Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes are based on the traditional Cherry Bakewell Tart. No pastry here, just almond cake with raspberry jam and icing – and a cherry on top.
I’ve always loved iced cakes, especially topped with a cherry. Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes take the concept a step further by adding a slug of raspberry conserve inside a moist almond cake. Yum!
Cherries – dark or red?
I’ve used natural-dyed glace cherries because it’s all I keep in the cupboard. If you want a nice bright red cherry on top, buy the others.
Secrets of Success
Getting the jam in the middle
Good question. In the past, I’ve cut out a cone of cake as if you’re making Butterfly Cakes (where you can find detailed instructions). You put the jam in the hollow and cut the point off the cone and place the lid back on.
Recently I discovered a cupcake corer. I have to say this was a totally new bit of kit and I wasn’t sure it would work, but it was only £3 so I bought one to see – and it does work. It takes a plug out of the cake so that you have a square-ish hole to fill with jam.
If you do a lot of baking this is a good gadget, but if not, a pointed knife will do a similar job (as it has for me for decades!).
Making the icing smooth
The trick with glace icing, or water icing, is to get the consistency right. You want it loose enough to spread of its own accord, but thick enough to stop before it runs off the edge of the cake.
I always use boiling water to make the icing because the heat makes it a bit runnier, but as it (quickly) cools the icing thickens. The other thing is to use slightly less water than you think to start with and add a little more if the icing is too thick. If you add too much water you will need to add more sugar.
The consistency is right when a spoonful dropped onto the cake surface slowly spreads out and becomes even and flat. You can help the process along by gently tipping the cake to the side if the icing isn’t spreading evenly.
As you can tell from the pictures, I’m more into easy than perfect, so I’m sure you could make a perfectly smoothly iced top with more effort and a hot knife.
Does the icing sugar need sieving?
It depends. For these cakes, using fresh icing sugar and boiling water, no it doesn’t (and I didn’t for these). If the sugar has been open a long time it starts to cake and doesn’t dissolve evenly, so then I do sieve it.
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Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes
For the Cakes:
- 125 g butter, at room temperature
- 125 g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 75 g self-raising flour
- 75 g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Large pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (2.5ml)
- ½ teaspoon almond extract (2.5ml)
For the filling and icing:
- Raspberry jam
- 350 g icing sugar
- Hot water
- 6 glacé cherries
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan/ gas mark 5/ 375°F
- Line the bun tins with 10-12 paper cupcake cases
For the cakes:
- Beat the cake ingredients together thoroughly (easiest in a machine or with a hand mixer)(Butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, almond extract)
- Put two teaspoons of mixture into each paper caseThe cases will be about half full
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until the cake surface springs back when you touch it lightly with your fingertip
- Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack
To fill the cakes:
- Use a cupcake corer to remove the centre of the cake ORUse a small, sharp knife to cut a cone-shaped out of the cake. Start near one edge and push the point down and towards the centre. Keeping the point in the same place, move the knife around the cake
- Put a small spoon of jam in the cavity
- If necessary, trim the piece of cake before you put the lid back on to make a flat cake again
To decorate the cakes:
- Mix the icing sugar with 40-50ml hot water from the kettle. Start with 3 tablespoons (45ml) and see if you need any extra
- The consistency will be thick but as you put it on the cake it will spread slowly without needing a knife
- Put a spoonful on each cake and top with half a glace cherry.
EVERYDAY COOKS TIPS:Variation:
- Fairy Cakes – This recipe will make 20-24 fairy cakes. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks