Cherry loaf cake
An easy cherry loaf cake that's moist and tender with ground almonds that just needs a cup of tea. Remember to coat the cherries in a little flour so they don't all sink to the bottom of the cake.
- 200g/7oz natural coloured glacé cherries
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing tin
- 175g/6oz caster sugar, plus 1½ tbsp
- 4 free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 250g/9oz self-raising flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 75g/2½oz ground almonds
- 2 tbsp milk
- 25g/1oz flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 170C/160C Fan/Gas 3½. Grease and line a 900g/2lb loaf tin (approximately 13x23cm/5x9in) with baking paper.
Cut the cherries in half, tip into a sieve and rinse well under warm water to remove the sticky syrup. Dry well on kitchen paper and tip the cherries into a bowl, add the plain flour, mix well to coat and set aside.
Cream together the softened butter and 175g/6oz caster sugar until really pale and light. This will take 3–4 minutes and is quicker and easier using a freestanding mixer but an electric hand whisk also works well. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well between each addition.
Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix again to combine.
Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into the bowl, add the ground almonds and milk and beat until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Fold the cherries into the mixture and spoon into the prepared loaf tin. Spread level with the back of a spoon, sprinkle with the remaining caster sugar and scatter with the flaked almonds. Bake on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 1 hour until the cake is golden-brown, well-risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly loosely cover the top with a sheet of foil for the last 15 minutes.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then carefully lift out onto a cooling rack and leave until cold before slicing.
Naturally coloured glacé cherries tend to be better quality with more flavour, but feel free to use whatever type you have available.
This cake is packed full of glace cherries – some of which will sink to the bottom of cake as it cooks. Dusting them with flour before adding to the cake mix can help to reduce this happening.
If you want to increase the almond content of this cake add 75g/2½oz diced marzipan when you add the cherries.
This cake can be double wrapped in clingfilm and frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost, wrapped, for 3 hours at room temperature.