Bakewell tart

Bakewell tart

The Birthday Cake Book
Laura Edwards

This has become a classic. Created by accident, I understand, in the 1860s in Bakewell, much mystery surrounds its origins... which, surprisingly to us modern fans, didn’t include ground almonds. Make sure all the ingredients for the filling are at room temperature.

For the pastry


Quantity Ingredient
100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced, plus more for the tin
200g plain flour, sifted, plus more to dust
pinch salt
40g icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g golden caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g ground almonds
4 tablespoons good-quality jam, such as cherry, raspberry or strawberry
25g flaked almonds

To decorate (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
100g sugarpaste
claret food colour paste
christmas red food colour paste
edible glaze spray
1 vanilla pod


  1. Lightly butter a 23 cm round, loose-bottomed metal flan tin (not ceramic; it won’t cook the pastry properly). To make the pastry, tip the flour, salt and icing sugar into a large bowl or food processor. Rub in the butter using your fingertips, or blitz. Lastly, add the egg yolks gradually until the dough comes together. If it is still too dry, add a very little cold water or, if too wet, a little flour. Try not to overwork the pastry as it will toughen it.
  2. To line the tin, lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the pastry to about 3 mm thick. Lift it with the rolling pin, line the tin with the pastry and prick all over with a fork. Trim the edges and press well into the tin. Chill for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C. Line the pastry case with a piece of baking parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans (or raw rice). Cook for about 15 minutes, remove the paper and cook for a further few minutes; the pastry will be pale gold. While the pastry is cooling, make the filling.
  3. Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and fluffy. Start adding the eggs very slowly, then add the almond and vanilla extracts. Fold in the ground almonds. Spread the jam over the base of the pastry, then spoon the almond mixture over the jam – ensuring it is level – and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the centre is firm to the touch. Cool.
  4. To make the two giant cherries, colour the sugarpaste with the claret and Christmas red food colours. Divide in half and roll into two balls. Indent the tops of each with the end of a paint brush or similar tool, and spray with the glaze for a shine. To make the cherry stalks, split the vanilla pod nearly in half, keeping one end intact. If necessary trim the two stalks to neaten them, but add the valuable seeds or trimmings to a jar of vanilla sugar. Place the tip of each into the indent in each cherry, and position into the centre of the cooled tart just before serving.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again