This cake is a new favorite — a riff on Marion Burros’ plum torte recipe but made with cherries. The New York Times calls it “practically no-fail” and I’ll be share another version with plums or nectarines later this season and with different flours. I wanted this cake to taste similar to the original version, so I did a combination of flours including tapioca, a starchy flour. (Adding enough of a starchy flour will help a gluten-free cake have that nice fluffiness I love in cakes.) I balanced it with a little almond flour and teff flour, a lovely whole grain naturally gluten-free flour high in protein and calcium.
The result is a slightly rustic, not-too-sweet cake plump with ripe cherries and a hearty crumb. I served slices of cake when my neighbor dropped by for coffee; I’ve eaten this warm, at room temperature, and straight from the fridge. While I’m partial to a warm, freshly baked slice of cake, each was perfect in its own way. When cold, the cherries are almost like a jam at the bottom of the cake — really nice on a sunny summer morning.
It’s also so easy to make this one dairy-free: swap coconut oil for the butter (see recipe head note for instructions). If you can’t find teff flour, oat flour or sorghum flour makes a worthy substitute.
Til next time – N x
Need substitutions? Swap sorghum flour for the teff flour, arrowroot for the tapioca, and another nut flour for the almond flour. Try organic cane sugar for the maple sugar.
Gluten-Free Cherry Cake
- 2 cups/about 300 g sweet cherries
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup maple sugar
- 1 organic lemon, zested
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup/60 g teff flour
- ⅓ cup/50 g tapioca flour
- ¼ cup/30 g almond flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- Grease an 8-inch cake pan with butter or coconut oil and line with a circle of parchment paper.
- Pit the cherries and cut 1/2 cup in half and set aside; quarter the rest and set aside separately.
- To make the cake: in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and maple sugar for about three minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Add the lemon zest and juice and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well to combine.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Sift this mixture into the butter mixture and stir to combine. Fold the quartered cherries into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the halved cherries across the top, facing down. Preheat oven to 350 F and let cake batter rest until the oven is heated.
- Place the cake in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, the top springs back when gently pressed, and the edges are just starting to pull away from the pan. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 20 minutes in the pan, then run a knife around the edges and turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
- Let the cake completely cool before serving to set the crumb. Cake will keep, well wrapped in the fridge, for 5 days.