Cherry Almond Cake

Jump To Recipe Jump To Video

This luscious Cherry Almond Cake is a wonderful dessert for any occasion. Chopped maraschino cherries are folded into rich almond cake batter for moist layers with the perfect balance of flavors.

Cherry Almond Cake, sliced, on a cake pedestal.

Why we Love it

There are so many reasons to love this Cherry Almond Cake. Here are a few:

  • Moist cake with a fine crumb.
  • Delicate almond flavor with bits of maraschino cherries in every slice.
  • Makes for a beautiful slice
  • Neither flavor is overpowering. The cherry and almond are perfectly balanced.
  • Great birthday cake recipe, holiday cake, and more! If you love light and flavorful cakes with fruit, this belongs on your must-bake list!
  • The recipe calls for cream cheese into the cake batter, which makes for a velvety soft texture (as with our other velvet cake recipes like white velvet cake, lemon velvet cake).

Ingredients for Cherry Almond Cake

Here's a quick look at the star ingredients for today's cake recipe. You'll find the full listing in our recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Cherry Almond Cake ingredients.

Buttermilk: The boost of acidity softens the strands of gluten in the cake batter, making for a more tender cake.

Cake Flour: Many of our favorite recipes (from lemon cake to almond cake and more) call for cake flour. It has a lower protein content than all purpose flour, which lessens the formation of gluten. This results in a softer, more tender cake.

Cream Cheese adds richness to the cake as well as a uniquely velvety texture.

Maraschino Cherries Add color and flavor to every slice. We also brushed our cake layers with maraschino cherry juice for an added boost of flavor.

Unsalted Butter We prefer to use unsalted butter in this recipe, and then add salt separately. This way, we know exactly how much salt is in the cake. (Some brands of salted butter contain more salt than others.)

How to Make Cherry Almond Cake

Here is a quick look at the steps for our cherry almond cake. You can find the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans, adding a circle of parchment or wax paper to the bottom of each pan.
  • Sprinkle the chopped almonds evenly on the bottom of the three prepared pans.
Three prepared 8 inch cake pans, sprinkled chopped almonds.
  • Finely chop the maraschino cherries (one cup) and set aside.
Chopped cherries on cutting board.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together for 30 seconds and set aside.
Bowl of Dry Ingredients, with a whisk.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and almond extract.
wet ingredients for cake in measuring cup.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes.
Mixing bowl of cream cheese, butter, and sugar.
  • Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the yellow of the yolk has blended.
Batter after adding the eggs to the butter, cream cheese, and sugar mixture.
  • Mixing on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet). After last addition, mix just until combined.
  • Fold in the finely chopped maraschino cherries. As you fold in the cherries, you may have some swirls of pink here and there from the juice as we did.
Folding maraschino cherries into the cake batter.
  • Divide the batter between the three prepared pans (which have been sprinkled with chopped almonds). Smooth over the batter with the back of a spoon.
Smoothing Cake Batter into pans using the back of a spoon.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
Freshly baked cherry almond cake layers, still in pans.
  • You can see the almond pieces in the photo below, which are visible once the layers have been turned out.
Freshly baked Cherry Almond Cake Layers.

Assembling the Cake

Once the cake layers have fully cooled, it is time to put the cake together! Today, we've used a creamy and delicious Almond Cream Cheese Frosting as our filling and frosting.

We will also be brushing the top of each cherry cake with the reserved maraschino cherry juice as we go!

Place the first cherry almond cake layer on your cake base or pedestal. Brush with maraschino cherry juice. The juice is thin and so it soaks in immediately. I did a fairly light coating across the top.

Brushing cake layer with cherry juice.

Next, spread the top with almond cream cheese frosting.

Spreading cherry-glazed cake layer with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting.

Top with the second cake layer and repeat. Top with the third cake layer. Fill in any gaps between layers with frosting, then frost over the top of the cake and around the sides with a thin coat of frosting.

At this point, we like to chill the cake for 15 minutes in the freezer (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm everything up before applying the final layer of frosting.

Our cake is frosted very simply, using a small offset spatula to create texture on top and around the sides.

Frosting the Cherry Almond Cake using an offset spatula to create texture.

Next, we pressed sliced almonds around the bottom of the cake to create a border. We topped it with swirls of frosting (from a 2D star piping tip), and then topped each with a maraschino cherry.

Piping swirls of frosting on top of the cake using a large 2D star tip.

Here's a peek inside! Don't you just want to dive in? We hope that you enjoy it!

Sliced Cherry Almond Cake on a white pedestal.

Recipe FAQs

Yes, because of the almond cream cheese filling and frosting, this cake should be refrigerated. For best flavor and texture, remove the cake from the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving. This will allow time for it to warm and soften.

Yes! Just as with most of our cakes, (from raspberry cake to strawberry cake and more), these cherry almond cake layers can be frozen. However, I wouldn't brush the layers with maraschino juice until it is time to assemble the cake.

To freeze cake layers, we allow them to cool until slightly warm. Then, wrap in plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil. Freeze for up to three months!

To thaw, move the cake layers to the kitchen counter, still wrapped for at least 30-45 minutes, until ready to assemble.

We often use softened cream cheese in our cake recipes. It adds richness and creates a really nice, velvety texture. Several of our "Velvet Cakes" as well as pound cakes contain cream cheese.

A few favorites are our Vanilla Velvet Cake, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Strawberry Cake, and the Almond Cream Cake that this recipe is based on.

The cake batter for this recipe is nice and thick, which prevents the bits of maraschino cherries from sinking to the bottom.

Cream cheese frostings tend to be softer than regular buttercream frostings.

This recipe contains an additional stick of butter than our usual cream cheese frosting recipe as we needed it to stretch further (as both a filling and frosting). It is a nice cross between the two.

However, if at any time your frosting becomes too soft, place the bowl, piping bag, or even the frosted cake in the freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes to firm things up to a better consistency.

Adding additional confectioners sugar will also thicken the consistency, but chilling is the best fix in my experience.

More Cherry Cakes

We've made many light and fruity cherry cakes over the years! Some of our favorites are our Chocolate Cherry Cake, Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake, and homemade Cherry Cake.

*Also, if you love almond, make sure to check out our popular scratch almond cake recipe as well!

Thanks so much for stopping by! We hope that you enjoy this cherry almond cake recipe. We'd love for you to check out our full collection of cake recipes. We also have tons of free cake decorating tutorials if you are interested in cake design!

Cherry Almond Cake, sliced, on a cake pedestal.

Cherry Almond Cake

This moist, decadent Cherry Almond Cake has the perfect balance of almond and cherry flavor. It is filled and frosted with a delicious almond cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 15
RATE THIS RECIPE
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (226g) package cream cheese, softened (226g)
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (168g)
  • 2 cups sugar (400g)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour (342g) See notes for substitution.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (8g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (3g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (242g)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil (we used canola oil) (54g)
  • 3 teaspoons almond extract (12g)
  • 1 cup Maraschino cherries, finely chopped (170g)(save the juice) We used a 16 oz. jar, reserving 6 cherries for the top of the cake.

For Sprinkling the prepared Cake Pans (before batter)

  • ½ cup sliced almonds, finely chopped (48g) You can do a rough chop if you'd prefer more crunch. This is sprinkled in pans rather than incorporating into batter.

For Glazing Layers

  • Juice from jar of Maraschino Cherries You will not use all of the juice-- just about ¼-½cup). Optional but gives a great boost of cherry flavor.

For the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened (339g)
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened (Total weight 452g). We recommend "full fat" cream cheese.
  • 1-2 teaspoons almond extract (4-8g) We used 2 teaspoons.
  • ½ teaspoon salt 2g
  • 7 cups confectioners sugar (805g) Adjust slightly up or down to your liking.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 inch pans, adding a circle of parchment or wax paper to the bottom of each pan.
  • Sprinkle the chopped, sliced almonds evenly on the bottom of the three prepared pans. You can chop them in a food processor. Or, place in a ziplock bag and roll/hit with a rolling pin to break into smaller pieces.
  • Finely chop the maraschino cherries (one cup) and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt for 30 seconds and set aside.
  • In another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and almond extract. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of your mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and mix at medium speed until smooth.
  • Gradually add the sugar and mix at medium speed for 3 minutes.
  • Add the room temperature eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the yellow of the yolk has blended.
  • Mixing on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (We did 3 additions of the dry mixture, 2 additions of wet). After last addition, mix just until combined.
  • Fold in the finely chopped maraschino cherries.
  • Divide the batter between the three prepared pans (which have been sprinkled with chopped almonds). Smooth over the batter with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans on a wire rack before turning out.
  • This recipe makes 7 ½ cups of batter. Works for cupcakes also (although there will be little to no dome).

For the Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Mix batter on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Add the softened cream cheese to the butter, mixing at low to medium speed until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the almond flavoring. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended. Add coloring gel if you are tinting the frosting.
  • Continue to mix on low to medium speed until well combined and smooth.
  • Store in the refrigerator. If making the frosting in advance, allow to sit on the kitchen counter until it comes closer to room temperature. You may need to remix.

Assembling the Cake

  • Place the first cake layer on a cake base or pedestal. Lightly brush over the top with maraschino cherry juice (from the jar of cherries). We used a silicone pastry brush for this. It is thin, it will sink in immediately.
  • Next, spread the top of the layer with cream cheese frosting. Top with the second cake layer and repeat (brush with cherry juice, frost with frosting). Top with the third cake layer.
  • Fill in any gaps between cake layers with frosting. Frost a thin layer of frosting on top and around the sides of the cake. At this point, we like to chill the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes (or longer in the refrigerator) to firm everything up before applying the final coat of frosting.
  • Decorate however you like! We added texture with an offset spatula, and then pressed a border of sliced almonds around the bottom. We piped swirls around the top with a 2D large star piping tip and topped with maraschino cherries.

Storage

  • This cake should be refrigerated in an airtight container or under a cake dome. For best flavor and texture, remove the cake 2-3 hours before serving so that the cake and frosting have plenty of time to warm and soften.

Notes

Substitution for Cake Flour: Using all purpose flour (plain in UK) to make Cake Flour: For each cup of flour in a recipe, remove 2 Tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour in the UK). This recipe has 3 cups of flour so you will measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour, remove 6 Tablespoons and replace with 6 Tablespoons cornstarch, whisk to blend.
Substitution of Buttermilk: Add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup. Add milk to the 1 cup mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use. (It will thicken).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for my son's first birthday and everyone raved about it. Most were intrigued by the idea of a cherry almond flavor, but once they tried it, they loved it. Even my no cake eating husband tried a piece because everyone was commenting how good it was, and he liked it.