Cherry Almond Snack Cake

10:52 pm

I'm having a real moment with lighter cakes at the moment. By no means am I saying that I'd turn down a slice of caramel cake that is dense as hell and I'm not even ashamed about the huge amounts of peanut butter chocolate I've inhaled. I literally do not care. But after all that it's nice to have something that doesn't put me in a food coma to pick at for breakfast. Or anytime of the day really, because like I said - I actually don't care. Treat yo'self, all the time.

The base of this cake is the same as my Peachy Keen Coffee Cake, with a couple of adjustments that I think complement this fruit topping even more. I would say that pitting these cherries without a pitter(?) is quite the task. It was pretty amusing to remove the pits like you would an avocado and I'm sure you can imagine this took much longer and a lot more like  a murder scene than the peaches.

But it was worth it! The contrast in colour between the cherries and cake is more pronounced than the peach version which makes it look just a bit more exciting.The juices pool in the crevice where the pit used to be, and the cherries become soft and sweeter, sweeping away any apprehension you might have about cooking fruit when it's at its prime, instead of what we all commonly do when it's a little battered and bruised.

The almonds toast in the oven, and add an element of crunch to this light, moist cake.

Please let me know what you think!

1 1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4  tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
70g butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil)
2 tbsp milk
Grated zest of one lemon
Splash of vanilla essence
Handful of flaked almonds
10-12 cherries, pitted and halved

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2. Grease a 20cm square pan then dust with flour, disposing of the excess, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Whisk together plain flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl, set aside.
4. With an hand held electric whisk, or standing mixer,  on medium speed, cream butter until it becomes lighter in colour and creamy.
5. Add in brown sugar and beat for an additional 3 minutes on medium speed. Make sure to stop and scrape around the sides to ensure all ingredients are incorporated into the mixture. 
6. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute on medium speed in between each one.
7. Mix in the vegetable oil, milk, zest and vanilla essence on low speed until the mixture is glossy- this won't take long at all. 
8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Scatter the almonds on top, and then arrange the halved cherries, pressing them lightly into mixture.
9. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until it is lightly golden or a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
10. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, and then remove from the pan and let it cool for a bit longer on the cooling rack. Serve warm.

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