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Tiny Cherry and Almond Tea Cakes

Each of these charming tea cakes is baked with a whole cherry inside -- stem, pit, and all. Be sure to warn guests about the pits, or remove the stems and pits before baking.

  • Yield: Makes 30
Tiny Cherry and Almond Tea Cakes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2007

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for tin
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground unblanched almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 4 teaspoons kirsch (cherry brandy)
  • 30 sweet (Bing) cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 30 cups of 2 mini-muffin tins with butter, and dust lightly with flour.

  2. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to sputter, reduce heat to medium. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter has lightly browned. Skim foam from top, and remove skillet from heat.

  3. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add egg whites, and whisk until smooth. Stir in kirsch. Pour in butter, leaving any dark-brown sediment in skillet, and whisk to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.

  4. Ladle 1 tablespoon batter into each buttered muffin cup, filling about halfway. Push a cherry into each, keeping stem end up. With a small spoon, smooth batter over cherries to cover. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, and unmold. Cakes can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature overnight.

Reviews (19)

  • jleewestdal 27 Jul, 2014

    I, too, make these every year, and everyone loves them. I pit the cherries sideways, leaving the stems intact. That way, I don't have to worry about anyone breaking a tooth. It does mean that a little more juice pools on top, but they're still beautiful. They freeze well, if properly wrapped. This is one of the best recipes ever!

  • JoeTheBaker 25 Jun, 2014

    @AkMok - You could use hazelnuts instead. They are often used in this class of recipe (financiers).

  • JoeTheBaker 25 Jun, 2014

    I make this every year. They are really good - gorgeous and popular.

    Don't skimp on or replace the kirsch or the brown butter - they provide their own delicate flavor that combines well with the cherries and almonds. I've made it with cherry extract instead of kirsch and I've made it with a butter substitute (many friends are lactose intolerant or on some diet) - each time it came out less delectable. Remember that there's less than 5 grams of butter per cake so eating 1 or 2 should be fine.

  • AkMok 25 Mar, 2014

    Question...I'm allergic to almonds; what could I use to replace them in this recipe?

  • jleewestdal 3 Aug, 2013

    Cookin' Joyce

  • katesofl2 20 Jan, 2011

    These were very good. I made a few changes to the recipe though - I pitted the cherries (but left the stem attached), I used orange liquer instead of Cherry Brandy (because that's what I had), and just sprayed the muffin tin with cooking spray and they came out great!

  • ddcrazybirds 15 Aug, 2010

    If you carefully make a slit on the cherry, you can remove the pit, and still keep the stem attached. :)

  • lyniferinsydney 11 Aug, 2008

    I think they 'look' better with stalk attached - just make sure you tell your guests, and no marachino cherries wouldnt work!

  • mekrantz 10 Aug, 2008

    Who are you people, don't mess with the recipes make your own

  • Idoknow 10 Aug, 2008

    Yes, I wish some of these recipes would be a little more health minded with less butter .

  • ltownsend 10 Aug, 2008

    for stampit, have you considered looking into smart balance products? they don't contain butter and are good for baking. They actually taste just like butter and are nutritionally better for you. They have omega 3's to help lower cholesterol too, and no trans fats.

  • merio 10 Aug, 2008

    Why would I want to serve a tea cake which had a pit in it? Suppose you forget to let your guest know...you could be in for some unexpected dental bills..not your own!

  • GrandmaBev 10 Aug, 2008

    These sound yummy but I would remove the stems and pits. Why would anyone put greasy crisco or margarine in a special recipe like this?? Butter is better for a person than all that trans fat and hydrogenated stuff!

  • reverti 10 Aug, 2008

    mmm...yummie!

  • stampit 10 Aug, 2008

    I cannot have butter and I am seeing that 99% of the time every recipe is calling for butter. Can margarine or crisco be used instead of the butter? Any suggestions?

  • stampit 10 Aug, 2008

    I cannot have butter and I am seeing that 99% of the time every recipe is calling for butter. Can margarine or crisco be used instead of the butter? Any suggestions?

  • carole7 10 Aug, 2008

    I wonder if we could use Marachino cherries instead...different taste but you can get them in a jar with stems but NO pits and the red color stands out more!

    Carole Pagels

  • Lapressle 4 Jul, 2008

    Can a salt substitute be used in this recipe?

  • SilkeNunn 20 Jun, 2008

    Very good but too much salt! Also, I would use regular salt next time.

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