If you enjoy a slice or two of Bakewell Tart, then you are going to absolutely love this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake! That’s right two layers of buttery, cherry studded, almond sponge, sandwiched together with a generous layer of morello cherry jam and topped with the traditional feathered, almond and chocolate icing.
My Cherry Bakewell Cookies have proved to be one of the most popular recipes on this site. A lot of you seem to just love the magic that happens when cherries and almonds are put together.
I can understand why, as it is one of my favourite flavour pairings as well. So, considering the popularity of the cookies and these Bakewell Cupcakes I wanted to make a grown up cake!
Don’t worry, I’m not getting all serious on you – by grown up, I mean a cake that can be brought out for Sunday tea, or packed up and taken on a picnic.
Do you enjoy packing up a picnic and eating in the great outdoors?
I love picnics, but – and it’s a big but – depending on the variable British weather, there are a few ‘rules’ to consider food wise.
Chocolate, buttercream and fresh cream can all melt, go off, or simply create the mother of all messes on a picnic. So thinking strategically about the cakes that I take is important. Personally I like simple iced cakes, like this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake, or a Lemon Drizzle Cake.
These can be pre cut, or not (just remember to pack a knife!)and packed up easily for the journey. They can withstand a bit of heat, should we be fortunate enough to be granted a warm, sunny day and they can be eaten with minimal mess.
That’s a big thumbs up in my book.
This cake is not just for picnics. I made this on a dreary Sunday afternoon, in the middle of Winter and it certainly brightened our day!
Orginally this was going to be baked as one whole cake and then split in two, that was until I realised the buttered and lined cake tin was too small for the filling!! So I split the mixture between two tins, however, you could easily bake this as one large cake, just adjust the cooking time, as it will take longer.
British Bakeware sell a great range of cake tins and to be honest, my round sandwich tins have seen much better days. So I will be heading on over to their website to do a little shopping. If you want to know more about them you can read my British Bakeware Product Review.
I was determined that this Cherry Almond Chocolate Cake was going to be chocca full of cherries and have real dark chocolate in the feathered, almond icing.
Recipe: Makes one Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake – serves 12 people
250g/9oz Unsalted Butter at room temp. – plus extra for grasing the tins
250g/9oz Caster Sugar
6 Large Free Range Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Almond Extract
175g/6oz Plain White Flour
150g/5oz Glacé Cherries – rinsed & patted dry if very syrupy
100g/4oz Ground Almonds
3tsp Baking Powder
150g/5oz Morello Cherry Jam – any good quality cherry jam or conserve will work well.
For the icing:
300g Icing Sugar – sifted
1/2tsp Almond Extract
50g/2oz Dark Chocolate
Method: Preheat the oven to 165C/150C fan
Grease and line with baking parchment 2 X 20cm/8″ square cake tins or 2 X 9″ round sandwich cake tins.
- Add the caster sugar and butter to a large bowl.
- Whisk or beat for 5 minutes until very pale and creamy.
- Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
- Whilst whisking add 1 tablespoon of the flour and then add each egg, slowly, one at a time until they are all incorporated.
- Add the flour, cherries, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
- Using a metal spoon fold the dry ingredients in until a uniform consistency is achieved.
- Place both cake tins into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- The cake is baked when it is golden in colour and springs back when pressed lightly in the centre.
- If you are cooking one large, deep cake, start checking at 50 minutes, using the method above. I would advise, due to the depth of the cake, inserting a skewer. The cake is cooked when the skewer comes out clean.
- Remove the cooked cakes from the oven and leave the cakes to cool until just warm, before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Note: if cooking one large, deep cake, allow to cool in the tin completely before turning out onto a plate or cake board. Once cooled cut the cake in two horizontally through the middle.
- Once cooled carefully peel back the baking parchment.
- Place the bottom layer top side/cut side up (I didn’t which is why in the picture one layer overlaps – this should be less of a problem with round cakes).
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the sifted icing sugar (in a bowl).
- Add enough water to make a very thick but spreadable paste. Approx 2 tablespoons, added slowly and mixed in with a fork.
- Break/chop up the chocolate, place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl and zap in the microwave in short 20 second bursts, until completely melted.
- Spoon the melted chocolate into a small, disposable piping bag. Set to one side to cool a little.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the icing almost to the edges of the cake.
- Sorry that my lines aren’t super straight, my hands were a bit shaky and hey, this is a homemade cake. Yes of course I want it to look beautiful, but I’ll take a few wiggles and homemade, over mass factory produced perfection any day!
- Use a wooden skewer/cocktail stick and have a piece of kitchen roll handy, to wipe the stick clean after each line –
- Start at the top and just in from the edge, drag your stick through the icing and lines of chocolate until you reach the bottom. Wipe your skewer clean.
- Now starting just under an inch away at the bottom, drag the stick upwards, through the icing until you reach the top. Wipe your skewer clean.
- Repeat these last two steps top to bottom, then bottom to top, until you have reached the other side of the cake.
- The same principle applies to a round cake – although if you want it to look symmetrical I’d suggest starting at the top of the middle of the cake and then working outwards, to the sides. Visually uneven feathering (this is the name of this technique) is more noticeable on a round cake. As the eye is drawn to the centre and then outwards. How perfect you want it is up to you. Even on a square cake my feathering isn’t perfect, but it does look pretty!
Using this feathering technique even managed to hide my wonky chocolate lines.
Picnics, Sunday tea, having friends round, taking as a gift – this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake really is perfect for all those purposes and plenty more. This is truly a cake for FEASTING.
Layered cakes always seem to feel that little bit more special. I guess it’s like opening a box of chocolates and finding there are two layers, you can relax, knowing once one layer is eaten another is waiting to be devoured!!
Or is that just me?? Nope – thought not 😉.
Do you like baking for picnics? Sweet or savoury, I’d love to hear your ideas and see your bakes. My Twitter handle is at the bottom of the page, tweet me a pic, I love seeing your bakes.
If you have enjoyed making this Cherry Almond Sandwich Cake, here are a couple of recipes I’m sure you’ll enjoy:
Whatever you are baking, have fun and remember food tastes better when it’s shared!
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