Monday, 15 October 2007

Cherry Bakewell Tarts

I may well be lynched for saying this, but when I actually had proper Bakewell Tart from Bakewell in Derbyshire, I wasn’t that keen. I prefer the twist on the theme – the cherry bakewell which takes all the good points i.e. the pastry, the almond filling and adds sweet white icing and then, a cherry on the top.

Here’s the tart 'nude' i.e. before the icing and cherry (I'm sorry if that sentence got anyone excited and expecting something different!):

I’d been looking for a recipe that required glacé cherries since I purchased a ridiculously expensive pot of them at Borough Market . They look quite beautiful on the finished tart – quite literally the cherry on the icing on the cake!

Don’t worry about the jam bubbling up through the almond mix - as long as you ensure the almond mix completely covers the jam you won’t have any problems when baking.

The measurements set out in the recipe produced 14 tarts for me, but my tart tray is quite deep; if you use a shallow tray you may get more.

Make sure that you put the cherry on top before the icing has set so it can’t fall off:

How can they fail to please – just look at the layers: pastry, jam, almond sponge, icing, cherry. Plus, they look like a cartoon drawing of a cake; I think that if you asked a child to draw a cake most would end up with something like this.

For the rich shortcrust pastry:
225g Plain flour
175g Unsalted butter, soft
1 Egg yolk
2 teaspoons caster sugar
Cold water as required – I needed only a couple of teaspoons.

For the Bakewell filling:
100g Unsalted butter
100g Caster sugar
2 Eggs
50g Ground almonds
50g Self Raising flour
1 teaspoon Almond essence (I’ve only just discovered almond extract is available from Lakeland)
Strawberry jam

For the icing:
175g Icing Sugar
1-2 tablespoons water
7 Glacé cherries (half for each tart)

How to make:

- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the egg yolk and sugar and mix with a knife (it’s more effective than a spoon).
- Add enough water to bring the dough together – you’re aiming for firm but not hard. I always use my hands to do this as it gives you better control.
- If you’ve added too much water and the dough is sticky, don’t panic – just add a little more flour.
- Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
- preheat oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/400°F/ Gas mark 6 and grease 14 patty tins i.e. the individual little patty indents – not 14 tins, that would be silly!
- Roll out the pastry between two sheets of greaseproof paper, this saves you having to use any extra flour. However, if you prefer, roll out on a floured board.
- Using a cutter slightly bigger than the diameter of your patty tin indents, cut out 14 circles. You will have to re-roll the pastry to get this many but it’s very good natured and will re-roll several times.
- Line the greased tins with the pastry disks and spoon some jam onto each one. I used about half a heaped teaspoon for each tart.
- Now make the almond filling. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, and after each egg, add half of the ground almonds. The mix will curdle but don’ panic – as soon as you add the flour it will correct itself.
- Add the flour and almond essence and stir well. You can just mix it – there’s no need to fold or be careful.
- Spoon the mix into each pastry case and bake for 20 minutes. Mine took exactly this time.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before removing from the tin. This is because the pastry is fragile when fresh from the oven and firms as it cools.
- Mix together the icing sugar and water until smooth and glossy – adjust the measurements as required to get the right thickness. You’re aiming for thick but still runny, opaque and glossy.
- Spoon onto the top of each tart. Before fully set, add half a glacé cherry on top.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Viknits said...

You are so busy with your baking! I love it!
I'm thinking of making the choc cake for my birthday, will have to get my baking stuff from my parents house and have a go, it's ages since I baked!

Nevisknitter said...

Going to try these this week, my son loves cherry bakewlls fron the shop, hope he lives these too.

glamah16 said...

When I saw those I was reminded of illustrations in some childhood books that I'd salivate over. Your right. Ive never actually seen a real pastry look like that( in the US), but they look great.Where do you find the time? I have all these projects in my head, but in reality....

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Ooohhh, I love that stuff! Your Bakewell Tarts look wonderful!



holly may said...

hello! i am obsessed with mr. kipling's cherry bakewells and was perusing the 'net in search of a copycat recipe and i stumbled upon this page.

first of all, great blog and recipes! i will now be a daily visitor! but secondly i have a question...when you baked these, you didn't need to parbake the pastry shells before adding the cake filling? i just wanted to double check before i gave them a go in my own kitchen!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Holly May - welcome to my world of cake!
No parbaking is required at all. The pastry and the filling goes into the oven together and cooks at the same time. Couldn't be simpler!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon your blog whilst looking for a recipe for Cherry Bakewells. I made these yesterday and they were just lovely. Thanks for the inspiration!

PS - your shortcrust is awesome!

holly may said... :) i am forever in your debt. these turned out JUST like the real thing. what a success, thank you so much again! and i definitely agree with sm-matrix, this shortcrust pastry is the best i've ever had.

Anonymous said...

Phew! Its christmas time and no cherry bakewells anywhere! (*sob*).
Been having cherry bakewells at christmas since Adam was a boy...
Thanks for this christmas saving solution page.

Miss Cantankerous said...

Thank you very much for this recipe. I made a batch of cherry bakewells over the weekend and they got the thumbs up from anyone who tried them. I'll be trying out some of your other recipes as well now that I've found your blog

Anonymous said...

I am so excited for this recipe...i lived in England for several years and became addicted to Mr Kiplings cherry bakewells...but you cant get those in the states (well, you CAN but it's extremely expensive). I cannot wait to try this recipe!!

nasreen said...

hey! i tried your recipe and made the most wonderful tarts. i loved them so so much.
thanks! x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Nasreen

Thanks for your comment - I'm so glad you enjoyed them. Hope you try some more recipes!

Raffy said...

I made these cherry bakewells a while ago! they are amazing!!! Thankyou for lovely recipes!!:)

Sam said...

i have just been asked to make a giant cherry bakewell as a birthday cake your's is the first page i found and it looks good, will post when done to let you know results :)

Anonymous said...

I MUST make these this weekend! You have inspired me!

I bought the Mr. Kipling variety during the holidays and wolfed them down myself, finding excuses to have tea time 5 times a day, just so I could eat them. I tried to appear not to have an addiction, but I was discovered quickly when the tarts were all gone, lickety-split!

Can I use cupcake tins for this recipe, and only go 1/2 way up the sides? I do have the mini tart pans, but those are uber-teensy, and the cherry would look awkward on them. Thanks for your cake-a-licious advice!

BTW, did you know you can make a cake in a rice cooker? Just a fun variation when you are looking to experiment with your crusade.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Anonymous

Cucpake pan is fine - it's what I use. My pastry comes up level with the tin and the filling will dome up above that but not spill

Happy baking!

Anonymous said...

Thanks C.C. for your quick reply. You must have understood the urgency of my request! You're an awesome superhero!

homeworker said...

Thank you so much for this recipe - I used to make these the time until I lost my nan's recipe which seemed very similar, unfortunately she's no longer with us to ask for it again.
I shall enjoy trying these later!!

Anonymous said...

i made these a while ago and they were honestly the nicest thing i've ever baked. and i don't even like cherry bakewells. Thank you!

RacketEar said...

I made these in muffin tins and they were delicious. Only thing I would add is it helps to know you can fill the case to 2/3rds height or so without it significantly overflowing as it bakes.

Also, I put the excess pastry in a baking tin with some jam and put the last few spoons of cake thinly over that, followed by the icing and leftover cherries and I almost prefer the bakewell thins that I got when I baked it alongside the cakes!

Thanks for a great recipe :)

Anonymous said...

amazing!! perfect recipe im so happy i found this it will be going straight in my home recipe book x

Anonymous said...

Bravo!!!! found your recipe this morning and had to try it, I have just finished icing them now and had to try one....they are scrumptious! pastry is perfect although I will admit I was a bit wary of not blind baking it first.....definitely not needed.

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I can definitely recommend it.

Judy and Robin said...

Hi Caked Crusader. I just got back from a trip to the UK where I became addicted to Mr Kiplings Cherry Bakewells (or DR CRIPPENS as my father in law calls them!). I made a batch of yours for hubby's birthday - they didn't even last a day! Thanks a bundle from my teeth and hips!

Clarita said...

I'm so glad I found your recipie - my brother loves the Mr Kipling ones and I was looking for something similar that I could make for his birthday... i'm going to give this a go but instead of making lots of small ones i'm going for one giant one! wish me luck, and thanks!

Clarita said...

...And, as a follow-up: your recipie gave EXACTLY the right amount for one big cake made in an 18cm cake tin. Thanks again, even my uber-discerning family agree it was as tasty as the shop-bought ones!

tara said...

I know this is an old thread, so might not get an answer, but I'm going to attempt a big one for my fiance's birthday. I'm never confident with time in the oven, so do you have an idea of how long I should bake one in a 20cm tin for.
Thanks :)

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi tara

My answer is I don't know cos I've never done it! I'd give it the time stated in the recipe, then check it as 10 minute intervals.
Keep an eye on the edges because, if they're browning too quickly you might want to cover them with a bit of foil

Happy baking

tara said...

Wow, that was fast :)
Thanks a million, xxx

tara said...

Well... I made this recipe today in a 20cm round tin. I made a giant version as a birthday cake. I used 1 & 1/2 times the recipe and baked it at 180c for 40mins.
I turned out perfect. I Couldn't be happier,it tasted exactly like the Mr. Kipling version.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank You, xx

Anonymous said...


The Caked Crusader said...

Dear anonymous

I guess this instruction was a little too subtle for you:
- Line the greased tins with the pastry disks and spoon some jam onto each one. I used about half a heaped teaspoon for each tart.

Happy baking sweetie

Anonymous said...

Baked up a batch of petite cherry bakewell tarts (using the tins that are for bite-sized tarts)in preparation for William and Kate's nuptuals. So yummy! Your recipe seems to be the same one that is located in the book,"The National Trust Book of Tea-Time Recipes." That may help some of your followers locate this recipe, and even more scrumptious delights!

Anonymous said...

I saw your recipe for Cherry Bakewell and your comments about the one you had in Bakewell. This would have been a Bakewell Pudding and not Tart entirely different.

JohnM said...

If I wasn't married this would be a proposal. Awesome! The pastry in particular is very nice.

Anonymous said...

WOW! What an AMAZING recipe! I'm Only 11 yet i can make these by myself and My dad lovees them! THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU!!!

Anonymous said...

These are great my children think they are better than the real thing!

Anna Maria said...

I doubt I'll get a reply from this but:
First off thank you! I used to be addicted to the Mr Kipling cherry bakewells but I had to give up sugar completely about 4 years ago and I've really missed them! I have a sugar substitute that I am allowed to have and I can't wait to try and make some!
My question is, I have bought some pre-made pastry tartlets because the last time I tried to make pastry it failed miserably! As these will already be part cooked will I be able to use them or will they burn if I try?

--Anna Maria

The Caked Crusader said...

HI Anna Maria

Thanks for your comment - glad you enjoy my site.

Pre made pastry cases will probably work but I would think about checking the tarts earlier - maybe after 15 minutes. I've never tried this recipe with premade cases but I think the key will be the cooking time.

Hope this works

Happy baking

Swan said...

Thank you so much for this!!

The first time i baked these, my classmates thought i brought it!!!

Then i baked these for my boyfriend, i made a cake tower out of it, he loved it to pieces and wants me to do it again!!

The other day i baked these for a charity and I.T event, these sold out fast!! kya!!! :D


I enjoyed every moment in baking these!!

Thank you once again for putting this recipe up!! *hugg*>_<

Swan said...

Thank you so much for this!!

The first time i baked these, my classmates thought i brought it!!!

Then i baked these for my boyfriend, i made a cake tower out of it, he loved it to pieces and wants me to do it again!!

The other day i baked these for a charity and I.T event, these sold out fast!! kya!!! :D


I enjoyed every moment in baking these!!

Thank you once again for putting this recipe up!! *hugg*>_<

Bern & Becky said...

These are the bomb. Great recipe. One query...our pastry came out a little too flaky (although delicious none the less). What should we add (or take away) to firm it up and make less crumbly?

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Bern and Becky

Was it crumbly when you brought it together? Could be that you needed a little more liquid? It's the tricky thing with pastry - it's never the same twice due to weather conditions etc.
I wonder if your egg was smaller than mine - I always use large.

Hope this helps

Happy baking


Joy said...

Thank you so much for this. Just thought I'd share that I have never baked in my life and yet my daughter said she'd LOVE a giant cherry bakewell for her 18th birthday so I had to give it a go. I am sooo glad I did and I'm now feeling very pleased with myself haha

I doubled everything and (due to the 8" foil pastry cases being so shallow) I ended up with 3 cakes! Shame ;)
One decorated with a '1' and the other an '8' in cherries of course! My daughter loved them and we all loved sharing the spare one :). Deeeelish! Thanks again, Joy (uk) x

isabelle ward said...

hi i have been looking fora cherry bakewell recipe for ages i am mad on them cant wait to try this

issy said...

cant wait to make these i ave been looking for a cherry bakewell recipe or so long

Sarah McNeish said...

eThis is a brilliant recipe - I had searched the internet for a decent bakewell tart recipe for a long time and this was a life saver! It is being printed off and kept in my recipe book from now on.

Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I have used this recipe twice this week because they turned out so good the first time round! Amazing recipe and really quite easy which is saying something for me as I'm usually no good at baking!
I can see myself using this recipe many times in the future.
Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Great recipe - thought your readers might like some shortcuts.

You can make the pastry by putting everything in the food processor and pulsing until the paste just starts to come together. Roll out between cling film as Caked Crusader says (great tip that!)

You can make the filling by putting everything in the food processor and whizzing until thoroughly mixed.doesn't make any difference to the finished result.

The icing is also good if you use packet fondant icing sugar and mix it to make a thick but runny icing. Seems to have more body than glace.


Claire Cardew said...

I've just made a (failed) batch of cherry bakewell tarts following a recipe from a very well known and usually reliable source; it failed on 4 different counts from crumbly pastry to runny icing. I immediately consulted google and came across your recipe, it seems to be a much better version of what I just tried! Next time I'm using this :)

lisa said...

what a fantastic recipe now i can stop looking for the ultimate cherry bakewell recipe thanx to your recipe . i will certainly use your recipes again

christy davies said...

Oh my GOD I just stayed up until 4 AM making bakewell tarts for my husband who misses the UK. I'm in awe of them, they are the best thing I've ever made in my life ever and I love you now.

Rebecca said...

Fantastic recipe. tried a couple of similar recipes but loved this. So pretty!

Karla said...

Wonderful recipe! I live in Norway and missed the Mr Kipling bakewell tarts- these are just as good though! :9

Alex Cooke said...

Followed your instructions and my bakewells turned out great! Passed the recipie on to a few people too :)

Toni P said...

Hey Cake Crusader :)
I have found your site today and it is amazing! I found it while looking for a nice cherry bakewell tart recipe and judging by all the comments on this threat I have found the one to use!
I am a keen little baker myself and only started baking cakes in the last year and seem to enjoy it a lot and all my guinea pigs seem to love my creations too, which is always nice. I am actually being made to bake these bakewell tarts by request! I am very much looking forward to trying your recipe but I wanted to thank you in advance.
I can almost guarantee I will be back looking for other recipes of yours to try too :) Although, I cant seem to find where I can subscribe to your site? x

Pagey Cooks said...

The Caked Crusader! Wherever there is cake injustice, she'll be there, wherever there is a cry for "cake, more cake", you'll find her. And today, when my pathetic bleating about finding a Bakewell Tart recipe that actually worked had reached fever pitch, she indeed saved the day. Thank you, Caped Crusader, thank you. And the people of my small household in Berkshire thank you too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cake Crusader,

How much Almond mix actually needs to go into each tartlet case?



plasterer bristol said...

Yum my favorite, thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe.


Rachel said...

So, I used this recipe to make a huge cherry bakewell about 4 or 5 years ago and it left such an impression on my friends that I was asked to make it as a wedding gift this year. I had completely forgotten which recipe I used, but after following this recipe today, my suspicions were confirmed. This is the best cherry bakewell recipe of all time! I think I used raspberry jam last time but cherry and plum this time, but regardless of the jam the tastes and textures are spot on. Thank you!

Martin F said...

Just made these, they came out amazing. I bought the Mr Kipling brand at the same time so I could compare. These were definitely better. I ended up cooking mine for about 25 mins. Many thanks from Australia