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.

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

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.

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

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.

A bowl of glacé cherries in front of a bowl of fresh 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 recipe is perfect for making the most of your Homemade Glacé Cherries but if you don’t have any to hand then try to get the best quality glacé cherries you can find and the better your cake will be.

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

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.

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.

Print Recipe
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
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Servings
10-12 slices
Ingredients
  • 275 g glace 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
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, gluten-free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Servings
10-12 slices
Ingredients
  • 275 g glace 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
Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C fan assisted oven or 180°C in a regular oven*.
  2. Grease and line an 8 inch x 4 inch round cake tin.
  3. Chop the cherries roughly, so some are halved and some quartered, then pour into a medium sized bowl, leave for a minute.
  4. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, almonds, baking powder and salt.
  5. Take out a tablespoon of the dry mixture and stir into the cherries until all the cherries are well coated then set aside
  6. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after every addition.
  8. 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.
  9. Stir in the cherries until evenly dispersed then pour into the cake tin.
  10. Bake for about 70 minutes or until an inserted cocktail skewer comes out clean.
  11. 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.
Recipe Notes

*If you want to make your own 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.

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, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.


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If you like this cake then you might like these other recipes:

A cupcake on a cake stand next to some glacé cherries

Homemade Glacé Cherries

This Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake is both gluten-free and dairy-free. Whole oranges are boiled then pureed to create an incredibly moist and intensely citrusy cake spiked with a hint of rosemary.

Blood Orange Rosemary Polenta Cake

Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze {gluten-free}

Vanilla Almond Cake with Lemon Curd Glaze

Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones {gluten-free}

These gluten-free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones are the real deal. Brilliantly portable for picnics and essential for afternoon tea.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

These Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones are a particularly special recipe to me. I make a lot of scones in the summer months. As soon as this season’s jams start to appear in the kitchen then I am hard pressed not to find a reason where an impromptu cream tea isn’t required. Scones are an ideal last minute bake as the ingredients are usually in, needing little more than the essentials; flour, eggs, sugar and milk.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Whenever I make scones though my mum usually makes a not so gentle request for cheese scones as she has much more of a savoury tooth. Cheese scones are so delightful to bring along to picnics and family gatherings as they don’t suffer from being schlepped around. They are at their best with a spot of butter but really pretty good straight from the tupperware.

Olives

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

I had only baked these Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones once up until now. They had got lost in the shuffle when I started baking only gluten-free as it took me a while to perfect my gluten-free scone recipe. Now I finally have a scone which can pass muster alongside its wheat filled brethren it seemed appropriate to bring these guys out of hiding this week.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

I originally created the recipe in memory of my Nan after she passed away two summers ago. It would have been her birthday next week and although I’m sure she would never have described herself as a great cook, (she was much more known for her immense family love, great humour, fierce loyalty and utter stubbornness) she cooked memorable meals for us throughout my childhood and I wanted to remember her this week by baking in her honour. Her name was Olive and she would have really loved these scones.

Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones

Print Recipe
Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones
These gluten-free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones are the real deal. Brilliantly portable for picnics and essential for afternoon tea.
Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
15 scones
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g oat flour
  • 80 g millet flour
  • 40 g potato starch
  • 40 g tapioca starch
  • 60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 170 g cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten + 1 egg for the egg wash
  • 175 ml buttermilk + a splash extra for the egg wash
  • 100 g pitted olives mixture of green and black
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
15 scones
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g oat flour
  • 80 g millet flour
  • 40 g potato starch
  • 40 g tapioca starch
  • 60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 170 g cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten + 1 egg for the egg wash
  • 175 ml buttermilk + a splash extra for the egg wash
  • 100 g pitted olives mixture of green and black
Gluten-Free Cheddar Olive Buttermilk Scones
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Tip the flours and starches into a large mixing bowl and whisk together well. Add the butter then rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Stir in the white pepper, mustard powder and baking powder.
  4. Grate the cheese into the bowl and gently stir into the other ingredients.
  5. Pour in the beaten eggs and turn into the mixture with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
  6. Finally stir in the olives.
  7. Once the olives are evenly dispersed carefully pour in the buttermilk, bringing the dough together with a wooden spoon.
  8. Tip the dough onto a floured surface (you can use any flour, but not too much) and pat the mixture together, gently folding and turning the dough until the flour is incorporated.
  9. Once the dough is dry enough to work with then using the palm of your hands flatten out to 1 inch thickness.
  10. Cut the scones out of the dough using a 68mm round pastry/biscuit cutter with fluted edges.
  11. Place the scones on the baking trays, then brush the tops with a little beaten egg mixed with a splash of buttermilk. Be careful not to let the egg wash drip over the sides of the scones or they will not rise evenly.
  12. Bake the scones in the oven for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.
  13. Serve with plenty of whipped butter.
Recipe Notes
  • The scones are at their best warm from the oven. They don’t really last longer than a day before getting a little stale.
  • If you are not gluten-free then just substitute the sweet rice flour, oat flour, millet flour, potato starch and tapioca starch for 400g plain wheat flour.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk to hand you can use whole milk. Using the buttermilk though gives the scones a lovely soft crumb and a bit of a tangy note which pairs nicely with the salty olives and cheese.