Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake

Today, April 7th, is National Coffee Cake Day...honest!  What a happy little coincidence. :)

Any recipe that passes off a delicious pastry as breakfast fare is a winner in my book.  There's no better way to start off your day than with a hearty serving of cake, complete with tart cherries, sweet crunchy struesel and icing.  But why save it for breakfast?  This coffee cake is so good you'll want to savor it at all hours of the day! 

Recipe Notes:
  • I made two of these this past weekend (one to eat, one to share), and a single batch of glaze was plenty to cover both cakes with a fairly tight icing lattice.  Plan on using less than half the amount of glaze called for in the recipe; I suspect the ingredient amounts reflect the recipe writers' reluctance to use the less common 1/8 teaspoon measure. 
  • If (and that's a big "IF") you don't think you can finish the whole thing within 3 days, it stores well in the fridge.  The streusel will soften and become quite moist, but five days later my chilled coffee cake is still as soft and tasty as it was on Day One!
  • The 8 to 12 serving size produces generous slices of pure coffee cake heaven; I cut mine into 16 daintier pieces. 

Cherry-Almond Coffee Cake  (Serves 8 to 12)
From Cook's Country April/May 2010

2 (15-ounce) cans tart cherries
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
cup packed light brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 (7-ounce) tube almond paste, crumbled into small pieces (about 2½ cups)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon almond extract

1.  COOK CHERRIES   Bring cherries (with their syrup), sugar, and cornstarch to simmer in large saucepan over medium heat.  Mash cherries with potato masher and cook until thick and jamlike, about 25 minutes (mixture should measure 2 cups).  Refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

2.  MAKE STREUSEL   Whisk 1¼ cups flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt in medium bowl.  Using fork, stir in melted butter until mixture forms pea-size pieces.  Stir in ½ cup almond paste; set aside.

3.  MAKE BATTER   Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking dish.  Combine remaining flour, baking powder, and remaining salt in medium bowl.  Whisk sour cream, eggs, and extracts together in small bowl.  With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat remaining almond paste, remaining sugar, and softened butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add sour cream mixture and beat until incorporated.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined, about 1 minute.  Return speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

4.  BAKE CAKE   Scrape batter into prepared dish.  Dollop cooled cherry mixture over batter and spread into even layer.  Sprinkle streusel over cherry mixture and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Cool cake completely, about 2 hours.

5.  GLAZE CAKE   Combine sugar and extract with 2 tablespoons water.  Drizzle over cake.  Serve.  (Cake can be kept at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap, for 3 days.)


  1. That looks SO good! I love cherries in baked goods.

  2. sounds great and you made it look so pretty!

  3. Oh wow that looks soooo good! I cannot make any new sweets until we get rid of so much easter :P But I will be saving this it looks amazing!

  4. Looks delicious! I wish I had a calendar of all the food holidays, haha.

  5. Love the cherry and almond combination!

  6. Question: Are the canned cherries you're referring to the same as the pie filling or are they just plain cherries in a can, sort of like corn?

  7. Julie - The cherries are canned tart cherries in water, normally found on either the very top or very bottom shelf near the canned fruits (not pie fillings). Use two whole cans, liquid and all. All I could find was OREGON brand, in a black label can.

  8. I happen to have some canned cherries and this looks so yummy!