No apologies for an Iced Cherry Cake to add to my collection of Cherry Cake recipes. They're still my favourite.
My absolute favourite cherry cake is really a Cherry Madeira Cake, but adding icing to a softer, cherry sponge cake makes Iced Cherry Cake a close contender. In any case, it's another easy cherry cake recipe for your collection.
I go into great lengths in the Cherry Cake post about how to get the cherries evenly distributed. My darling daughter pointed out that I don't actually do that. The reason is that I like bigger pieces of cherry in my cakes so I halve the cherries, which makes them heavier and they sink a bit.
Next time I make one of these cakes, I'll quarter them and post the pictures. I know in my head that it will taste the same, but it's one of the pleasures of being an adult that you get to choose how big the cherries are!
Anyway, if you put icing and cherries on top it doesn't matter where they are in the cake.
The cherries aren't red!
Well, I prefer the darker natural-dyed cherries. I see that most pictures of cherry cakes use red ones. Probably because they look more colourful. But it's all about personal preference. These days the colourings are mostly vegetable-based - so no nasties - whichever type you choose (but do read the label).
Secrets of Success
None of the recipes on the Everyday Cooks blog is difficult and I do like to make easy cakes, but there are still a few potential pitfalls:
All-in-one - but watch the cherries
If you have a mixer or food processor they're even easier as I mostly post one-step, chuck-it-all-in recipes. The exception is for cakes with fruit, like this one. The cake mixing is all-in-one, but do the cherry bit by hand or you will have a pink cake with tiny bits of cherry in.
You need soft butter
Your butter does need to be very soft if you're attempting this by hand. If it isn't very soft, try helping it along in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time - but be careful not to overdo it.
Why is my cake dry?
If your cakes turn out dry, check out my article Why Is My Cake Dry? for some of the most common reasons and the solutions.
- Baking parchment loaf tin liner – Stops the cake sticking and keeps the tin clean – so less washing up. You can also store the cake in the liner until you’re ready to eat it, keeping it nice and moist. Just make sure you buy the right size for your loaf tin. Old fashioned loaf tins are squarer and deeper (and better for bread, I think) than the others which are good for cakes.
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Iced Cherry Cake
For the cake:
- 300 g glacé cherries
- 200 g plain/all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (10ml)
- Pinch of salt
- 175 g butter, at room temperature
- 175 g caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 75 g ground almonds
- 75 ml milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (10ml)
For the icing and decoration:
- 250 g icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons hot water (30ml)
- 4 glacé cherries
- Set the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/ gas mark 4/ 350°F
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin with butter or use a paper liner
- Halve the cherries, then wash in warm water and dry. This will remove the syrup and stop them from sinking too much. Quarter them if you want a better distribution. If you’re short of time, don’t bother to wash. The cherries may sink but the cake will still taste wonderful.
For the cake:
- Put all the ingredients except the cherries into a large bowl and mix well with a mixer or in a food processor.(Flour, baking powder, salt, butter, sugar, eggs, ground almonds, milk, vanilla extract)
- Add the cherries and fold in with a large spoon until they are evenly distributed through the mixture.
- Put the cake mixture into the prepared tin
- Cook for 60-75 minutes until well risen and golden and a skewer comes out clean. Test after an hour.If the top starts to brown before the centre is cooked, cover with baking parchment or foil
- Take the cake out of the oven and leave in the tin for 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
For the icing:
- Sieve the icing sugar and add enough hot water to make a smooth icing that will spread but not run
- Spread the icing over the top of the cake
- Cut the cherries in half and arrange on top.
Everyday Cooks Tips:As with all cakes, the actual cooking time depends on your oven so check the cake after an hour with a skewer or cake thermometer. Storage
- The cake will keep for a week in an airtight tin or plastic box, or longer if kept in the fridge
- Make two cakes at a time and freeze one before icing.