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 it is easy to make!
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!
Table of contents
What is Bakewell cake?
First, Bakewell is a town in Derbyshire, England. Apparently, that is where the Bakewell pudding originates. The pudding is a small pastry case filled with raspberry jam, egg, and almond mixture.
The next step was the Bakewell 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 cakes, which consist of an almond Victoria sponge filled with jam, fruit or berries, whipped cream, or buttercream.
And I know that I will work my way through all these Bakewell variations; this cake was so good; I just can’t leave all the other versions untested.
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 them thaw completely in a sieve and chop them 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 them well and chop them roughly.
- Place on kitchen paper and pat dry as well, they should be as dry as possible.
Cake ingredients: All-purpose flour, ground almonds, large eggs, sugar, unsalted butter, almond extract, and baking powder.
Filling ingredients: Cherry jam, sweet cherries, heavy cream, some vanilla extract, and little sugar.
Decoration: A few cherries and toasted almonds.
- Two 20 cm/ 8 inches cake tins or springforms
- Electric mixer
- Parchment paper
- Preparations: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line the cake tins with parchment paper.
- Sponge: Place the sponge ingredients in a bowl. Beat until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the two tins and level nicely.
- Bake: 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.
How to assemble the cake step-by-step
- Cherries: Reserve 3-5 of them for decorating the cake. Prepare the rest and set them aside.
- Toast the flaked almonds in a pan until golden. Let cool completely.
- Whip the cream with 1 tablespoon sugar and vanilla extract.
- Place one cake layer on a platter (1). Spread the jam on top (2).
- Cover with 2 heaped tablespoons of whipped cream (3), then cover with cherries (4).
- Spread more whipped cream over the cherries, you should use about ½ of the cream for the first layer (5).
- Carefully place the second cake layer on top (6) and cover with the remaining cream (7).
- Scatter the flaked almonds on top and decorate with the remaining cherries (8).
- Scale: Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link). Measuring flour and butter in cups is very tricky, affecting the quality of the finished product.
- The butter needs to be soft, so ensure you take it out of the refrigerator in time, several hours before baking or the evening before.
- 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 powerful 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 defrosted or canned ones are used.
If you live in the UK, you can use self-raising flour instead of all-purpose. In this case, only add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the sponge batter.
Sure, they are actually typical for a Bakewell cake, but I like fresh cherries better.
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
- 2 cake tins/ springforms 20 cm/ 8 inches
- 200 g unsalted butter 7 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon, very soft, Note 2
- 200 g granulated sugar 7 oz/ 1 cup
- 100 g all-purpose flour 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon, Note 3
- 100 g ground almonds 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 eggs
- 2-3 almond essence or ½ teaspoon almond extract
Filling and topping:
- 150 g pitted cherries 5.5 oz, Note 4
- 300 ml heavy cream 10 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cup
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons cherry jam
- 2 tablespoons flaked almonds
- Preparations: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line two 20 cm/ 8 inches cake tins (springforms) with baking paper.
- Mix sponge batter: 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.
- Bake: 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 entirely on wire racks.
- Cherries: 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 them dry with more kitchen paper. Set them aside.
- Almonds: 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.
Assemble the cake:
- First layer: Place one cake layer on a platter. Spread the jam on top. Cover with 2 heaped tablespoons of 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.
- Second 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.
- Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking (Amazon affiliate link).
- Make sure the butter is soft. Remove it from the refrigerator a few hours before baking.
- If you live in the UK, you can use self-raising flour instead. In that case, only add 1 teaspoon of 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.