Fresh cherries gleam like gorgeous jewels at your local farmers’ market, and this classic simple cake–made with the added nourishment of almonds–makes a perfect vehicle for their summery lusciousness.
The cherries magically form a juicy sweet topping on this crowd-pleasing cake without any effort on your part, and a dusting of confectioner’s sugar instead of icing makes it extra-light and super easy.
1 cup whole blanched almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted (about 1 pound)
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan by buttering and flouring the sides and lining the bottom with parchment.
2. Coarsely chop the almonds in a food processor. Transfer 1/4 cup of the almonds to a bowl and reserve. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the remaining almonds in the food processor and process until almonds are finely ground. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
3. In food processor, cream butter with 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add extracts.
4. Add half the flour mixture and pulse to blend, then add remaining mixture and pulse until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape batter into the prepared pan, then add cherries on top in a single even layer.
5. Mix reserved coarsely-chopped almonds with the teaspoon of granulated sugar and sprinkle around edge of cake. Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
6. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then unmold and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Transfer to a serving plate and dust the top with confectioner’s sugar.
Inspired by The Best of Taste, by Williams-Sonoma (Weldon Owen, 2000).