Cherry Almond Tea Cake

This cherry almond tea cake is a deliciously buttery cake loaded with fresh or frozen cherries and a hint of orange zest! 


This tea cake is made with fresh seasonal cherries and a rich butter cake batter with a hint of orange. It can be served warm or cold with chai, or with drizzles of lemon glaze with coffee. 

I know cherries are not in season currently but I have been baking this cherry cake a few times since the fresh cherry days. What can one do with all the cherries and no one to share! I ended up with more than 2kg of fresh cherries so had to freeze some of them. We relished some of the sweet cherries as-is and some went into my sponge/genoise mini cake. Most of the cherries went into testing this Tea Cake recipe that I developed based on simple butter cake. This cherry tea cake recipe was on repeat because each time I tried with a few tweaks and it only got better! Yes, I tested with frozen cherries too!😋

Cherry Almond Tea Cake slice topped with a fresh cherry

I am calling this "tea cake" though traditionally the tea cakes I grew up eating in India are single slices of butter or sponge cakes sold in all popular bakeries. Sometimes they have dried fruits but mostly they are rich butter cakes that can be served with our evening chai. My first choice of title was "Cherry almond coffee cake without streusel". Did you know that a coffee cake is a cake that is served with coffee? The coffee cake usually consists of streusel or crumble or drizzle of glaze to go with the black coffee. But I was serving this cake with chai! Then I thought of "cherry almond butter cake" because the batter starts with the creaming method but the whole "almond butter" in the title may be misleading. Finally, I decided to call this Cherry Almond Tea Cake because it is the closest label it can fit into. 😆😛

Though I made this cake with cherries, this same batter can be used with any other seasonal fruit like berries or stone fruits like peaches. 

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Plain flour: I have used all-purpose flour aka plain flour or maida along with almond flour.
  • Almond flour:  I tried replacing the almond flour with the same quantity of sorghum flour (jowar atta) and it worked great too. 
  • baking powder: do not replace it with baking soda. 
  • salt: Adjust if using salted butter. 
  • unsalted butter: you may use salted and skip the salt in the recipe. I cut the butter into small cubes and let it sit in the bowl to soften faster. 
  • sugar: I have used the regular white granulated sugar. 
  • large eggs: I have used 2 large eggs where each egg weighs around 57-60gms. You may use 2 medium or 3 small eggs. As we are using a portion of gluten-free flour like almond or sorghum, it is a must to use the right quantity of eggs. This is what helps to hold the cake structure and prevent crumbly falling apart crumb. 
  • labneh: I love using labneh because I always have stock. You may use hung curd or sour cream.
  • vanilla extract or almond extract
  • orange zest: you may use lemon zest or use almond extract. But my favourite batch was the one with orange zest. 
  • cherries: If using frozen cherries, do not thaw. If you don't have cherries, you can replace them with any other stone fruit or berries. 
  • slivered almonds for garnish (optional)

How to make this cherry almond tea cake?

You cannot walk into the kitchen and start making this cake. You need to plan and keep all the ingredients ready before you start the cake batter preparation. 
  1. Keep ingredients measured and ready in their required state like room temperature, softened, etc. Do not thaw frozen cherries. 
  2. Prepare the cake pan and oven: You may use baking paper to line the pan but I have greased and floured the cake pan and it works well too. Preheat the oven. 
  3. Prepare the batter: The cake batter starts with the creaming method where we cream butter with sugar using an electric mixer. I don't own a stand mixer so I have used a handheld electric mixer with two whisks. Whisk in eggs and hung curd followed by flour and lastly fold in the chopped cherries. 
  4. Bake: Transfer the batter to a greased and floured cake pan and let the pre-heated oven do the magic! 

Cherry Almond Tea Cake Recipe

all measurements are made using measuring cups where 1 cup = 250ml and used scoop and sweep method.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup plain flour (maida)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or sorghum flour (Jowar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 90gms unsalted butter (softened to room temperature)
  • 2/3 cup regular sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup labneh or use hung curd or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest or lemon zest
  • 1 cup halved and pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • slivered almonds for garnish (optional)

METHOD

  1. Prep the cake pan and oven: Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and flour an 8-inch round pan or 7-inch square pan.
  2. Prepare the cake batter: Add the plain flour, baking powder and salt to a small bowl and whisk to combine. In a larger bowl, add the softened butter and sugar. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisker at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth and creamyMake sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, labneh (hung curd or sour cream) vanilla extract, and orange or lemon zest. Whisk on high speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled and that is totally okay! Add the flour mixture and mix at a low speed until smooth. Do not overmix. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Lastly, fold in the halved and pitted cherries and transfer the batter to the greased and floured or lined cake pan. (You may reserve some halved cherries to place on the top of the cake before baking)
  3. Bake the cake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of the spoon. Tap the pan on the countertop once or twice to remove any trapped air bubbles. Sprinkle sliced almonds all over the top. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Baking time may vary, so keep an eye on your cake. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminium foil. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  4. Serve: Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Slice and serve slightly warm with coffee or tea. Cover any leftover cake and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Looking for cherry bakes? Try my Fresh cherry pie, Eggless Cherry Muffins or eggless banana cherry muffins or mini cherry loaf cake! You may replace the cherries in these recipes with seasonal or frozen berries. 

If you’ve tried this cherry tea cake recipe or any other recipe on But First Chai, then don’t forget to leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share them with me on Instagram so I can repost them on my Stories!

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