Ahhhh cherries. Cherries, for me, are one of those fruits that I eat only occasionally but absolutely love them every time. When ripe, cherries burst with flavor and juice, making it the perfect snacking fruit. I normally never cook cherries but I decided to experiment and roast the fruit with cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. The result was a flavorful bowl of spiced roasted cherries that make a lovely topping for yogurt, burrata, and even cake. Whip up a quick almond cake with spiced roasted cherries and cream cheese frosting and that's what you got here! Summer baking at its best.
Almond Cake with Spiced Roasted Cherries
- ½ cup butter softened at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt plain
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups fine almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
Spiced roasted cherries
- 4 cups cherries pitted
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp cardamom
- pinch of nutmeg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Cream cheese frosting
- ½ cup butter softened at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Make the almond cake. Cream together ½ cup softened butter with 1 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp almond extract, and ¼ cup Greek yogurt, stirring to combine.
- Combine the dry ingredients including 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups almond flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda, and ½ tsp salt. Add ⅓ of dry ingredients to the cake batter followed by ½ of the milk. Add another ⅓ of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining milk, then the remaining dry ingredients.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
- Gently toss the pitted cherries with 2 tbsp honey, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cardamom, a pinch of nutmeg, and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Spread the cherries on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until softened. Cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat together ½ cup softened butter with 8 ounces cream cheese until well combined. Add 3 cups powdered sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting on the almond cake and top with roasted cherries. Top with sliced almonds.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Every fruit has a list of ingredients that it best pairs with. Cherries pair exceptionally well with almonds so I decided to make an almond cake. However, I'm not a big fan of almond extract so this recipe uses only a touch of the extract for just a subtle almond flavor. Use a combination of all-purpose flour and super-fine almond flour for the base and add your standard baking ingredients including sugar, milk, butter, and eggs.
I prefer using blanched super-fine almond flour as opposed to unblanched almond flour because of its lighter texture. Unblanched almond flour or almond meal still has the almond skins making a denser flour. Denser flour means denser cake.
Add the wet ingredients and dry ingredients to the batter, alternating between the two. Why can't we just add all of the flour at once or the milk? If you add all of the dry ingredients at once, you can over-mix the batter trying to incorporate all of the flour. Overmixing flour will activate the gluten and yield a tough cake. If you add all of the milk at once, it can cause the creamed butter and sugar to separate. There's a reason for everything!
Bake the cake until it's golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. While the cake is cooling, make the spiced roasted cherries. All you have to do is pit some cherries and toss it with honey, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla. Roast the fruit until softened and jammy. You might want to make a double batch of these cherries and top it on...everything...
Cool the cherries and make the final component, the cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting is probably my favorite type of frosting. It's rich, it's perfectly sweet, and it's so easy to make. Just beat together softened butter with cream cheese and add powdered sugar and vanilla.
Frost the cake and top it with the prepared cherries. For the finishing touch, sprinkle toasted sliced almonds on top.
And there you have it folks, almond cake with spiced roasted cherries and cream cheese frosting. A beautiful elegant dessert that has so many layers of flavors!
For more cake inspiration check out this blackberry lavender chiffon cake!