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.
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.