I broke down and bought a cherry pitter the other day, mostly so that I could bake things like this cherry almond coffee cake without the tips of my fingers going numb. I’m not usually a fan of single-use tools (that was my mom, and I predictably leaned hard in the other direction), but during cherry season, it really is a game changer. Not that you need it for this recipe; but if you have one, it’ll shave a few minutes off of your prep time and save your fingers some work. Either way, you’ll have a deliciously moist, sweet coffee cake with a rich almond flavor and chunks of fresh cherry in every bite.
I didn’t really like cherries when I was a kid, mostly because I think having to spit out the seeds went against my natural laziness. But I’ve come around big time now, to the point that a pint of glistening dark cherries is irresistible to me. My kids tend to take after my younger self, so I usually end up with a boatload of them that I need to use up before they are past their prime. My life is tough, what with having to make pies and cakes and what-have-you with this sweet, rich fruit.
This bundt cake, which you can make in any 8 or 10 cup bundt pan, is a perfect ‘visiting cake’. It’s lovely to share with friends and family on a random afternoon, or to have for breakfast or dessert. It’s an anytime treat.
The cherry and almond flavors are wonderful together, with both being sweet in different ways and the whole thing magically avoiding being too sweet. I made sure there was plenty of almond flavor by using a portion of almond flour, which you can make from raw almonds using a food processor or by pre-packaged at the store. I also added some almond extract for maximum flavor. And there are enough cherries in here that each bite is guaranteed to have a dark, sweet morsel, and they keep the cake incredibly moist.
We are in what I think of as peak summer right now, with the upcoming school year still too far away to really worry about (get away from me, back-to-school Target ads) but still a knowledge that summer will be over soon enough so the day needs to be seized. I’m hoping to spend lots of time outside with my kids this week, either at the pool or the beach, with at least one trip to the local dairy twist thrown in for good measure. Having this cherry almond cake at home whenever we need a sweet but not too indulgent treat is just the icing.
- 1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup pitted and quartered cherries
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Slivered almonds, for topping
- Preheat oven to 350°. Generously butter a bundt pan and set aside.
- Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about one minute. Add sugar and continue to beat for two minutes more. Turn mixer to low and add egg and vanilla extract and beat for another minute.
- With mixer on low, alternate adding one third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk, alternating until they are all just incorporated.
- With a rubber spatula, stir in the cherries.
- Pour into bundt pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then flip over onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before icing.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and milk.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar.
- Beat in the almond extract.
- Pour glaze over the cooled coffee cake and topped with sliced almonds, if desired.