This Cherry Cake is a reminder of simpler times. Times when we could all watch old episodes of our favorite baking show and go to our kitchens to try our hands at our own baguettes and showstoppers and know that Mary would be in every season of the show until it stopped running.
I don’t think you’re allowed to be a baker, or maybe even a human, right now if you aren’t watching back seasons of The Great British Bake Off. Americans delight in how non-competitive the home bakers are, how they are purely there for pride, and how there’s no material prize at the end of the show besides a big picnic partially in the winner’s honor.
I think you’re especially not allowed to be a baker and not be totally appalled at the notion of the show continuing on without Mary Berry, Sue, and Mel.
The Mary Berry Cherry Cake is a surprisingly simple cake, given that it was a technical challenge in the first season. The only real trick is working with the cherries and it isn’t even a time-consuming trick. You just need to dice them up, rinse off the syrup, and coat them with a bit of flour so they don’t sink to the bottom of the fine-crumbed cake.
If you aren’t able to find glacé cherries, use this great tutorial at Piece of Cake to make them. It’s really easy but does take an hour, so make sure to do this before making the cake.
Mary Berry Cherry Cake
- 224 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 175 grams unsalted butter softened
- 175 grams sugar
- 1 lemon zested
- 50 grams almonds finely ground
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 200 grams glacé cherries
- 1/4 cup fresh mint
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 200 - 225 grams powdered sugar
- 1 lemon juiced
- 15 grams almond slivers toasted
- 5 glacé cherries quartered
Preheat oven to 350.
Begin with the mint simple syrup. It's very simple - equal parts fresh mint, water, and granulated sugar. Combine in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Remove immediately from heat and reserve for frosting.
Prepare a 9-inch bundt pan by thoroughly buttering the inside. You want to keep all the pretty ridges in the cake, and this won't happen if the lovely cake sticks.
Quarter the cherries into nice even slices and rinse thoroughly to remove all excess syrup. Wrap them up in a towel or paper towel to dry the moisture. Reserve enough pieces for five whole cherries to decorate the top of the cake. Toss the remaining cherries in one tablespoon of flour to coat.
In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon zest, and almond meal.
Using a hand mixer at medium speed, beat in the softened butter and then beat eggs in one at a time. The batter will be pretty thick.
Once you've added the last egg and the batter is nice and combined, stop mixing and use a rubber spatula to fold in your flour-coated cherries.
Spoon the mixture into the buttered bundt pan. It won't go in evenly, so you'll need to use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top and even the playing field for the batter.
Pop in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes. The cake is finished when it is nice and golden on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
After removing the cake from the oven, let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes and begin making the icing. In a large bowl, combine powdered sugar, juice of the lemon you previously zested, and the mint simple syrup. Start with 200 grams of powdered sugar and continue to add until the icing is the desired consistency. For Mary Berry, this is a thick paste, so you may require 250 grams of powdered sugar. I prefer a thinner icing (I prefer the lemon and mint to the powdered sugar flavor), so I didn't use as much sugar. Don't be afraid of the mint, it is very mild here and really just makes the lemon pop more.
Drizzle the prepared icing over the cake, top with toasted almonds and sliced cherries! Let the cake rest until the icing has set, then serve.