Packed with cherries and topped with a layer of crunchy almonds, this Cherry Almond Cake makes for one heck of a dessert…or breakfast!
What makes a cake acceptable for breakfast? Some cakes are meant for dessert while other cakes are meant for breakfast. So what are the rules there? Don’t get me wrong – I love cake! I will gladly eat a slice of cake no matter the time of the day. But there are some cakes that are better for breakfast and some cakes that are better for dessert – so what are the rules?
One of my all-time favorite cakes – coffee cake – is meant to be a breakfast cake. But why? There’s no actual coffee in coffee cake, so what makes coffee cake socially acceptable for breakfast? Is it the cinnamon crumbles? Is it the lack of frosting?
Fast forward 12 hours. Now we’re into dessert time. I absolutely love this Chocolate Chocolate Cake. Moist chocolatey cake topped with creamy chocolate buttercream. Add some chocolate curls on top, and you’ve got a cake that’s sure to be requested again and again….and again! Is it ok to eat a slice of that chocolate cake for breakfast? I mean I’m not gonna stop you, but chocolate cake is generally seen as dessert instead of breakfast.
Cherry Almond Cake
Enter this Cherry Almond Cake. I have no idea whether to serve this cake as a breakfast cake or a dessert cake. I initially intended for this to be dessert, but Laura took one bite and pointed out that it reminded her of breakfast food. She’s kinda right. This cake would be fantastic for breakfast. Is it the lack of frosting? Is it the cherries? Ah, forget the rules! Eat a slice of this cake whenever you want a slice of this cake!!
This Cherry Almond Cake is a simple, easy recipe. It does have a unique twist in that it uses ¾ of a cup of almonds that get ground up and mixed into the cake batter. That plus the sliced almonds on top plus the tiny little bit of almond extract (that stuff is potent!) all combine for a noticeable almond flavor in this cake. Add in the cherries, and you’ve got one heck of a dessert…or breakfast!
One of my favorite things about this Cherry Almond Cake is the crunchy topping that gets sprinkled on top of the cake before it goes in the oven. The cake itself is tasty, but that crunchy topping? Yum! And that topping is quite simple, too – just a combination of sliced almonds, coarse sugar (like turbinado) and a bit of water. (The water is there to help the sugar stick to the sliced almonds.) Once it gets baked, that topping is crunchy, sugar-y and delicious. Enjoy!
Did you bake this Cherry Almond Cake at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Cherry Almond Cake
- ¾ cup almonds chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 2½ cups pitted cherries fresh or frozen and thawed
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ½ Tbsp water
- 3 Tbsp coarse sugar i.e. turbinado or sparkling sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8”x8” square pan with parchment paper and then spray with nonstick baking spray; set pan aside. (Tip: Use extra parchment paper so that it rises above edges of the pan. This will make it easier to remove the cake after baking.)
- Using a food processor or mini chopper, add chopped almonds; pulse until finely ground.
- Transfer ground almonds into a mixing bowl and add flour, baking powder and salt; stir until well combined.
- Using a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Add vanilla extract and almond extract; mix until well combined.
- Add flour mixture (from above) in two additions, mixing after each addition until well combined.
- Transfer batter into prepared pan. Spread cherries evenly on top of batter.
- Using a small mixing bowl, add sliced almonds, water and coarse sugar. (Note: Granulated sugar can be used here, but I like the additional crunch that comes from coarser sugars like turbinado or sparkling.) Spread mixture evenly around edge of the cake.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then tent the top of the pan with foil. Continue baking for 50-55 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out mostly clean. (Note: The purpose of tenting the pan with foil is to prevent the sugared almonds on top from burning. I recommend removing the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking time, but pay close attention that the sugared almonds don’t burn!)
- Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes and then transfer cake to a wire rack until completely cool.
Looking for more desserts with almonds? Check out these other favorites, too: