I found a recipe for this decadent Marzipan Cherry Streusel Cake on Kimberly Killebrew’s wonderful blog, “The Daring Gourmet” when trying to work out what to do with all the leftover marzipan and cherries I had lying around my kitchen after Christmas. I always make a big batch of marzipan every year. I really can’t get enough of it, yet this year I suspect I finally made too much. Coupled with the cherry glut, this cake seemed like the answer to the ready-to-spoil excess of food I had going on.
My earliest marzipan memories are of visiting my grown half-sister and her family. She would always make these little marzipan balls, covered in cinnamon. I have a huge soft spot for German food, and strong connections to my German heritage. My father was a German immigrant (who trained in Germany as a chef) who absolutely adored cooking. My entire childhood is peppered with memories of my dads baking, and although I don’t recall him ever making a Marzipan Cherry Streusel Cake, it’s definitely something he would have enjoyed.
Now that I’ve married myself a German man, my appreciation for the foods of my ancestral home has grown into something of a fascination, though I’ve yet to share my recipes, successes or terrible failures on this shiny new blog.
I made this cake last night, let it cool overnight and dusted it with icing sugar this morning before serving for a very decadent breakfast. Although the cake is exceptionally good, it is very, very sweet. My son and I loved it with a little unsweetened cream, but David found the streusel topping in particular much too sugary for his taste. Otherwise, it’s a superb cake with beautiful moist crumb and the distinct scent of sweet almonds and ripe cherries.
I will definitely make this again but reduce the amount of sugar in the streusel by half.
- ½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup marzipan at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- Icing sugar (powdered sugar) for dusting
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup of marzipan, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk (I used ¼ cup of plain yogurt and ¼ cup of whole milk to substitute)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved, or alternately, try the recipe with canned or frozen cherries - just make sure they're pitted, thawed and drained.
- Preheat the oven to 170C or 350F
- Grease a 9" springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Place the flour and sugar together in a medium sized bowl. Add the marzipan and the butter and rub together with your fingers, combining the mixture until it looks like small clumps. Set this bowl aside.
- With an electric mixer (mine is handheld), cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy.
- Add the marzipan and vanilla extract and beat until no large visible chunks of marzipan remain,
- Add the egg to the mixture, beating until combined.
- In another bowl, (yep, the third bowl) sift the remaining dry ingredients together and set this bowl aside.
- Mix the buttermilk and the flour into the creamed butter and sugar in parts, alternating between the milk and the flour, being careful not to overwork the mixture.
- Spoon the batter into the springform tin, smoothing the top. The batter will be very thick.
- Smooth the batter with a rubber spatula (the back of a large spoon works well too) and top with a layer of cherries.
- Evenly sprinkle the streusel topping on top of the cherries.
- Bake for between 45-55 minutes in the middle of your oven.
- The original recipe suggested using a toothpick or skewer to test the readiness of the cooked cake, however my skewer persisted in coming out with goo on it until I'd almost over cooked the entire cake. I took it out eventually and left it to cool, where it solidified beautifully into the moist, dense crumb you can see in the images.
- Rest the cake for 10 minutes in it's tin, then cool on a wire cake cooler.
- When the cake is cool, dust lightly with icing sugar and serve cut into wedges with a dollop of fresh cream.