This is my version of the classic cherry and almond cake. The crumble topping adds another almond dimension in the form of crunchy amaretti and flaked nuts. This is best served with a dollop of tangy crème fraîche. 

Nassima Rothacker 

Nassima Rothacker 


For the cake 

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 175g light brown muscovado sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 100g soured cream 
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt   

For the cherry layer 

  • 250g (drained weight) cherries soaked in kirsch  

For the crumble 

  • 150g self-raising flour 
  • 100g cold butter, cubed 
  • 75g light brown muscovado sugar 
  • 75g amaretti biscuits, crushed
  • 40g flaked almonds   


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease a 23cm round, loose-bottom cake tin, and line the base with baking paper.

For the cake, cream the butter, sugar, almond extract and lemon zest until lighter in texture and paler in colour. Add the eggs and soured cream and beat until smooth – don’t worry if it curdles – then add the flour and salt and fold together until you have a smooth batter. Scrape the batter into the cake tin and level off. 

For the crumble, rub together the flour and butter until you have a breadcrumb consistency, then toss through the sugar, biscuits and almonds. 

Scatter the cherries over the cake batter, as evenly as possible, and top with the crumble topping mixture. 

Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (apart from the red juice of the cherries). Leave to cool completely, then transfer from the tin to a cake stand or plate to serve.