Nana Ling’s Cherry Cake Recipe has more than a dash of nostalgia among the ingredients.
It’s the type of cake I imagine she’d serve up for me if I could travel back in time to 1942, when she recorded it, and pop in for a visit.
Fresh cherries and blanched almonds
The things that make this cake so lovely are the fresh cherries and blanched almonds. Oh, and the pouring custard that I added to the recipe – but I’ll get to that later.
You’ll need one cup of pitted and halved cherries for this recipe.
If you don’t have a cherry pitter tool in your kitchen, you can easily pit the cherries using a piping tip.
Just put it pointy side up on your kitchen bench or chopping board and push the cherry onto the tip until the seed emerges.
Just remember to check carefully when removing the seeds. You don’t want to interrupt anyone’s Cherry Cake experience with a tooth breaking experience.
Apart from the star ingredients – fresh cherries and blanched almonds – the other ingredients you’ll need for the cake are:
- caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- baking powder
- sour cream.
Cherry Cake… and a little something more
The cake straight from the oven looked wonderful, with the blanched almonds and gorgeous golden colour.
But I wanted to make it even more lovely.
So, you’ll need some extra cherries for the top of the cake and a little icing sugar for dusting.
I also had two leftover egg yolks from the cake recipe.
The first thing that sprang to mind was custard. Because, well, custard is always amazing. But with cherries, it’s divine. And I’d be using up the egg yolks.
So I’ve created a “cheats” version of creme anglaise, a pouring custard, to go with the Cherry Cake.
To make the pouring custard, you’ll also need these ingredients in addition to the leftover egg yolks:
- custard powder
- caster sugar
- vanilla extract
- thickened cream.
It is a little extra effort to make the pouring custard, but it elevates this cake to a whole new level.
And you use up those egg yolks, in true Nana Ling style.
Nana Ling’s Cherry Cake recipe
Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.
- 1 cup butter (250 grams)
- 1 1/2 cups caster sugar (330 grams)
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 cups plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup blanched almonds (for decorating)
- extra cherries and icing sugar (for decorating)
- 2 egg yolks (remaining from cake recipe)
- 300 mls thickened cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon custard powder
- Pre-heat oven to slow (150 degrees celsius, fan-forced).
- Grease and line a round cake tin (approx 9 1/2 inches diameter).
- Beat butter, sugar and egg yolks on med-high in a stand mixer until mixture reaches a pale colour.
- Sift flour and baking powder together 3 times.
- Add the flour, milk and sour cream and the cherries, alternately to the butter/sugar/egg yolk mixture, stirring to combine.
- Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into cake mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared cake tin and decorate the top with blanched almonds. Cook in a slow oven for 50-60 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- Dust with a little icing sugar and add a few extra cherries to the top of the cake before serving with pouring custard.
- Whisk together egg yolks, sugar and custard powder in a large bowl.
- Combine milk, cream and vanilla extract in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Spoon some of the hot milk/cream mixture over the yolk/sugar/custard power mixture, whisking to combine. Slowly add all of the hot milk/cream mixture, whisking to combine.
- Pour all the mixture back into the sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a couple of minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.
- Serve the cake with warm or cold pouring custard.