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Sometimes something old fashioned is just what you want; something comforting and evocative of times past. This traditional old fashioned cherry cake is the kind of cake you might have had when visiting your grandparents or Great Aunts and Uncles for teatime and they served the tea in dainty bone China tea cups.

But don’t let that make you think there is anything less delicious about this cake – it may not have tons of super sweet icing but the glace cherries are the perfect accompaniment to the vanilla scented sponge, adding hints of sweet juiciness without too much juice which could lead to soggy cake.

Dried fruit is not so popular in this household, partly (I think) due to the fact that we could buy little in the form of snacks for the girls when they were tiny, and I relied heavily on those mini boxes of raisins. I can’t think of anything else, because they used to love dried fruit and now can’t stand it! But even if you’re not a dried fruit fan, the cherries are quite unchallenging and it would be very hard not to enjoy a slice of this cake.


I’ve flavoured the sponge with vanilla but should you be happy to use almond extract (most is made from apricot kernels and so does not contain nuts, but do check the brand you are using) you would end up with a rather lovely Bakewell tart vibe – just add a thick water icing and a few halved glace cherries on top and the Bakewell theme would be complete.

Old Fashioned Cherry Cake

Course Dessert, Snack


  • makes one loaf cake
  • 1 2lb loaf tin


  • 180 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp custard powder or cornflour
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 145 ml dairy-free milk
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free yogurt
  • 50 g dairy-free margarine melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g glace cherries some halved and some quartered
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line the loaf tin
  • Sift together the flour, custard powder, bicarb and salt
  • Stir in the sugar and then stir in 2/3rds of the chopped cherries
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the dairy-free milk, melted dairy-free margarine, yoghurt and vanilla.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.
  • Pour into the cake tin and then scatter the remaining cherries over the top, gently submerging them into the top of the batter with the tip of a knife.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
  • Cool in the tin then dust liberally with icing sugar


Use 1 tsp almond extract for a Bakewell tart flavour, and top with a thick water icing
Keyword cherry cake

5 Responses

  1. My daughter made today as my son is allergic to dairy, eggs & peanuts. We decided to use almond essence instead of vanilla & it tastes just like Bakewell tart…. delicious 😋

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