Cherry-Almond Winter Cake with Sour Cream Drizzle

(Serves 12-16, depending on size of slice)

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
¼ cup almond meal* (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp (1 cup)
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temp
1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sour cream
1 ¼ cups pitted sour cherries (canned, packed in water), coarsely chopped
• Sour Cream Drizzle (recipe below)
• White Sugar Pearls decorative sprinkles (in the cake/baking section of your market)

(*I made my own almond meal by adding 3 tablespoons of sliced almonds into my coffee grinder and grinding/pulsing them into a fine powder for about 10 seconds; this will give you the ¼ cup needed.)

Preparation:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly spray a bundt cake pan with cooking spray.

-In a medium-size bowl, combine the cake flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk these “dry ingredients” together to blend them well; set aside for a moment.

-Into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and the sugar, and cream them together on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy; next, add the eggs in one at a time, and continue to mix until those are incorporated; next, add in the vanilla and almond extracts, followed by the sour cream (turn the mixer off to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary); once those are incorporated, reduce the mixer speed to low, and begin adding the “dry ingredients” a little at a time until all are added and well incorporated (take care not to over-mix, but do  make sure all the dry ingredients are well blended); finally, turn the mixer off and add in the sour cherries, folding them gently into the batter with a spatula until combined.

-Pour the cake batter into the bundt pan as evenly as possible, and then tap the pan to set the batter and smooth the batter with the spatula to make it more even; place the bundt pan into the oven and bake the cake for about 50-60 minutes (mine took 55 minutes), or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean; allow the cake to cool slightly and turn it out onto a wire rack or plate to completely cool; once completely cooled, glaze the cake with the Sour Cream Drizzle, and decorate with the white sugar pearls.

Sour Cream Drizzle ingredients:

4 ½ tablespoons sour cream
1 ½ cups powdered sugar

Preparation:

-Into a small bowl, add the sour cream and whisk gently to loosen; next, begin adding in the powdered sugar in ¼ cup increments, whisking the sugar into the sour cream very well in between each addition of powdered sugar; once the drizzle is well blended, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until ready to glaze the cake, or if making ahead, keep in the fridge. (This drizzle should be nice and thick, and should have a slow “pour”; it will hold nicely on the cake and firm up slightly.)