Great British Bake Off: Mary’s Cherry Cake

The next Great British Bake Off Challenge of

Episode 1: Cakes

Recipe (Technical Challenge): Mary’s Cherry Cake

The competitors were given a deliberately vague recipe for a cherry cake and then asked to make the cake. To me, the recipe didn’t seem very vague at all! Granted, I have years of experience of making cakes, so I have a rough idea of what order the ingredients go in and what effect certain techniques will have. So I do understand how the recipe could be construed as vague, but it’s a pretty basic recipe.

Check it out here: Mary’s Cherry Cake

Mary's Cherry Cake

To me the basic fundamental of making a cake: cream butter & sugar together until light and fluffy, add eggs & vanilla, add in dry ingredients alternately with milk (if applicable). Fold in mixins.

For this recipe I followed this basic formula and I yielded a pretty dense batter, it made for a pretty nice tight cake. My only substitution was NOT using maraschino cherries (ick) – I used some frozen blackberries I picked instead. I remember one of the judging criteria was that the “cherries should be suspended evenly throughout the cake”. To ensure that I had a good distribution of blackberries, they were tossed in a handful of flour before mixing in. This helps with preventing the juice from bleeding into the cake as well. I think there’s something about the flour on the fruit that “catches” in the batter and helps it keep it suspended. I’m not sure what kind of ring mold they used (looked low and wide) but mine was high and narrow, so my cake had to bake an additional 15min.

The glaze called for the juice of 1 lemon, but I had a massive lemon so I only used half. The glaze I wound up making was a bit too runny but still “stuck” to the cake. I really didn’t want to have a thick icing that has to be piped on. I prefer more of a glaze for this style of cake.

In any case, other than the runny glaze – I think it turned out pretty well! A pretty easy cake and it tasted great too (even if I used blackberries).

Cherry Cake UnglazedSpray/butter your pan liberally and dust with flour = a clean release and intact pattern

Cherry Cake Glazed Runny glaze!

CherryCakeCrossSection Cross section of the cake – the glaze set up pretty well and look! Nicely distributed berries!

CherryCakeSlice Slice of cake

Next recipe: The Showstopper Challenge!

Tags: , , ,

Categories: blackberries, cake, Great British Bake Off


Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!


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