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Little cherry almond cakes - easy to make and perfect for picnics!

Little Cherry Almond Cakes

Makes 8-12 cakes

Ingredients

Cakes:

  • 175 g (3/4 cup) softened butter
  • 240 g (1 cup + 2tbsp) caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 130 g (1 cup + 1tbsp) ground almonds
  • 130 g (1 cup + 1tbsp) plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 16 cherries pitted and halved

Icing:

  • 60 g (2oz) pitted cherries (about 8 cherries) (I used defrosted frozen)
  • 250 g (2 + 1/2 cups) icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cake cases or use silicone cake moulds – grease them thoroughly.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Mix together the ground almonds, flour and baking powder and lightly fold in to the butter mixture. Stir in the almond extract.
  4. Divide the mixture between the cases or moulds and press a couple of halved cherries into the surface of each so that they are just covered with batter.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool until they can comfortably be handled then either transfer the cake cases to a wire rack, or carefully turn the cakes out of the silicone moulds if using and place on a wire rack to cool.
  6. Once the cakes are cold, make the icing. Place the icing sugar and pitted cherries into a food processor and blend until smooth. The icing should be thick but pourable; if it is too runny then add more icing sugar and blend again; if it is too thick then add a couple more cherries and blend.
  7. Spoon the icing over the tops of the cakes and serve.
  8. The cakes will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container but once they have been iced they are best eaten the same day.