Vanilla Cherry Cake

cherry cake 2 Vanilla Cherry Cake

It’s the last weekend of cherries at the Cherry Pit at the CFM, and since we’re trying to squeeze the very most out of this last summer long weekend I made sure there was a bowlful on the table. I’m totally digging cherries this year – I’ve been halving them to scatter over pancake batter as it cooks and to stir into muffins instead of more predictable muffinberries. Driving through the Okanagan – cherry central – roadside stands provided a regular stash of totally local non-chip car snacks. The last remnants of summer are flip-flop tan lines and cherry-stained fingers.

cherry cake Collage 1 Vanilla Cherry Cake

Traditionally, I set aside the less than perfect or squishier cherries for baking with or tossing into smoothies or jam. Sometimes I’m on the ball and toss them in a bag in the freezer – other times I set them aside in a bowl on the counter to encourage the fruit flies. One day, I was motivated to bake a cake – using a recipe of Anne Murray‘s. Hers is more of a Christmassy version, made with copious amounts of candied cherries, but really the buttery pound cake acts as a perfect vehicle for fresh cherries, which I find aren’t used often enough in baking. Also? Vanilla and cherries get on so well together. And it’s the perfect sort of cake to transport to a backyard barbecue or party for which you’ve been asked to bring a little something to eat.

cherry cake Collage 2 Vanilla Cherry Cake

But really, this cake is a nice blank canvas – it could take on ripe peaches or apricots, blueberries, or chopped apples tossed in cinnamon-sugar as the market offerings change. A good pound cake is a nice thing to have tucked away in your repertoire – and it doesn’t have to be a Bundt; the batter would make two loaves instead if you’d rather use two 4×8-inch loaf pans instead, in which case they’d likely take about 50-60 minutes to bake. The drizzle is just icing sugar, thinned with cream and a drop more of vanilla.

Vanilla Cherry Cake

Adapted from Anne Murray. (Yes, the Anne Murray.)

1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup canola or other vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
grated zest of a lemon (optional)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3 cups pitted, halved cherries

Preheat the oven to 325F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until pale and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each, then beat in the extracts and lemon zest.

Combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour with the baking powder and salt; add to the butter mixture in thirds, alternately with the milk. Toss the cherries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour and stir into the batter.

Pour into a well-greased 10-inch Bundt pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until golden and the top is springy to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Serves 16.

pixel Vanilla Cherry Cake
button print gry20 Vanilla Cherry Cake

September 01 2013 02:23 pm | breakfast and cake and dessert

15 Responses to “Vanilla Cherry Cake”

  1. Aimee Wimbush-Bourque on 02 Sep 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Now I have to try and find some cherries in stores. This looks too good to wait another whole year to make. Or perhaps you could send a slice? It’s worth asking. ;)

  2. Vivian on 02 Sep 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Whoa, even in Kelowna last week there were NO Cherries available. Guess you are more northern along the coast than the fruit is available for the season for southerners? Dang! It always seems that the recipes for fresh fruit stuff arrives just after the stuff ain’t in the stores anymore. Guess we have to figure out substitutes.

  3. Vivian on 03 Sep 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Just one question: where does the 1/4 cup oil come in?

  4. Colleen on 03 Sep 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    My fave spot for you-pick sour cherries is right here in Alberta! We got an amazing haul from their dwarf trees a couple of weeks ago. Prairie Perfect Orchards is just outside of Innisfail. They grow varieties suitable for the prairies – the size of the fruit is amazing. Great for pies, sauce, juice and even dried.
    http://www.prairieperfect.ca/

  5. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes on 03 Sep 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    How beautiful! I could see myself stirring in some chocolate chunks into this decadent cake.

  6. Stephanie {Clockwork Lemon} on 04 Sep 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    It’s so true that fresh cherries are ignored in most baking recipes.. and look at them nestled so tasty inside that cake!

  7. Jacqueline on 07 Sep 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    @Vivian, I believe the oil goes in with the butter and sugar at the beginning. I looked for the original recipe which seems to call for 1 and a half cups butter and no oil. At least that’s what I’ve gone for and the batter seems ok. I guess I’ll find out in an hour or so if it worked! :) I’m using peaches for this one and it smells fantastic! Thanks for the recipe, Julie!

  8. Sam on 29 Sep 2013 at 10:35 am #

    This looks fantastic! If I substitute blueberries, could I add them frozen?

  9. Julie on 29 Sep 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Absolutely! Straight from the freezer. Any berry would work!

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  15. Jenny on 28 Jan 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Yes the oil goes in with the butter I think, I used dry cherries and it worked well

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