Spoil Yourself — Or Someone Else — With Cherry Almond Bundt Cake

Chopped fresh cherries hide inside this Bundt cake.
Chopped fresh cherries hide inside this Bundt cake.

As a kid at this time of year, I fondly remember pulling open the fridge door to snatch a big handful of fresh cherries waiting and ready in a colander in all their crunchy, ice-cold sweetness.

Whether because my family lacked a pitter in our tiny kitchen or didn’t yet know about the drinking straw or paper clip method to pop out the pits, I never baked with them back then. I just happily ate them out of hand, picking up each one by the stem to plop into my mouth with gusto.

As a proud pitter owner now, though, I revel in staining my fingers fuchsia as I methodically dislodge one pit after the other until amassing enough to bake in something special.

Something exactly like this moist, rich tasting “Cherry Almond Bundt.”

This cake, full of 1 1/2 heaping cups of — ahem — pitted and chopped cherries, is from the new cookbook, “Around Our Table” (Hardie Grant), of which I received a review copy.

Version 1.0.0

It was written by James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author Sara Forte, who lives with her husband and two kids in Southern California.

It’s a collection of 120 breezy, seasonal recipes, the ones most beloved by her friends and family. Those include: “Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls,” “Halloumi Skewers with Nectarines and Mint Chimichurri,” “Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Couscous,” “Corn Chip Chicken Nuggets with Yogurt Ranch,” and “Honey Almond Fudge Bar.”

For this Bundt cake, both butter and avocado oil get stirred into the batter for added richness and moistness. Forte actually calls for salted butter. However, I used unsalted, and thought it worked just fine. So you do you.

A cake that's perfect for this time of year.
A cake that’s perfect for this time of year.

Almond paste adds not only a unique sweet nuttiness but also tenderness to the batter. It’s a natural partner with cherries, Forte notes, because both grow on the same genus of tree. To accentuate the almond taste, there’s also a splash of almond extract plus a nearly equal amount of almond flour as all-purpose flour.

After the batter comes together, gently stir in the chopped fresh cherries to distribute well. Pour into the buttered and floured Bundt pan and slide into the oven to bake.

For Father's Day -- or any day.
For Father’s Day — or any day.

Once cooled, unmold, and dust with powdered sugar. This cake needs nothing else. But if you want to gussy it up more — say, for Father’s Day — a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a fluff of lightly whipped cream alongside would be fabulous.

The cake is tender and buttery tasting with peekaboo cherry pieces throughout.

It’s wonderful for breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, dessert or late-night snack.

Or heck, anytime you want to put your pitting skills to work.

Tender and moist, and full of almond flavor.
Tender and moist, and full of almond flavor.

Cherry Almond Bundt

(Makes one 12-cup cake)

1/2 cup (113 grams) salted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan

1 cup (200 g) sugar

7 ounces (200 g) almond paste

4 large eggs

1/2 cup (120 ml) avocado oil

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup (96 g) almond flour

1 1/4 cups (150 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 heaping cups (200 g) pitted, chopped cherries

Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and butter and flour a Bundt pan.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and almond paste and mix until completely combined, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, the oil, almond and vanilla extracts, lemon juice, and salt and mix again to combine.

Add both flours, baking powder, and baking soda and fold everything together to just combine. Add the cherries and give it all a few more folds. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake on the middle rack for 52 to 55 minutes until the cake is cooked through with a toothpick test.

Remove to cool completely. It needs to settle for cleanest removal.

Once cool, gently remove the cake. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top.

The cake is best within 2 to 3 days and should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It can be wrapped and frozen for a few months.

From “Around Our Table” by Sara Forte

Another Sara Forte Recipe to Try: Strawberry Tabbouleh

More Cherry Recipes to Enjoy: Cherry Focaccia with Rosemary

And: Cherry and Poppy Seed Yogurt Cake

And: Cherry Snacking Cake

And: Cherry Upside-Down Cakelets

And: Cherry Snow Cones

And: Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffins

And: Deborah Olson’s Cherry Pie

And: Buttermilk Pork Tenderloin and Grilled Cherry Salad

And: Pan-Fried Pork Cutlets with Bing Cherries

And: Pickled Cherries

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