Giuseppe’s Amarena Cherry Cake


Series 12

A yeasted bundt-style cake, in this case studded with rum-spiked cherries and filled with a vanilla custard, a Gugelhupf was traditionally served at weddings and other celebrations.

Serves: 12–16
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 45 mins, plus proving, cooling & chilling
Baking Time: 45 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
Print recipe

Step 1
In a large bowl, combine the morello cherries and rum. Cover and set aside to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain the soaked cherries, reserving the strained rum.

Step 2
Put the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk, eggs and egg yolks. Once fully combined, increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for about 2–4 minutes, until the dough is smooth.

Step 3
Add one third of the sugar, mix to combine, then add half the butter. Mix again and repeat – one third of the sugar and then the remaining butter, and finally the remaining third of the sugar, mixing to combine fully between each addition.

Step 4
Add the salt and continue to knead until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes).

Step 5
Pat the drained morello cherries dry with a towel and toss them in a bowl with the amarena cherries and the plain flour. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and fold in the cherries by hand, stretching and folding to evenly distribute them and strengthen the dough. Put the dough into a large, buttered bowl, cover with a damp cloth, then set aside until doubled in size (about 40–45 minutes).

Step 6
When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, then shape it into a ball. Make a hole in the centre and gently stretch it to form a doughnut shape. Sprinkle the flaked almonds at the bottom of the Gugelhupf mould and place the dough over the top of them in the tin. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside to prove for 40 minutes, until it has risen almost to the height of the tin.

Step 7
Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.

Step 8
While the Gugelhupf is proving, prepare the custard filling. Combine the sugar, egg yolks, cornflour, salt and vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk to combine, then add 100ml of the milk and whisk until smooth.

Step 9
Pour the remaining milk and all the cream into a pan and place it over a medium heat. Add the egg mixture, whisking continuously as you do so. Bring to the boil, and cook for a further 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the kirsch.

Step 10
Gradually whisk the butter, a few pieces at a time, into the hot custard, until the custard is smooth and fully combined. Transfer the custard to a clean bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming, then set aside to cool.

Step 11
Make the honey and cherry syrup. Put the butter and honey in a small saucepan and pour in the reserved soaking rum. Place the pan over a medium heat and leave the butter to melt. Stir to combine and set aside.

Step 12
Once the dough has risen, bake the Gugelhupf for 50–60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the ring comes out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately prick the sponge all over. Brush the sponge with some of the hot syrup, then turn it out onto a wire rack. Brush with more hot syrup and set aside to cool. Reserve the remaining syrup.

Step 13
Make the almond glaze. Put the icing sugar in a large bowl and slowly mix in enough milk to form a thick but pourable glaze. Stir in the almond extract to combine. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cake.

Step 14
Once the cake is completely cold, briefly beat the chilled custard mixture until smooth. Spoon it into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle.

Step 15
Place the cake on a serving plate, then pipe decorative dollops of custard around the top of the cake, top each with an amarena cherry and finish with a final drizzle of syrup. Serve any remaining custard on the side.