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Vanilla Cherry Cake

cherry cake 2

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

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

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

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16 comments on “Vanilla Cherry Cake

  1. Aimee Wimbush-Bourque
    September 2, 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
    September 2, 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
    September 3, 2013 at 9:27 am

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

  4. Colleen
    September 3, 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.

  5. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes
    September 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm

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

  6. Stephanie {Clockwork Lemon}
    September 4, 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
    September 7, 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
    September 29, 2013 at 10:35 am

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

    • Julie
      September 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

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

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  14. Jenny
    January 28, 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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