Indulge in the Deliciousness of Old English Cherry Cake

As we travel down the path of culinary delights, we often find ourselves seeking the ever-elusive perfect dessert. A sweet treat that will captivate our taste buds and leave us wanting more; a dessert that takes us back to a time long gone. The Old English Cherry Cake recipe is one such dessert, renowned for its timeless flavor and texture. Imagine a well-baked cake infused with cherries, light raisins, and glace cherries cut into half, all melded together in perfect harmony.

So come join me in this culinary journey as we explore the labyrinth of flavors and ingredients to dish up a dessert that’s easy peasy to make but rich in taste; a dessert that in its own right has become one of the great British recipes of our time. I assure you; this cherry cake recipe is not just another fruitcake recipe; it’s much more than that – one you’ll want to savor and enjoy with every bite. So let’s dive in and discover what makes this Old English Cherry Cake recipe so special!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Old English Cherry Cake
Old English Cherry Cake

Are you looking for a timeless yet delicious dessert that will impress your family and friends? Look no further than this old fashioned cherry cake recipe! With its soft and fluffy texture, bursts of juicy cherries, and subtle notes of vanilla, this cake is an absolute delight for your taste buds.

But what makes this recipe truly special is its versatility. Enjoy it as-is with a cup of tea or add a dollop of whipped cream for a decadent touch. Feeling extra fancy? Try serving it with a drizzle of warm cherry sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The possibilities are endless!

Not only is this cherry cake recipe easy peasy to make, it’s also customizable to suit your preferences. Want to add some crunch? Toss in some chopped nuts or light raisins. Craving something sweeter? Swap out the glace cherries for candied cherries or fresh cherries.

Moreover, this cake can be enjoyed any time of the year – serve it in the summer as a fruity treat, or indulge in it as a cozy winter dessert. There really is no wrong way to eat this delicious creation.

In short, this recipe is perfect for those who love classic British desserts with an elevated twist. So why not give it a try and see why it’s been one of Mary Berry’s favorite recipes for years?

Ingredient List

 A sweet and juicy cherry cake that will take you back to the flavors of old England
A sweet and juicy cherry cake that will take you back to the flavors of old England

Let’s gather the ingredients

This Old English Cherry Cake Recipe incorporates some classic British pantry staples, culminating in a moist, flavorful cake that is impossible to resist. No fancy ingredients here, just good old-fashioned flavors.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • Butter: 8 oz (225g) unsalted, softened at room temperature.
  • Caster Sugar: 1 1/2 cups (325g) caster sugar.
  • Self-raising Flour: 2 cups plus 2 tbsp (300g) self-raising flour divided into three portions.
  • Large Eggs: 4 large eggs, at room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Light Raisins: 1 cup (150g) light raisins.
  • Glacé Cherries: 1 cup (125g) finely chopped glacé cherries.
  • Cherries: 1 cup (125g) fresh cherries cut in half, pitted and stemmed.

Note: Keep in mind that you’ll need to prepare the cherries before baking.

The Recipe How-To

 Fresh cherries on top of a soft, buttery cake make for a mouthwatering treat
Fresh cherries on top of a soft, buttery cake make for a mouthwatering treat

Now, let’s get to the most exciting part- the recipe! Follow these simple steps to make the old English Cherry Cake a reality.


  • 1 cup (225g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (225g) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (250g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (150g) glacé cherries, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup (75g) light raisins
  • 3 tablespoons of madeira or cherry juice


  1. Begin by pre-heating your oven to 170°C. Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin with parchment paper.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This should take approximately five minutes using an electric mixer.

  3. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.

  4. Sift in the flour and fold gently into the mixture.

  5. Finally, fold in the cherries and raisins.

  6. Mix in the madeira or cherry juice to loosen the mixture.

  7. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth out the surface.

  8. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.

  9. Once the cake is done, leave it to cool completely in its tin before taking it out.

  10. Serve slices of this delicious Old-fashioned Cherry Cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top for that extra indulgence!

Enjoy this great British classic dessert that will take you back in time with every bite!

Substitutions and Variations

 Whether as a dessert or a morning snack, this cherry cake is perfect for any occasion
Whether as a dessert or a morning snack, this cherry cake is perfect for any occasion

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are a few simple ways you can switch things up with this Old English Cherry Cake Recipe.

One way is to swap out the glace cherries for fresh or frozen cherries. This will give the cake a more natural and tangy flavor. Be sure to pit and chop the cherries before adding them to the cake mixture.

You can also experiment with different types of dried fruit. Light raisins go well with this recipe, but you can try using other dried fruits like currants or apricots for a variation in texture and taste.

For a more traditional variation, try substituting the cherries with candied fruits like orange peel or mixed peel. Alternatively, you can mix in some chopped nuts like pecans or almonds for a nutty texture and flavor.

If you prefer a gluten-free version, substitute regular flour for an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend. Keep in min that self-raising flour already includes baking powder, so make sure to add additional baking powder if using an alternative flour blend.

For those who love to play around with flavors, consider adding a teaspoon of almond extract or orange zest on top of the vanilla extract to create an even more complex flavour profile.

Whatever variation you choose, it’s important to remember that ingredients are key, so stick to high-quality fruit and butter and follow the recipe carefully for best results.

Serving and Pairing

 The aroma of baked cherries and cinnamon will fill your kitchen and create a cozy atmosphere
The aroma of baked cherries and cinnamon will fill your kitchen and create a cozy atmosphere

Now that your Old English Cherry Cake is ready, it’s time to serve it and enjoy its marvelous taste! Sliced or cubed, this cake will make a perfect accompaniment to your tea or coffee time. The cherry chunks peeking through the golden crumb are proof enough that every bite is going to be sensational.

If you’re feeling creative, consider adding extra cherries on top of the cake slices or drizzling it with some cherry sauce, but rest assured that this cake can hold its own even without any extra frills. Its taste is hearty and satisfying enough to stand-alone.

As far as pairing goes, this cake calls for English Breakfast tea, Earl Grey tea, coffee, or even a shot of Madeira wine to complement its rich flavor. It’s a classic recipe designed to recollect traditional English cakes and goes great with a variety of snacks like nuts or fresh fruit.

The Old English Cherry Cake is an excellent addition to any afternoon tea party and brings an old-fashioned atmosphere that reminds you of simpler times with every bite. You can also decorate it by dusting with icing sugar or topping it with candied cherries for a vibrant effect.

Beyond just tea time and parties, this cherry cake can work alongside other recipes to make even more extended desserts—fruitcakes, coconut cakes, chocolate cakes all have room for expansion when paired with Royal Icing or some madeira cream on the top.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A perfect blend of sweetness and tartness in each bite of this cherry cake
A perfect blend of sweetness and tartness in each bite of this cherry cake

Once you’ve baked your scrumptious Old English Cherry Cake, you may end up with some leftovers. No need to worry! This cake stores well and can even be made ahead of time for special occasions.

Store any remaining cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Alternatively, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. However, do note that the texture may change slightly after refrigeration.

To reheat, simply place the desired amount of cake on a microwave-safe plate and warm it up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds on high heat. You can also place the cake slices in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5-10 minutes until it’s heated through.

You can also freeze Old English Cherry Cake for up to 2 months by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Simply thaw out overnight in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before serving.

Remember, this is a cake that tastes better over time as flavors meld together, so making it ahead of time may actually enhance its taste. In fact, some suggest aging it for up to a week before serving! So go ahead and bake away without worrying about enjoying your delicious treat later on.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Nothing says
Nothing says “home-baked goodness” like a cherry cake right out of the oven

Preparing an Old English Cherry Cake Recipe may seem like a daunting task, but with my tips, you can achieve perfectly baked and flavored cake every time. These tips are coming from years of experience as a chef specializing in British cuisine. Here are some pointers to help you make the perfect old fashioned cherry cake:

1. Use Fresh Cherries for a More Fruity Flavor

When shopping for cherries, choose the brightest, freshest ones available, and cut them in half before adding them to the mixture. The fresh cherries will give a fruity punch to your cake that canned or glazed cherries cannot match.

2. Coat the Cherries in Flour Before Adding Them to the Mixture

Coating the cherries with flour or lightly tossing them in dry ingredients before folding them into your batter will stop them from sinking down to the bottom whilst cooking. The light raisins and glacé cherries can be treated similarly.

3. Cream Butter and Sugar Properly

It is crucial to cream butter and sugar adequately until they are light and fluffy; it may take up to 5 minutes in a mixer at medium speed or using an electric whisk. This step can’t be shortened or missed; this process is what holds air taken by butter while beating which helps tenderize the cake.

4. Use Self-Raising Flour Instead of Plain Flour

When baking any cake recipe, self-raising flour works better than plain flour since it contains minimal baking soda already, which means a more reliable rise during baking.

5. Bake at the Right Temperature

Preheat your oven at 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4/350°F for 15-20 minutes so that your oven is adequately heated when you put your cake inside it. Baking at the wrong temperature sues undesirable outcome such as underbaking or overbaking which could ruin all of our hard work!

6. Don’t Open the Oven Before 40 Minutes In

Opening the oven door too often, particularly during the initial 30-40 minutes, will cause a drop in temperature and could cause your cake to collapse or lose its rise, so avoid opening up too often.

By following these tips, you’ll have a perfectly baked Old English Cherry Cake every time. Enjoy making memories with your friends and family members over a slice of delicious homemade cake!


As a chef specializing in British cuisine and an expert in this Old English Cherry Cake Recipe, I can imagine some questions you may have had while reading through the ingredients or following the recipe steps. To help you out, here are some frequently asked questions and my answers for you to ensure that your cakes come out tasting as delicious as possible. So, let’s dive in.

How do you keep cherries from sinking in cherry cake?

To prevent fruit from sinking in your cake, I suggest tossing them in flour before adding them to the mix. This will help the fruit adhere to the mixture and distribute evenly throughout the cake. Simply mix a small amount of flour with the fruit in a bowl, cover lightly, and add to the cake mixture according to the recipe instructions.

What is Mary Berry’s Favourite cake?

With a career spanning over five decades, Mary Berry has established herself as one of Britain’s most renowned bakers, authoring over 70 cookbooks. Her most beloved recipe happens to be a classic lemon drizzle traybake, hailed for its tangy yet sweet flavors.

Do you wash glace cherries before baking?

If you’re planning to incorporate glace or dried fruit in your cake recipe, I have a helpful recommendation for you. It’s best to clean the fruit thoroughly by washing the cherries to eliminate the extra syrup and then dust them with a light layer of flour before folding them into your cake batter. This technique has proven to be very effective, and you can see how it works in our popular Christmas cake recipe by Delia Smith.

How to make a Mary Berry cherry cake?

Alright, let’s get cooking! First things first, we want to preheat our oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 to ensure it’s nice and toasty when our dish is ready to go in. Next, let’s get those cherries ready by cutting them up into quarters.

Now, it’s time to mix all of the remaining ingredients. Grab a large bowl and measure everything out, then beat it all together for a solid two minutes to make sure it’s all beautifully combined.

Once the mixture is prepped, it’s time to pour it into a dish and bake it in the preheated oven. Give it 35-40 minutes to bake until it’s risen and has a gorgeous golden-brown color. To check if it’s done, stick a skewer in the center and see if it comes out clean – then you know it’s ready to be served!

Bottom Line

: In conclusion, this old-fashioned cherry cake recipe is a classic British dessert that you must try. The combination of light raisins, glace cherries, and eggs make for a moist and flavorful cake that is sure to please everyone’s taste buds. By following the tips and recommendations provided in this article, you can make a perfect cherry cake that will impress your guests.

Whether you’re a fan of great British recipes or just looking for an easy-peasy fruitcake recipe, this is the one for you. Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also versatile and can be served with different sides or toppings to suit your preferences.

So go ahead and give this Cherry Cake recipe a try today! I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it just as much as I have. And remember, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to make it your own. Enjoy!

Old English Cherry Cake

Old English Cherry Cake Recipe

I just came across this recipe in an old "Edith Adams Christmas Baking" flyer. She was the nutritionist for the Vancouver Sun newspaper and THE guru of Vancouver house wives (a local Martha Stewart of the forties and fifties)' Store this cake as you would any Christmas cake. A nice change from dark fruit cake
Course Dessert
Cuisine English
Keyword < 4 Hours, Christmas, Dessert, Fruit, Oven, Potluck, Weeknight
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 2980.3kcal


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 lb chopped citrus peel, candied
  • 1/2 lb cherries, cut in half
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 lb light raisins


  • Soften butter and beat with the sugar.
  • Add well beaten eggs, beat together.
  • Add flour gradually.
  • Add fruit last.
  • Bake in paper lined tins in 325 oven for apprx 2 hours or until done, nice and golden on top Keep the cake for a few weeks before using.


Serving: 2028g | Calories: 2980.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 442.6g | Protein: 55.1g | Fat: 114g | Saturated Fat: 65g | Cholesterol: 988mg | Sodium: 1104.8mg | Fiber: 21.7g | Sugar: 218.7g

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