Are you looking for that one-bite-solves-all-the-worlds-problems-melt-in-your-mouth dessert?
Well, that’s a mouthful to say, just in and of itself, isn’t it?
These mini square cakes are the perfect bite-sized BFF to adorn your table for any type of gathering. They’re tasty, beautiful, and wrap the delightful flavors of our very own Champs Élysées herbal tea (or your favorite cherry tea).
Almond and Cherry: A Duo Made to Be
What if I told you that both almonds and cherries are stone fruits?
They are both fruits of the Prunus genus, which are members of the Rosaceae family. What makes a prunus fruit is that they have fruit surrounding a stone (or a pit). There are separate tree and shrub categories within prunus fruits, known as drupes. From here, the fruits of Prunus are categorized according to how the pulp is formed around the pit/stone.
Freestone fruits have flesh that pulls away easily from the pit and they’re easy to eat fresh. Clingstone fruits have pulp that is really stuck to the pit and is difficult to pull away without damaging the fruit. Both of these categories include cherries, almonds, plums, nectarines, and peaches.
Can you believe, cherries and almonds, really are a match made to be! No wonder we love them together so much!
Ice Ice (Icing) Baby
Wondering why I chose to go with icing instead of a traditional glaze for these mini square cakes?
For a few reasons:
In a traditional petit four recipe, the glaze will include corn syrup. I decided to forgo the corn syrup and swing in a different direction—honestly, just for the fun of it. I wanted to switch things up and be able to incorporate our wonderful Champs Élysées herbal tea into this icing, too. (It's seasonal, so I recommend another cherry tea like Garden Grove if it's not available.)
Instead, I played around with this recipe some and feel like I really created a beautiful balance of a nice icing that complements the cake, filling, and fully encompasses the flavors of our amazing Champs Élysées herbal tea.
I ended up adding in a little evaporated milk. This allowed for a nice smooth and creamy consistency, and great flavor, and still really allowed the flavors to pop through while showcasing the mini cakes tucked inside these beautiful exteriors.
What more could we ask for, right?
Fun Fact: Many almond extracts are made from the pits of various stone fruits—so they don’t go to waste.
Time for Tea: Tea Pairings
Looking for a partner in crime to pair with these mini square cakes? I have a black tea, green tea, and herbal tea to offer up!
Our House Blend black tea has a black vanilla tea base and finds just the right balance of all the right things. It’s bold, malty, citrusy, sweet, and has a sprinkle of creamy vanilla. It’ll leave your heart happy!
Our Garden Grove green tea is one I recommend to entice your tastebuds alongside this already dreamy cherry almond mini square cake. It’s light, calming, sweet, and delicious. The tart cherries, jasmine, and vanilla all do the trick; it’s great iced as well!
Last but not least is Vanilla Crème herbal tea. This grounding honeybush tea incorporates real vanilla extract giving you the absolute best that a vanilla crème tea has to offer!
Icing Coated Mini Square Cakes
- 3 cups flour
- 2 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cherries, pitted (if frozen, thaw first)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Champs Élysées herbal tea (or you may use Garden Grove green tea)
- 8 ounces water
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9x13 cake pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together your flour, baking powder, and salt.
With the paddle attachment in your stand mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, then add the almond extract and eggs, one at a time. Once all are added, beat on high for five minutes.
On low speed, add the flour mixture, beating just until smooth. Pour into your 9x13-inch pan and spread until the top is smooth.
Bake for 35-40 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean and the top is lightly golden brown and crackled.
Directions for Filling:
While the cake is cooking, let’s make the cherry filling!
First, steam your water and make an 8-ounce cup of Champs Élysées herbal tea (or Garden Grove green tea).
Take 1/4 cup of the tea and the rest of the cherry filling ingredients and place in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat on the stove.
Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring consistently until the cherries get soft.
Remove the sauce from the heat and put them in a blender and puree. Return to your saucepan and cook for another 5-8 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Make sure to stir constantly.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Once your cake has cooled, cover it in tin foil or saran wrap and place it in the freezer for at least one hour.
When it is time to remove it from the freezer, carefully remove your cake from the pan by ensuring the sides are free and not sticking by running a knife along the edges, then carefully lift it out using the parchment paper.
Cut out the inside of your cake, leaving about 1” off of each side all the way around. Discard the outer edges (or eat them up—yum!).
Carefully cut this large piece into six rows along the longer length.
Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off just the thin top crust of the cake and place it into a bowl and set it aside (this will be used to make your filling, later).
Continue with this until all rows of cake are complete, then cut each row into 5 mini squares, leaving you with a total of 30 mini cakes. Cut each mini cake in half, keeping the halves stacked for now.
*Tip: I found it easiest to cup my mini cakes in half once all were cut to size.
In a small bowl, crumble up your cake tops into fine pieces and measure out 1/2 cup. Mix 1/2 cup of the cake crumble and 1/2 cup of cherry filling and mix well.
Remove each top half of the mini cake and spoon a small amount of the filling on and flip the top cake half over (so the middle now becomes the top) and place it back on. Do this for each mini cake.
Directions for Icing:
To make the icing, start by rewarming your tea (from the filling), then place all ingredients into your stand mixer. Mix until thoroughly combined, on medium speed with your whisk attachment. Add food coloring if you’d like.
Let the icing cool for about 10 minutes before frosting your mini cakes.
Transfer the icing to a measuring cup or a small container that you can easily pour from. Arrange your mini cakes on a cookie rack and place parchment paper (or wax paper) beneath. Pour your filling over slowly to coat all sides.
Feel free to decorate with sprinkles or other edible fine art.
Enjoy these delectable desserts!