Gluten-Free Cherry Cake

This Gluten-Free Cherry Cake is a simple summer bake. Fluffy and tender with a sugary crust and packed with fruity glacé cherries. It’s ideal for taking on picnics or sitting resplendent on the stall of your local school fete.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

We are often asking a lot of our cake at this time of year, schlepping it about to picnics, family gatherings and donating it to school fetes, local fairs and festivals.

Not only must the cake be easily transportable but once it reaches its destination then we will need it to withstand the summer weather as it sits, probably uncovered, for a couple of hours battling with the hot sun’s rays. Preferably during all this time we will also demand that our cake look lovely, taste amazing and not poison our children.

So it’s better that our offering should not be some extravagantly decorated number with delicate buttercream flowers that can get smoodged in the car or spoil in the heat. We should also keep any kind of chocolate ganache out of the equation too lest we want our cake to turn into a big chocolate puddle.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

That’s where this crowd pleasing Gluten-Free Cherry Cake comes in. It’s a simple bake with no frills that can stand up well to being carted around in this strong summer weather. Plus there’s no creamy, rich covering that can feel too heavy or become a danger in this summer heat. It’s just all about a gorgeously fluffy sponge studded with plump and juicy glacé cherries sprinkled with a crunchy sugar dusting.

This is not a cake destined for a royal wedding but a beautiful homely affair. Your Gluten-Free Cherry Cake doesn’t need a cake fork but can be casually served on a napkin or just in your hands. Children will be delighted by the glacé cherries and the older crowd will be reminded of the cakes they grew up with.

A bowl of glacé cherries in front of a bowl of fresh cherries

How do you make Gluten-Free Cherry Cake?

This cake uses a straightforward creaming method and is very quick to whip up.

  1. Blend butter with caster sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time.
  3. Beat in the gluten-free flours, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add half the flour mixture. Then some lemon juice and zest. Finally add in the rest of the flour mixture.
  5. Stir in chopped cherries.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 70 minutes.
  7. Remove the cake from the tin and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

This recipe uses a blend of three different gluten-free flours:

  • White Rice Flour
  • Millet Flour
  • Tapioca Flour

We use white rice flour is because of its neutral flavour and light texture. It’s best not to use too much otherwise the cake will become claggy. We blend it with millet flour which is also a light flour but has slightly more earthy flavour which pairs beautifully with the cherries. Finally we use tapioca flour which is a starchy flour, which holds the cake together so isn’t crumbly and dry.

Along with the gluten-free flours we use ground almonds. This is totally traditional in a cherry cake as it gives the cake a beautiful flavour. Almonds and cherries are natural flavour companions. However, ground almonds also helps for this gluten-free cake as nut flours gives the cake moisture.

A slice of cherry cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

Glacé Cherries

Traditionally you make cherry cake with glacé cherries, meaning you can make this cake all year round. I heartily recommend trying your hand at Homemade Glacé Cherries to make the most of this recipe. However if you don’t have any to hand then try to get the best quality glacé cherries you can find. The bright red ones are pretty but taste of little more than sugar.

Can you make Gluten-Free Cherry Cake with fresh cherries?

Yes! Pit the cherries then use in exactly the same way as you would the glacé cherries. The fresh cherries will release more moisture so the cake will have a slightly different consistency but it will still be delicious.

You can also make this cake with frozen cherries direct from the freezer.

Can you freeze Gluten-Free Cherry Cake?

This cake freezes extremely well. Wait until the cake has cooled completely, then wrap tightly in cling film and then a layer of tin foil so the cake is completely protected.

To defrost, remove the cake from the freezer the night before you want to serve it. De-frost still wrapped up, then unwrap it the next day and serve as usual.

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

This Gluten-Free Cherry Cake is the stalwart of the party or the cake stall. It’s reliably delicious and crowd pleasing. For me, it’s what easy summer baking is all about and just the kind of cake I want to eat whatever the weather.

Have you seen these other recipes which would be great for a summer cake stall?

Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge
Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze
Whole Orange Chocolate Chip Cake
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

If you make this Gluten-Free Cherry Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Cherry Cake

This Gluten-Free Cherry Cake is a simple summer bake. Fluffy and tender with a sugary crust and packed with fruity glacé cherries. It’s ideal for taking on picnics or sitting resplendent on the stall of your local school fete.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 514kcal

Ingredients

  • 275 g glacé cherries*
  • 125 g white rice flour
  • 70 g millet flour
  • 30 g tapioca flour
  • 120 g ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 225 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 170°C fan assisted oven or 180°C in a regular oven*.
  • Grease and line an 8 inch x 4 inch round cake tin.
  • Chop the cherries roughly, so some are halved and some quartered, then pour into a medium sized bowl, leave for a minute.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, almonds, baking powder and salt.
  • Take out a tablespoon of the dry mixture and stir into the cherries until all the cherries are well coated then set aside
  • Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after every addition.
  • Pour in half the flour and mix in well, scraping down the sides. Mix in the zest and juice of the lemon then add the other half of the flour.
  • Stir in the cherries until evenly dispersed then pour into the cake tin.
  • Bake for about 70 minutes or until an inserted cocktail skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out carefully and sprinkle the two teaspoons of granulated sugar over the top of the cake.

Notes

  • If you want to make homemade glacé cherries then get the recipe here.
  • I’m baking more and more of my cakes in a fan assisted oven. Gluten-Free flours can retain more moisture so I find that by keeping the air circulating in the oven during the bake it lightens the cake a little. By all means if you don’t have a fan-assisted oven then just raise the temperature by 10 degrees and your cake will turn out just fine.
  • Gluten-Free Cherry Cake freezes extremely well. Bake and cool completely then wrap up well before freezing.
  • If you can't get hold of some of these flours then you can use a gluten-free flour such as Doves Farm Plain Gluten-Free Flour. Substitute the white rice flour, millet flour and tapioca flour for 225g gluten-free flour.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 514kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 86mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 655IU | Vitamin C: 5.7mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1.2mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

The cake tins I always use are these PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 8 x 4-Inch Deep which are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need.


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two images of gluten-free cherry cake. one of the whole cake and the other with a cut slice of cake