Cherry Bakewell Cheesecake

Serves: 6-10
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I made this cherry bakewell cheesecake on a New Years Eve special of Saturday Kitchen and it’s an absolute go-to for me when I want a show-stopper dessert but want to do the prep ahead of time. If you’re into dinner parties and being sophisticated but struggle with timings, this is a great one for you. But more about the dessert…

With a decadent layering of black cherries, frangipane and cream cheese, this is truly an indulgent pud. Store in the fridge the night before and present to guests with the expectation of a chorus of many “oohs” and “aahs” the next day. Weirdly enough, I’m not a huge cheesecake fan. Not something I should probably admit whilst I’m trying to convince you to make this, but that’s EXACTLY why you should make it. This is the cheesecake that converted me. I was determined to create a recipe for the cheesy skeptics amongst us and I think I’ve cracked it.

Plus, I love any excuse to whack on some retro glacé cherries. They just hit different.

You can also find this recipe and more on my BBC Food page here.


metric imperial

For the Sweet Pastry

  • 1lb 2oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 1/4oz icing sugar
  • 90g icing sugar
  • 1 3/4oz ground almonds
  • 45g ground almonds
  • 10 1/2oz butter, cubed and chilled, plus extra for greasing
  • 300g butter, cubed and chilled, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 egg yolk, chilled
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 egg yolk, chilled
  • 1-2 tbsp ice-cold water
  • 1-2 tbsp ice-cold water

For the Frangipane

  • 4 1/2oz butter, at room temperature
  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2oz icing sugar
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 4 1/2oz ground almonds
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1oz plain flour
  • 25g plain flour

For the Filling

  • 14oz tin black cherry pie filling (not cherries in syrup)
  • 410g tin black cherry pie filling (not cherries in syrup)
  • 11 3/4oz full-fat cream cheese
  • 340g full-fat cream cheese
  • 1lb 2oz mascarpone
  • 500g mascarpone
  • 3 1/2oz caster sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10fl oz double cream
  • 300ml double cream

To Decorate

  • 10 glacé cherries, halved
  • 10 glacé cherries, halved
  • 10 whole cherries, with stalks
  • 10 whole cherries, with stalks
  • 3 1/2oz flaked almonds, toasted
  • 100g flaked almonds, toasted


  1. To make the sweet pastry, you can use your hands, a food processor or a stand mixer. To combine the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and butter with your hands, rub the ingredients between your thumbs and fingertips. If using a food processor, use the pulse function or in a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and add the butter a few cubes at a time. Whatever the method, keep going until you have fine breadcrumbs.
  2. If you're working by hand, make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the egg mixture, then add the ice-cold water (just enough so that the dough starts to clump and bind) and work quickly to incorporate. If you're using a food processor or stand mixer, add the eggs, pulse or mix, then gradually add the water. Once the dough starts to clump, tip out the mixture and bring it together briefly by hand. Do not overwork it or the pastry will be elastic, rather than crisp.
  3. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and form each into a ball. Press the balls with the palm of your hand to turn each into a fairly flat, but fat disc (this will help with rolling out the pastry). Wrap the pastry discs tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
  4. Grease a 23cm/9in springform cake tin that is 4cm/1½in deep with a little butter and lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the pastry to a disc about 30cm/12in in diameter and 3mm thick. Carefully transfer to the cake tin and let it sink into the base. Tear off a little piece of pastry, roll into a ball and use to gently press the pastry case into the corners around the base. The pastry should come about halfway up the side of the tin. In the end, the cheesecake filling will come up above the edge of the pastry. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork and line with a big piece of scrunched-up baking paper. Fill with baking beans. Transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Once the pastry has chilled, blind bake the case in the oven for 15 minutes, until just browning.
  6. Meanwhile, make the frangipane. Using a hand whisk, whisk the butter in a bowl until it is fluffy and light. Add the icing sugar and ground almonds and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition, then finish by folding in the flour until everything is incorporated. Set aside.
  7. To add the filling, remove the pastry from the oven (leave the oven on). Remove the baking beans and baking paper and pour half of the black cherry filling into the pastry crust, spreading the cherries out in an even layer. Chill the remaining cherry filling in the fridge – it can be used to decorate the cheesecake or use in another recipe. Spoon all of the frangipane mixture over the top of the cherry filling, smoothing out evenly to cover. Return to the oven for a further 25–30 minutes, until the frangipane is golden but still a little soft to touch.
  8. While the tart is baking, whisk together the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla in a bowl with a hand whisk, until light. Pour in the cream and whisk again until smooth and fully combined. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack for about 1–2 hours. Cover the cheesecake with the cream cheese topping and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and decorate with the remaining half of the cherry filling, if you like, as well as the glacé cherries, fresh cherries and flaked almonds. Cut into slices to serve.