Cherry Bakewell cake – almond sponge filled with jam, whipped cream, and cherries. This British cake recipe is glorious and easier to make than you might think!
Make this cherry Bakewell cake for a birthday, to make the most of the cherry season, or just to have a delicious treat at any time of the year. The Bakewell cake might look like a lot of work due to all those layers, but really, it is so easy to make!
This is all you have to do:
- Mix and bake the Victoria sponge-style cakes made with almonds. It takes about 10 minutes to put together and about half an hour to bake. The cakes have to cool, but that won’t take long either.
- Smear some jam on one cake.
- Chop some cherries.
- Whip some cream.
- Toast some almonds.
- Staple everything together on a nice cake platter.
And the result? A beautiful cake fit for any birthday or celebration!!! Or just an easy treat for a Sunday afternoon.
And did I mention how incredibly delicious this is? One slice will probably not be enough… The Bakewell sponge is soft, moist and flavorful due to the use of ground almonds, the jam is sweet and comforting and the whipped cream and cherry filling is just decadent and soooo good!
What is Bakewell?
First of all, Bakewell is a town in Derbyshire, England. Apparently that is where the Bakewell pudding originates. The pudding is actually a small pastry case filled with raspberry jam, egg and almond mixture.
The next step was the tart: shortcrust pastry filled with jam, frangipane (a mixture of almonds, butter, eggs, and sugar) and topped with more almonds.
And then come all the Bakewell cakes, which consist of an almond Victoria sponge, filled with jam, fruit or berries, whipped cream or buttercream.
And I know that I am going to work my way through all these variations, this cake was so good, I just can’t leave all the other versions untested.
What do you need?
Cake: flour, ground almonds, eggs, sugar, butter, almond extract and baking powder.
Filling: cherry jam, sweet cherries, double/heavy cream, some vanilla extract, and little sugar.
Decoration: a few cherries and toasted almonds.
Cherries: you can fill the cake with either fresh, frozen or canned cherries.
- You will need about 150 g/ 5.3 oz pitted cherries.
- If you buy or pick about 200 g/ 7 oz cherries, you should have enough.
- Keep a few for the decoration, pit and chop the remaining.
- Let thaw completely in a sieve.
- Chop roughly.
- Place on kitchen paper and pat dry with more kitchen paper, they should be as dry as possible before you add them to the cake.
- Drain well.
- Chop roughly.
- Place on kitchen paper and pat dry as well, they should be as dry as possible.
How to assemble step by step
- If you live in the UK, you can use self-raising flour instead of all-purpose. In this case, only add 1 teaspoon baking powder to the sponge batter.
- The butter needs to be soft, so make sure you take it out of the refrigerator in time, several hours before baking or the evening before. That is for me the biggest challenge when baking… remember to take the darn butter out of the fridge in time…
- For an airy sponge, make sure that the eggs are at room temperature and that the oven is preheated, so that the cakes can go straight to the oven after you’ve mixed the batter. If they sit on the counter waiting, the baking powder will lose its power and the cakes will be flatter.
- Don’t use too much almond extract, it can be overpowering. I use a very strong essence, so 2-3 drops are enough in my case. If using extract, you will need about ½ teaspoon, but make sure you know the product you are using.
- As mentioned above, the cherries should be rather dry before adding to the cake, especially if using defrosted or canned ones.
How to store?
- The cherry Bakewell cake is best served on the day you baked it. You should assemble it only a few hours before serving.
- Leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator immediately.
- They will be fine to eat the next day, but, due to the whipped cream, I would not keep them longer.
More cherry cakes:
Cherry Bakewell Cake
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter very soft
- 200 g/ 7 oz/ 1 cup granulated sugar
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour Note 1
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon ground almonds
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
- 2-3 drops almond essence or ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Filling and topping:
- about 150 g/ 5.3 oz pitted cherries Note 2
- 300 ml/ 10 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cup heavy/double cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cherry jam
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- Make sure the butter is soft, remove it from the refrigerator a few hours before baking. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line two 20 cm/ 8 inches cake tins (I use springforms) with baking paper.
- Place the sponge ingredients in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the two tins and level nicely. Immediately place the tins in the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Let stand in the tins for 5 minutes, remove and let cool completely on wire racks.
Filling and assembling:
- Keep 3-5 cherries for decorating the cake. Pit and chop the fresh cherries. If using frozen and defrosted cherries or canned cherries, chop them, place them on kitchen paper and pat dry with more kitchen paper. Set aside.
- Toast the flaked almonds in a pan until golden. Shake the pan often and transfer the almonds to a large plate as soon as they are roasted. Let cool completely. Whip the cream adding 1 tablespoon sugar and the vanilla extract when you beat it.
- Place one cake layer on a platter. Spread the jam on top. Cover with 2 heaped tablespoons whipped cream, then cover with cherries. Spread more whipped cream over the cherries, you should use about ½ of the cream for the first layer.
- Carefully place the second cake layer on top and cover with the remaining cream. Scatter the flaked almonds on top and decorate with the remaining cherries.
- If you live in the UK, you can use self-raising flour instead. In that case, only add 1 teaspoon baking powder to the batter.
- Fresh, frozen, defrosted and drained or canned and drained cherries. If using defrosted or canned cherries, pat them dry with kitchen paper after chopping them, they tend to be wetter than fresh cherries.