Cherry, custard & almond sponge cake

Cherry, custard & almond sponge cake
Try a new take on a Victoria sponge, but a little more grown-up, with macerated cherries, custard cream and almonds. Add kirsch to the cherries, if you like

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:30 mins
    • Cook:35 mins
    • plus 1 hr chilling
  • Easy
  • 8

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving


  • 220g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tins
  • 220g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs (preferably organic)
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk

For the macerated cherries

  • 250g cherries, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1⁄2 large lemon, juiced
  • 3 tsp kirsch or maraschino liqueur (optional)

For the custard cream

  • 150g double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 80g fresh shop-bought custard


  • STEP 1

    Butter two 20cm loose-bottomed round sandwich tins and line with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 4. Tip the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat for 10 mins, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt and the milk. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 22-25 mins, or until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • STEP 2

    Put the cherries, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and kirsch or liqueur (if using) in a pan and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Cook for 5 mins, turn up the heat to medium and cook for 5-7 mins more until the liquid becomes syrupy. If the cherries are softened but the liquid isn’t yet syrupy, strain the liquid into a separate pan and simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  • STEP 3

    Beat the cream and icing sugar together using an electric whisk until the cream has thickened, then fold in the custard and chill for 1 hr.

  • STEP 4

    Put one of the sponges on a cake plate or stand and spread over the custard cream. Spoon over the cherries, then top with the second sponge. Dust with more icing sugar and serve immediately. Leftovers will keep chilled for two days and are best served at room temperature.

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