There is so much to say about this cake that I am not even sure where to begin. First and foremost, it is of the “snack” variety and such a variety is one of my all-time faves. A “snack cake is, as you might expect, a cake for snacking. It consists of one layer and is, more often than not, baked in an 8×8-inch square pan. (Although truth be told, if it was baked in a 9-inch square pan, or even an 8 or 9 inch round one, I’d still be okay referring to it as a snack cake.) Snack cakes are perfect after school cakes, or teatime cakes. They are wonderful in the morning — for breakfast or brunch — or when you need a pick-me-up with a cup of coffee at around 11:00 a.m. And I’m partial to a slice in the evening when I am staying up way too late binge watching Netflix (buy maybe that is just me).
Snack cakes are also hassle-free cakes — cakes that call for ingredients already in your pantry (or for those found easily at the nearest store) and that come together quickly in your kitchen. And this particular snack cake is a “one-bowl” cake, which means you only need to dirty one mixing bowl (in this case the bowl of your stand mixer) to make it. I love one-bowl baking, almost as much as I love snack cakes, as I am a sucker for recipes with streamlined instructions that do not require that you pull out every bowl, plate and ramekin when assembling. One-bowl cakes are always easy to make and when you turn back to your kitchen sink after placing said cake in the oven there is just one dirty bowl waiting for you.
Finally, this particular snack cake showcases one of my favorite flavor combos: cherry and almond. It has the most tender and moist of almond-flavored crumbs and is studded throughout with bright red cherries — making it as pretty as it is tasty. Moreover, the crumb topping is sweet, crunchy and buttery and very marzipan-like in flavor, due to the addition of almond paste. The cake keeps on the counter for several days, if wrapped tightly. It is delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, but honestly it needs no accompaniment. It’s that good. And, yet, if the combination of cherries and almond is not your thing, you could easily sub blueberries for the cherries, or even blackberries or raspberries — all would be delish, I promise. The cherry almond snack cake recipe can be found here.
The text here and recipe were originally published in the June issue of Main Street Magazine.