This vegan Cherry Bakewell Tart is easy to make and so delicious! The flaky and buttery shortcrust pastry is filled with homemade cherry jam, a velvety frangipane and topped with fresh cherries and flaked almonds. This traditional British tart makes the perfect treat for any occasion!
Would you believe that the first Bakewell tart I tried was 2 years ago?! I always had the idea that the combination of the sweet shortcrust pastry, cherry jam and frangipane would make an overly rich, sickly dessert, but I was so wrong! I tried it for the first time at a vegan café in London, and I fell in love with it! I was surprised at how light it was; the velvety frangipane balanced out the sweetness of the jam perfectly! Since my first time trying Bakewell tart, I’ve made it several times at home, and I feel I’ve now perfected my vegan Bakewell tart recipe, so I wanted to share it on my blog.
WHAT IS BAKEWELL TART?
Bakewell tart is a traditionally British bake consisting of a flaky shortcrust pastry which is filled with either cherry or raspberry jam, and a velvety frangipane made of ground almonds. It’s usually topped with cherries, flaked almonds and some like to add a drizzle of icing on top.
WHAT IS FRANGIPANE?
Frangipane is a variation of soft, spreadable custard that bakers commonly use as a filling in tarts, galettes, and puff pastries. Frangipane is a mixture of butter, eggs, ground almonds and sugar. I created an egg-free and dairy-free frangipane for this recipe, and it turned out just as delicious!
HOW TO STORE BAKEWELL TART
Cherry Bakewell tart is best eaten on the day its baked because the crust will lose its crispness the longer it’s left to wait. If you’re not eating it right away, you can store it for 2-3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
CAN BAKEWELL TART BE FROZEN?
Yes, you can freeze Cherry Bakewell Tart, but as I’ve mentioned before, this tart is most delicious when it’s eaten fresh. If you’re going to freeze it, then wait for it to cool down completely after it’s been baked, then place it in a container or wrap it in cling film, and store in the freezer for up to a month. To thaw the Bakewell tart, remove it from the freezer and leave out room temperature for around 4 hours, or until it’s thawed. If you’d like to serve the tart warm, then you can bake it at 180C for 10 minutes.
VEGAN CHERRY BAKEWELL TART INGREDIENTS:
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
FOR THE SHORTCRUST PASTRY:
Plain flour - Used to make the vegan shortcrust pastry.
Icing Sugar - The icing sugar will give the shortcrust pastry a subtle sweetness. You could use caster sugar instead of icing sugar.
Vegan block butter - I used the Flora vegan butter block, but any plant-based butter will do. using a block butter will give the shortcrust pastry a light and crumbly texture. I wouldn’t recommend using margarine as it won’t create the same outcome.
Sunflower or Vegetable oil - I find that adding a bit of oil to the dough helps to give to shortcrust pastry a flaky texture.
FOR THE FILLING:
Ground Almond - the ground almonds are what gives the frangipane a velvety and light texture.
Baking powder - additional raising agents will lighten the texture of the frangipane.
Plain flour - flour is added to the bind the ingredients in the frangipane and to give it a firmer texture.
Unsweetened Almond Milk - Unsweetened almond milk is my go-to plant-based milk when it comes to cooking and baking. Depending on which brand you use, the taste is quite mild so it’s great for both sweet and savoury dishes. You could substitute almond milk with other neutral tasting, unsweetened plant-based milks such as oat or soy milk.
Maple Syrup - used to sweeten the frangipane. I wouldn’t recommend substituting the maple syrup with granulated sugar or fruit syrups.
Vanilla extract - the vanilla extract adds a lovely flavour, but it is optional. You could use almond extract instead.
FOR THE TOPPINGS:
Fresh Cherries - not only do the fresh cherry look beautiful on top of the tart, but they also add a lovely texture when baked.
Flaked Almonds - the flakes almonds add a delicious nutty taste and crisp texture to the tart.
HOW TO MAKE BAKEWELL TART
To make the shortcrust pastry, place the flour, icing sugar, salt, vegan butter, sunflower oil and 2-3 tbsp cold water in a large bowl & mix until the ingredients start to come together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the dough with cling film & place in fridge to chill for 15 mins.
preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Lightly dust a clean surface or a large piece of baking paper with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to create a ½ cm thick circle big enough to fit a 20cm (8 inch) tart tin. Lift away the dough and place into the tart tin. Press edges down and trim away the excess dough. Prick the base of the pastry shell with a fork. Line the pastry case with a large piece of baking paper – to make it easier to remove the baking beans, make sure the baking paper is large enough to extend out from the sides of the pastry case. Fill the lined pastry case with baking beans, and then place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the baking paper and baking beans, and bake for 5 more minutes until lightly golden.
Remove the shortcrust pastry from the oven, and let it cool down for 10 minutes. Once the crust has cooled down, evenly spread 9-10 tbsp of cherry jam along the base.
To make the frangipane, combine the ground almonds with the plain flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup and almond milk. spoon the frangipane on top of the cherry jam layer and spread it evenly. Scatter the tart with flaked almonds and place the cherry halves on top.
Bake the tart at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set and the top is lightly golden. Allow to cool down for 10-15 minutes before serving.
TIPS FOR MAKING BAKEWELL TART:
I’d recommend you use a tart tin with a removable loose bottom so that the Bakewell tart is easier to remove once it’s baked.
I highly recommend using the gram measurements rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cup conversions are never as accurate as grams.
For the best, flaky pastry, make sure that you don’t overwork the dough. Before rolling the dough out, place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
When rolling out the dough, make sure to keep it about ½ cm thick – if the pastry is too thick, it won’t cook through, and it’ll be hard to slice.
Make sure your vegan butter and milk are chilled when preparing the shortcrust pastry as it’ll give it a crisper texture when baked.
Roll the dough out onto a large piece of baking paper to make it easier to transfer into the tart tin.