plain flour, to dust
100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing cake tins
120g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 eggs
110g almond meal
50g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
400g fresh cherries, pitted (you will end up with about 200g once they are pitted) or 200g well-drained, bottled morello cherries
50g crumbled amaretti biscuits

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1.Preheat the oven to 160°C fan-forced and grease six large muffin cups (200ml capacity) well with butter.
2.Dust with a little plain flour, tapping out any excess. Alternatively, line with paper muffin cases.
3.In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
4.Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5.Place the almond meal, self-raising flour and salt in a separate bowl and whisk together.
6.Add to the creamed butter mixture, stirring gently until combined.
7.Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and top with the cherries, gently pressing them into the batter.
8.Sprinkle with the crumbled amaretti biscuits, then bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes or until golden, risen and cooked through.
9.Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 minutes before carefully turning them out onto a wire rack to cool further.
10.Serve warm or at room temperature. These cakes are best eaten the day they are made while the amaretti topping is crunchy, but will keep happily in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two – just warm slightly before serving.

Images and text
from The Plain Cake
Appreciation Society
by Tilly Pamment,
photography by Tilly
Pamment. Murdoch
Books, RRP $45.