This Gluten-Free Vegan Cherry Bakewell Cake is easy to make, tastes every bit as delicious as the traditional version, and is surprisingly healthy!
Cherry Bakewell tart has always been a firm favourite of mine, but I do find it a little too sweet – the layers of jam, frangipane, icing, the glacé cherries, it’s all a bit much. And, since having finally mastered a vegan and gluten-free sponge recipe, I tried using the batter to make a plain vanilla sponge cake, which ended up tasting surprisingly delicious. This was especially thanks to the sweet, nutty flavour of the ground almonds, which are used to make the sponge moist and fluffy. This got me thinking about what cakes taste of almonds, and I immediately thought of cherry Bakewells!
Whilst I made a round cake the first time I made these, I then decided it might be fun to cut them into squares and make them into brownies…or blondies? But you can either bake these into brownies or a round cake, your choice!
Instead of jam and glacé cherries, I went for dried sour cherries – their tart-sweet flavour is so delicious paired with the nutty sweetness of the almonds. You can of course use glacé cherries instead, or other dried fruits such as dried strawberries or dried cranberries. Or fresh cherries or fresh raspberries would also work well I think!
I then topped them off with some flaked almonds. I love the contrasting textures of the tender sponge and chewy dried cherries with the crunchy, toasty flaked almonds.
What’s great about this recipe is how easy it is to make, requiring just one bowl and easily accessible ingredients. Leftovers are particularly nice heated up in the microwave, on top of the toaster or in a frying pan.
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! It would really make my day to see what you come up with!
- 8 tablespoons coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200ml (4/5 cup) milk, any kind
- Juice of 1 lemon*
- 10 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds
- 150g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 50g (2oz) dried sour cherries (or sub dried cranberries or dried strawberries)**
- Few tablespoons flaked almonds, for topping
- Optional: 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, for topping
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 degrees)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Add the dried cherries and mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it's looking too dry
- Transfer mixture to a greased baking tin
- Scatter over flaked almonds (and coconut sugar if using)
- Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes
- Leave to cool before cutting into squares. Keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days. Best reheated in the microwave, on top of the toaster or in a frying pan
- *The lemon juice is crucial as its acidity needs to react with the alkali bicarbonate of soda to make the sponge fluffy. If you don't want to use lemon juice, substitute with 1 tablespoon vinegar instead
- **Fresh cherries or raspberries would also work well