Gluten-Free Cherry Snacking Cake
Inspired by my plum cake, this sweet cherry snacking cake is tender with a light crumb. And the best part, it’s also gluten-free. This simple cake features slightly sweet-slightly tart fresh summer cherries and makes the perfect sweet treat anytime. Enjoy for breakfast with a cup of coffee or on a warm summer evening with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. This lovely snacking cake can quickly become a showstopper and a great way to use up those delicious end-of-season cherries.
Northwest Cherry Season
The Northwest cherry season typically runs from June through August. Cherries are known to be one of the freshest produce items available. Most don’t know this fun fact, but once ripe on the tree, cherries are typically harvested, packed, and on the retail shelf within 2 days. Growing regions scattered throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Montana offer slight differences in microclimate which allow cherries throughout the region to ripen at different times through the season.
Tasting a cherry first before buying it used to be the gold standard. This is not conducive to post-pandemic life. Taste nothing, just use your eyes. Sweetness can vary from farm to farm, tree to tree, and from week to week. My advice is to look for shiny, plump cherries with fresh green stems and dark coloring for their variety.
Keep cherries, unwashed and stems attached, in a paper bag, loosely-covered container, or loosely closed plastic bag in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. Or you can pit and freeze them for usage in baked goods later.
I bet you didn’t know cherries are good for you. Sour cherries are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, and copper. Sweet cherries contain vitamin C, anthocyanin antioxidants, and melatonin. Cherries are also a good source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy by fueling beneficial gut bacteria.
Not all gluten-free baked goods have great taste and texture. Your flour choice when making gluten-free recipes can make all the difference in the world. Gluten-free flour can be made from various grains, starches, and nuts. It’s free of wheat, which is what gives standard flour its gluten, and gluten is what provides structure, chewiness, and texture to baked goods.
When liquid is added to wheat flour, the proteins in the wheat come alive, adhere to one another, and make gluten. Gluten-free baked goods tend to be crumblier than their wheat-based predecessors, so many gluten-free flours contain xanthan gum, a binder that helps batters and doughs stay together. Xanthan gum also helps mimic gluten’s signature chew. In this recipe, I simply use a combination of Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour and almond flour which works perfectly together and gives this cherry snacking cake the ideal texture and crumb if you ask me.