Simple Almond Cherry Clafoutis

A cast iron pan containing baked cherry clafoutis topped with almonds and powdered sugar surrounded by fresh cherries.

Simple Almond Cherry Clafoutis is a classic French dessert made with seasonal fresh cherries and basic baking ingredients. Ready in under an hour, this custard-y flan like dessert is fancy cooking with minimal effort. 

The BEST recipes are the ones that sound impressive (like you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen all day), look appetizing, and taste unbelievable. Cherry Clafoutis ticks all those boxes.

There’s a reason why this French dessert is regarded as a classic; It’s full of fresh cherry flavour and has an unbelievably comforting egg custard/baked flan-like texture. Serve warm with a light dusting of powdered sugar and maybe just a little vanilla ice cream.

Cherry season is the very best season there is! As soon as I see the first cherries at the markets, I begin planning out recipes for baking and preserving. Some of my favourites are Easy Amaretto Sour Cherry Jam and Amaretto Cherry Pie. Can you sense a theme here? I love heightening the flavour of cherries with almonds! 

A cast iron pan containing baked cherry clafoutis topped with almonds and powdered sugar surrounded by fresh cherries.

Simple Almond Cherry Clafoutis

Beyond the incredibly fun to pronounce name (kla-FOO-tee), this easy dessert is a treasured summertime classic from the Limosin region of France. When fruit is fresh and plenty, the ideal way to finish a meal (beyond a quick digestif) is with a slice of Cherry Clafoutis. 

It’s interesting to note that classic preparations of Clafoutis contain unpitted cherries. This is because the pits of cherries give the finished dessert just a touch of almond flavouring. For this recipe, and for safety’s sake, I have pitted the cherries and added sliced almonds in addition to using almond extract. If you prefer, you can use vanilla extract or add a splash of kirsch for flavouring.

If you’ve ever made a Dutch oven pancake, you will notice that it is very similar in style and texture to a clafoutis. Both are simple to prepare and highly customizeable. I highly recommend any leftover slices of this clafoutis to be eaten at breakfast! 

Dark red cherries line the bottom of a cast iron pan.

Cherry Pits, Almond Essence, and Cyanide

True almond essence (Noyaux) is made by soaking the inner kernels from pits or stones of cherries (or apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums) in neutral spirits. The released chemical compound, Amygdalin, is also present in almonds, giving them the characteristic almond aroma. 

A cast iron pan containing baked cherry clafoutis topped with almonds and powdered sugar surrounded by fresh cherries.

Once Amygdalin encounters water (during chewing, digestion, or other ways), it begins to break down and release poisonous hydrogen cyanide gas. Not to worry, though. If you prefer to use unpitted cherries, the tiny amount of cyanide released by the cherries is minute.

Additionally, if you would like to make your own Noyaux extract, check out this very informative and highly scientific article on Cyanide in Cherries (and how to remove it) HERE

A cast iron pan containing baked cherry clafoutis topped with almonds and powdered sugar.

How to Make Cherry Clafoutis

With a little practice, you can make Cherry Clafoutis in the time it takes to pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Prepare the baking dish (cast iron or pie dish) with a layer of butter, then spread a little layer of sugar over the bottom.

Arrange the cherries on top of the sugar. It really doesn’t matter how many you use but they should all be in a single layer. Pack them as tightly as they’ll go for maximum cherry flavour.

A cast iron pan containing baked cherry clafoutis topped with almonds and powdered sugar surrounded by fresh cherries.

Some recipes call for scalding the cream/milk prior to whipping up the batter. I have tried both methods and didn’t see a difference in the final texture. Simply add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together. The consistency of the batter is similar to that of pancakes. 

Next, pour the batter over the cherries and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until done.

A silver cake server holds a piece of cherry clafoutis topped with powdered sugar and almonds above a pan of the same clafoutis.

How to Tell When Cherry Clafoutis is Cooked

The clafoutis is ready to eat when a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean (try to avoid testing through a cherry!).  It should be gloriously puffy and have browned edges. Once removed from the oven, don’t panic, it will deflate slightly as it cools. 

Storing and Leftovers

Should you have any leftovers, cover the clafoutis and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Eat the leftovers cold or warm your slice in the microwave for a short amount of time. 

A silver cake server holds a piece of cherry clafoutis topped with powdered sugar and almonds above a pan of the same clafoutis.

Other Clafoutis Variations

Though cherry is THE classic clafoutis flavour, you can make this simple dessert using many types of fruit. Try changing it up with:

  • Any stone fruit – apricots, plums, nectarines, or peaches.
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Saskatoon berries
  • Haskap or Honey Berries
  • Cranberries
  • Caramelized Bananas
A cast iron pan containing baked cherry clafoutis topped with almonds and powdered sugar surrounded by fresh cherries.

How about a savoury clafoutis? Treat it like a crustless quiche and add:

  • Any kind of cheese 
  • Greens such as kale, spinach, Swiss chard, or spinach.
  • Fresh herbs
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, squash, corn, or green beans.
  • Mushrooms
A silver cake server holds a piece of cherry clafoutis topped with powdered sugar and almonds above a pan of the same clafoutis.

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A pinterest image of a silver cake server holding a piece of cherry clafoutis topped with powdered sugar and almonds above a pan of the same clafoutis.
Yield: 8 servings

Simple Almond Cherry Clafoutis

A silver cake server holds a piece of cherry clafoutis topped with powdered sugar and almonds above a pan of the same clafoutis.

Simple Almond Cherry Clafoutis is a classic French dessert made with fresh seasonal cherries and basic baking ingredients. Ready in under an hour, this custard-y flan dessert is fancy cooking with minimal effort.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cherries or enough to cover the bottom of a cast iron pan in a single layer
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • powdered (icing) sugar to finish

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Prepare a 10 inch cast iron skillet by rubbing it with butter. Scatter 1 tbsp sugar evenly over the base.
  3. Arrange pitted cherries over the sugar.
  4. Whisk flour, salt, 1/2 cup sugar, almond extract, cream, milk, and eggs together in a bowl (or use a blender) until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain.
  5. Pour the batter over the cherries.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or puffy and golden on the edges. A cake tester inserted into the batter (not a cherry!) should come out clean.
  7. Let cool slightly, then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 300Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 7g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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31 comments

  1. Shailaja Desai

    With cheeries in abundance right now, this makes a perfect summer dessert! Great images too Bernice.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It sure does! Thanks for stopping by Shailaja!

      Reply

  2. Gloria

    Yes for cherry season. Yes for rustic desserts. Perfect for dessert, and a great addition to brunch. I would eat this for breakfast.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      hahaha. Busted!! I totally did have some for breakfast!

      Reply

  3. Kathryn Donangelo

    This dessert was so good and beautiful too! Loved all of the wonderful flavors!

    Reply

  4. Laura

    I love cherries and this looks absolutely delicious! And such an informative post, great job! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I’ve been learning so much lately…we’re saving all of our apricot pits to make Noyaux now!

      Reply

  5. Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer

    With cherries in season, this is definitely getting made over the weekend. My in-laws and husband are HUGE cherry freaks and I know they will crazy over this! I love how simple the recipe is and how gorgeous the shots are!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Wonderful!! I know they’ll enjoy this Clafoutis as much as we did.

      Reply

  6. Ginni Kelley

    You are an amazing baker Bernice, and this is one beautiful Clafoutis! I would love to try your idea for a savoury version….cherries are not as abundant in this part of the world and once you’ve tasted the Canadian ones, the others don’t compare in any way 😉

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Ah, that’s too bad. Try mango…I bet it would be amazing. I like this dessert because it’s not too sweet and really lets the fruit shine through.

      Reply

  7. Paige

    Well I know what I’m going to make the next time I see some fresh cherries at the farmers market!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Yes!! Please try it…it’s a keeper!

      Reply

  8. Debbie

    I have to agree with you cherry season is the most wonderful time of the year. Since it is short lived I always have them in my fridge as long as they are available. This Almond Cherry Clafoutis has such simple and basic ingredients I decided to give this a whirl and I am so glad I did. We served our with some fresh whipped cream and it was wonderful..thanks for such a simple but delicious recipe.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So glad you gave it a try Debbie! It really is a gem of a dessert.

      Reply

  9. Sharon

    Thanks for clarifying the pronunciation! I was totally saying the “s” on the end in my head. If I want to sound fancy I better say it right! lol Love cherries and LOVE this dessert. 🙂

    Reply

  10. Marisa F. Stewart

    Cherries and almonds are destined for each other. The desserts they make are mouthwateringly good. The clafoutis is just the type of rustic dessert I enjoy making so when I found cherries at the store I tried out this recipe. It was all I hoped for — we added a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream to top it off.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Glad you enjoyed the clafoutis…good call on the ice cream!

      Reply

  11. Jenny

    Your almond cherry clafoutis looks so good. I have never attempted to make clafoutis, always felt intimidated but your recipe is making me want to try. Can’t wait to enjoy it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      You should try it Jenny. This is the least intimidating French dessert there is.

      Reply

  12. Jenny

    Your almond cherry clafoutis looks so good. I have never attempted to make clafoutis, always felt intimidated but your recipe is making me want to try. Can’t wait to enjoy it!

    Reply

  13. Marwin Brown

    Wow, what a tasty and unique dessert recipe- this looks amazing!

    Reply

  14. Jo

    That’s amazing looking treat. I would happily eat this for breakfast, brunch or dessert. So good!

    Reply

  15. Misty Eilar

    Perfect timing as I have just harvested some cherries from my garden this weekend. I made this and Cherry Pie. So So good.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      ah, glad you enjoyed it Misty. It’s a favourite in this house.

      Reply

  16. Carrie Robinson

    Clafoutis is such a classic dessert and so easy to make too! I need to bake one up this week. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It really is a classic worth making.

      Reply

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