Friday, April 11, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Cherry Preserves Cake Squares

These cake squares are similar to the Cherry Pie Bars described in a previous recipe post, but are much less sweet, which is the way my husband prefers his desserts.  The recipe is based on one for Strawberry Jam Cake Squares, but I had a preference for cherry so I made the substitution (you can use any flavor of preserves or jams you have on hand).  This recipe is very quick and easy to make.  The squares are best served soon after baking, while still warm, and will dry out slightly if not eaten immediately, but they would still be good with a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of milk.  If you need a quick dessert that can be made with ingredients you already have in your kitchen, this one is perfect!

Cherry Preserves Cake Squares

1 C. cake flour*
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 C. melted butter
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. yogurt**
1 egg
1/4 C. cherry preserves
2 T. sliced almonds

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil.  Sift together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.  Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Stir in the vanilla and yogurt, then the egg.  Fold in the flour mixture just until smooth.  Spoon the batter into the lined baking pan and spread the batter evenly to the edges (the batter will be quite thick).  Spoon the cherry preserves into a sandwich bag and cut a small piece off of a corner of the bag.  Pipe the preserves as evenly as possible over the batter.  Sprinkle the top with the almonds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, turning the pan after 10 minutes if your oven does not heat evenly.  Remove from the oven and cool.  While still slightly warm, use the foil to lift the cake from the pan.  Cut the cake into nine squares and serve.

*I did not have cake flour, so I made my own by measuring out 1 C. of flour, removing 2 T., and adding 2 T. of cornstarch to replace the removed flour.

**If you do not have yogurt, you can substitute an equal amount of sour cream, buttermilk, or even cottage cheese whirled in a blender until smooth.

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