Kirschstreuselkuchen (German gluten-free cherry streusel cake)

    This traybake is a German classic which I've made gluten free, and I've gussied up fresh cherries in case you can't find sour German cherries in a jar or tin. Sweet 'n sharp; gooey yet firm - this is a very easy cake to make, and tastes utterly delicious.

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    Ingredients
    Makes: 1 traybake

    • For the streusel
    • 100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
    • 100g demerara sugar or other large-grained sugar
    • 150g self-raising gluten-free flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • For the fruit topping
    • 1 lemon, juice only
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons plain vinegar or rice wine vinegar
    • 1 orange, juice only
    • 2 tablespoons cornflour or arrowroot powder
    • 700g fresh cherries (weighed whole), stoned and halved
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • For the cake
    • 330g gluten-free flour
    • 3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder (if using self-raising flour reduce to 1 teaspoon)
    • 200g unsalted butter, softened
    • 175g caster sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 tablespoons full-fat milk

    Method
    Cook:50min  ›  Extra time:10min cooling  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Add all streusel ingredients to a medium bowl, and work with your fingers until you have both large and small clumps (pea-sized, and slightly larger). Put in the fridge until ready to bake.
    2. To make the fruit topping, put the lemon juice, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon water in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil.
    3. While that’s heating, whisk the cornflour with the orange juice in a small bowl quite vigorously until thoroughly dissolved.
    4. Whisk in the cornfloured juice; continue to whisk until smooth and back to the boil. Add the cherries and nutmeg, turn the heat down to low, and leave to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
    5. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 160 C Fan / Gas 3. Lightly grease a 23x30cm (9×12 in) traybake tin and line with baking parchment, ensuring you leave an overhang on both long sides to act as ‘handles’ later.
    6. In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder with a fork.
    7. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl at medium-high speed until quite fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with the vanilla extract, beating continuously, until fully combined. Scrape the bowl down often.
    8. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing at medium speed all the while. Add the milk and continue mixing until very smooth (the batter will be somewhat thick).
    9. Scrape the batter into your prepared tin and smooth the top.
    10. Pour the cherries with their thickened juice evenly over the batter.
    11. Take the streusel bowl from the fridge. Work with your fingers to break up any really big clumps, and sprinkle evenly over the cake.
    12. Bake until the streusel topping lightly browned, 45 to 50 minutes, turning the tin halfway through for even baking.
    13. Remove the tin from the oven to a cooling rack. Let cool for 10 minutes, then use the paper handles to remove the cake from the tin. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. (This will keep in the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm, for several days.)

    Tip

    The original recipe from Luisa Weiss's Classic German Baking says to use sour cherries from a jar or tin (680g), and thicken the jar/tin syrup with cornflour (no water/juice/vinegar required).
    Ready-made cherry pie filling would probably work well here. Warm it in a saucepan before spreading on the batter (no cornflour/water/juice/vinegar required). This cake can also be made with frozen blueberries, Italian prune plums, or sugared rhubarb instead of cherries.

    See it on my blog

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