This almond cherry crumb cake is like 3 desserts in one. Every element is amazing on it’s own – promise – and the combination of all 3 equals one seriously dreamy cake.
Get excited friends, because this will be the best cherry cake you’ll ever make?
- The moist and light almond cake base – with a good kick of almond and the slight zing of lemon.
- The cherry sauce – I use my own fresh cherry sauce for this topping and it’s amazing. Rich and syrupy soft cherries, provide a sweet, tangy topping to cut through the cake.
- The buttery crumble topping – you’ll want to eat this all on it’s own. Go ahead and turn it into cookies – you won’t be disappointed.
Three glorious layers and the best part is each one is incredibly easy to make. Yeah, there’s 3 layers but they really don’t take too long.
Ingredients you’ll need
These ingredients are the sort you’ll see in most cake recipes. Flour (2), sugar (3), butter (4), eggs (7), baking powder (10) and baking soda (9). Here’s the ingredients that really make this cake.
- Cornflour / cornstarch (1): I use this a lot in cakes – it gives them a softer texture. If you have cake flour in the pantry, just use that in place of both the cornflour and plain flour.
- Cherry sauce (5): This is my very own fresh cherry sauce. I recommend you make this from scratch, even if you can’t get fresh cherries (just use frozen) – it has a flavour like nothing else. If you’re in a pinch, sure, you could use cherry jam but the sauce takes 15 minutes and you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful.
- Almond extract (6): This is where the almond flavour comes from in the cake. It’s a truly wonderful companion for cherries.
- Sour cream (8): Here’s our moisture. This keeps the cake incredibly moist whilst giving it a very slight background tang.
- Flaked almonds (11): These are part of the crumble topping.
How to make almond cherry crumb cake
As I mentioned above, there are 3 parts to this cake but don’t worry – each one is very simple to make and both the cherry topping and crumble can be made ahead of time.
- The cherry sauce: Cook down cherries, sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan for 15 minutes or so until soft and syrupy then let it cool to at least room temperature before using. You can make this 3-4 days in advance. Get the full recipe here.
- Crumble topping: mix together dry ingredients, then grate in cold butter (photo 1) and use your fingers to press it together until clumping (photo 2). Takes just 2 minutes and you can make this the day before and keep it in the fridge if you like.
- The moist almond cake base: Beat together butter and sugar, add eggs, almond extract and lemon zest and juice. Add half the dry ingredients and mix followed by the sour cream then the rest of the dry ingredients (photo 3). Tip it all into a lined tin (photo 4) top it with cherry topping and crumble (photo 5 & 6).
Tips and tricks
First, a quick note – this batter is very thick and it’s that way on purpose – it allows the cherries to sit pretty right up top.
- Make sure to line the tin: This will just make it much easier to remove the cake.
- Use a spring-form tin: This also will make it easier to remove from the tin without damaging the top.
- Drain the cherry sauce: you only need to drain them quickly through a strainer so they are no longer swimming in syrup. That syrup can then be used to drizzle over at the end.
- Leave a 1 inch clear gap of batter in the middle: Check out photo 5 back up in the “how to make it” section – see that little circle of batter in the centre? This little hole in the cherry topping does 2 things. It makes sure the middle of the cake (the last part to cook) is not weighed down by wet topping and it also gives you a clear spot in the centre to poke your cake tester. If you don’t leave this little bare patch, the cake will still work but the centre may sink ever so slightly on cooling.
- All ovens vary: I can’t say this enough. What cooks in my oven in 50 minutes may only take 45 in yours. It is not uncommon for oven thermostats to be out of sync so it’s worth investing in an oven thermometer to keep in there all the time so you can keep an eye on it. Also, many ovens have hot spots and don’t circulate the air efficiently so always bake with your own oven in mind and test your cake 5-8 minutes before the recipe suggests.
Well, I’d suggest making it exactly as the recipe is written for the very best flavour but I understand. Sometimes you want something delicious even quicker or you don’t have time to just run out for certain ingredients, so here are some “if you must” substitutions.
- The cherry sauce – please, oh please, make yours from scratch – it really is delicious but;
- You could use frozen cherries instead of fresh to make the sauce.
- You could swap it entirely for a good cherry jam or even another flavoured jam or curd.
- I have tried this cake using jarred cherries, strained of their syrup. It’s not as good but will work in a jam.
- Almond extract – not an almond fan? No problem. Swap it for vanilla or even coconut extract but please don’t use essence which is a man-made, synthetic flavouring. Extracts are the real deal.
- Almonds – again, if you aren’t an almond fan, you can swap the almonds in the topping for another nut. A creamy, mild nut would work best, like cashews or macadamias.
- Sour cream – you can use full fat or light sour cream – they both work. You could also substitute buttermilk.
This almond cherry crumb cake is the perfect afternoon tea treat but can double as a posh dessert because of the vibrant, ripe cherries and that silky syrup over the top. It’s one of my favourites and I know it will become one of yours too.
More recipes you’ll love
- Easy Baked Cherry Cheesecake
- Cherry Pistachio Cupcakes
- Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Ginger Loaf Cake
- Mixed Berry Crumble
- Simple Apple Crumble
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Almond Cherry Crumb Cake
FOR THE CHERRY SAUCE
FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
- 97 g plain (all-purp) flour (¾ cup / 3.4oz)
- ½ cup flaked almonds
- 65 g white granulated sugar (1/3 cup / 2.3oz)
- 85 g unsalted butter, cold (¾ stick / 3 oz)
FOR THE CAKE BATTER
- 165 g plain (all-purp) flour (1 ¼ cups / 5.8oz)
- 35 g cornflour (¼ cup / 1.2oz)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 113 g unsalted butter, softened (½ cup / 1 stick)
- 135 g white granulated sugar (⅔ cup / 4.8oz)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream (full fat or light)
- 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (note 1)
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Grease and line an 8 inch spring form cake tin.
- Make the cherry sauce using this recipe.
FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
- In a medium bowl, combine the, flour, half the almonds and sugar. Grate in the butter. Use your fingers to mix and press it all together until well combined and clumping. Mix through the remaining almonds. Chill until required.
FOR THE CAKE BATTER
- Sift together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
- Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time beating well between each. Mix through the lemon zest, juice and almond extract.
- Fold in half of the flour mixture. Now fold through the sour cream, followed by the remaining flour mixture to make a thick batter. Make sure not to over-mix.
- Tip the batter into your prepared baking tin then spread to the edges and level out the top.
- Strain the cherry sauce to separate most of the syrup from the cherries, then set the syrup aside. Dollop the cherries over the batter at least 1cm in from the edges. Leave about a 1 inch circle in the centre of the batter bare as well.
- Loosely scatter the crumble topping all over the top.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out of the centre clean. Cool in tin until it’s cool enough to handle and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve with the leftover cherry syrup.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- All ovens vary – test for doneness 5-8 minutes before the recipe suggests. It’s worth investing in an oven thermometer. They’re very cheap and it can live in your oven indefinitely.
- The cherry sauce can be made 3-4 days in advance. Store in the fridge.
- The crumble topping can be made 1-2 days in advance. Store in the fridge.
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