Why have I never made an almond and cherry baked good before? My apartment smelled so wonderful after baking these; the almond smell is dreamy! These muffins are a bit more on the mini-cake side, meaning I don’t think they’re the healthiest muffins I’ve ever made. That’s not to say I didn’t have one for breakfast a few times . . . and they’re really good with tea!
We ate one of these while they were warm, which is when they are at their best, but they were also great the next day. I froze the rest as soon as they were cool, and they were still really good when thawed.
I found the recipe on this site: Pretty Simple Sweet. The original recipe uses sweet cherries, but I used sour cherries, and I think they pair really well with the almond flavour. I tend to like to balance sweetness with tartness.
The recipe calls for baking the muffins for a few minutes at a higher temperature, then lowering the temperature for the rest of the baking. My oven is really finicky; I have to set it for higher than the required temperature, but then I have to lower it once it is at the right temperature or it will get too hot. So for me this was quite challenging. The good news is, by checking for a light brownness, and then using a toothpick to check if they had baked through, they baked successfully. Yay!
What you need:
- 1 & 3/4 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup yogurt (I use 3.5% fat, my homemade recipe)
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 & 1/2 cups (300 grams) cherries, halved and pitted
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, plus extra to sprinkle on top
What you do:
Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners; I also sprayed them with baking spray.
- Toast the 1/2 cup of almonds in a frying pan or in the oven.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Mix the egg with the yogurt, oil, and vanilla and almond extracts in a medium bowl.
- Pit and cut the cherries in half. If they are really juicy or if you’re using frozen berries, you can toss them in just a bit of flour to prevent bleeding. Prepare the cherries right before you are going to add them to the batter so that your finished product will look pretty.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold the batter with a rubber spatula just until combined. Be careful to not over-mix, which would toughen the final product. We want nice light muffins. You can expect the batter to be thick and lumpy.
- Fold in the toasted almonds and cherries.
Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with a few un-toasted almonds.
- Bake for three minutes, then reduce the temperature of the oven to 375F/190C and bake for 12-17 minutes more. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick; the muffin should be tender but not wet.
- Cool the muffins still in the tins for about 10 minutes, then place the muffins on a wire rack to cool.
- Allow the muffins to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They can be stored on the counter for a day or two, or frozen for a few months.