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Photo: Ray Kachatorian Photo by: Photo: Ray Kachatorian

Almond Cake Trifle with Roasted Cherries

The delicate balance among the cherries, almond cake, and subtle cardamom cream left our testers clamoring for more. With individual serving dishes, one-fourth of the cake will be left over, but it makes a great breakfast with raspberry jam and hot tea. Prep: 45 minutes; Bake: 1 hour and 5 minutes; Chill: 2 hours.

MyRecipes MAY 2008

  • Yield: Makes 16 servings


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces almond paste, broken into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 3 pounds frozen cherries, thawed
  • 6 tablespoons Cognac
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.

2. Sift together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Process almond paste and 1 1/4 cups sugar in a food processor until blended. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed 1 minute. Add sugar mixture and 1 teaspoon vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down sides. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until blended.

3. Pour into prepared Bundt pan, and bake 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into cake center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and let cool.

4. Toss cherries with Cognac, cinnamon sticks, 3 teaspoons vanilla, 3 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla bean halves in a bowl; pour into a roasting pan. Increase heat to 425°, and bake cherry mixture 10 minutes. Place vanilla bean halves and cinnamon sticks in a small bowl, and let cool. Strain cherries, and reserve all cooking liquid.

5. Scrape vanilla beans with a spoon, and place seeds in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Add whipping cream. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, add cardamom, if desired, and whisk until stiff peaks form.

6. Assemble trifle in 16 (10-ounce) individual glasses. Slice cake into 3/4-inch pieces. Layer cake pieces, 1 1/2 teaspoons cherry liquid, cherries, and 3 tablespoons cream; repeat layers, ending with 1 tablespoon cream. Chill 2 hours, sprinkle with almonds, and serve.

*To bring eggs to room temperature safely, remove from refrigerator and place in a bowl for 30 minutes.