As you may have noticed, I am all for huge decadent cakes covered in stuff. But sometimes, even I am looking for something a bit more low-key. The sort of thing that you can knock up in a spare half hour. The sort of thing that doesn’t involve stacking layers, or making any buttercream. This cherry, coconut, and almond cake is not at all needy or precious. It’s a very ‘throw it together’ sort of cake. It’s low-maintenance. Robust. And it’s delicious.
Something about the combination of coconut and the almond in this cake results in a beautifully moist and tender crumb. Studding it with fruit just makes it even more delicious. It’s a crowd-pleaser, and it will stay that way for a few days, kept at room temperature in an airtight container. It really does do a lot of heavy lifting, considering how easy it is to put together.
There’s also something comfortingly spring-like about this cake, even though it uses store cupboard ingredients. It’s a gentle hug of a cake, but its nutty fruitiness makes it light and promises of warmer days to come. You could imagine serving a cherry, coconut, and almond cake at Easter. Then again, as I write this it’s snowing heavily outside onto an already thick carpet of the stuff, so perhaps spring will never come anyway.
You can put whatever fruit you like in this, almost. I love it with cherries but it would also work well with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries…
I’ve suggested using canned or frozen cherries here, because they are stoned. I don’t have the patience for stoning cherries. And it’s not cherry season. But you do you.
Adapted from the delicious blueberry cake in the excellent Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh.
200g butter, melted
180g ground almonds
70g dessicated coconut
250g caster sugar
80g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
200g frozen or tinned cherries
30g flaked almonds
- Pop the butter on to melt. When it’s melted, set it aside to come to room temperature. Quarter your cherries. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
- Put your ground almonds, coconut, caster sugar, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl and give them a quick stir to make it even. Beat your eggs together lightly in a measuring jug, then whisk in your melted butter and vanilla. Gradually pour this into the dry mix, beating all the while, until evenly combined. Fold in three quarters of the cherries and pour the mixture into your cake tin – you will have a very loose batter.
- Sprinkle the reserved cherries on top, followed by the flaked almonds. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until risen, golden, and passing the skewer test. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before trying to get it out of the tin.