beat the butter and golden caster sugar together in an electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy.
- Add the almond extract and eggs and mix until well incorporated.
- Slowly pour in the ground almonds, baking powder and flour until the the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two tins and bake for 30 minutes until golden and springy.
- Cool the sponges on a wire rack.
- Whip the cream with the caster sugar until soft peaks form.
- Stir the cherries in with the cream and set aside.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut each sponge cake in half, which will now give you 4 layers to work with.
- On the first layer, spread half of the cherry jam, then top with the other half of the sponge cake.
- Next, spread the cherry cream filling on the next layer, then top with another layer.
- Spoon the remaining cherry jam on the next layer and top with the last layer.
- Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice together to form a thick, sugary paste and pour it on the top of the cake and let it slowly ooze over the edges.
- Decorate the top of the cake with whole cherries and flaked almonds.
Serve immediately and store leftover in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 452
- Sugar: 36.5 g
- Sodium: 131 mg
- Fat: 25.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 12 g
- Carbohydrates: 50.9 g
- Fiber: 2.1 g
- Protein: 6.2 g
- Cholesterol: 105 mg
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