cherry cake recipe

Cherry cake, a delightful dessert that has graced many tables over the centuries, is more than just a sum of its ingredients. It’s a testament to the evolution of baking, cultural exchanges, and the human penchant for sweet indulgences. This cake, adorned with the vibrant red cherries, not only pleases the palate but also tells a story that dates back to ancient times.

Discover the secrets to the perfect cherry cake. Dive into our step-by-step guide for a moist, flavorful, and unforgettable dessert.

The History of Cherry Cake

Origins of Cherry Cake

The origins of cherry cake can be traced back to ancient civilizations. Cherries, being one of the oldest cultivated fruits, have been a part of human diet for thousands of years. Ancient Greeks and Romans, for instance, were known to enjoy cherries in various forms. It’s believed that they might have had early versions of cherry desserts, though not necessarily cakes as we know them today.

The concept of baking a cake with cherries might have emerged in medieval Europe. With the advent of ovens and refined baking techniques, bakers began experimenting with various ingredients. Cherries, with their sweet and tart flavor, became a popular choice for incorporation into cakes.

Evolution Over Time

As with many culinary delights, the cherry cake has undergone significant evolution over time. In the Renaissance period, with the availability of sugar, cakes became sweeter. The cherry cake of this era was likely richer and denser than its predecessors.

The 18th and 19th centuries saw the introduction of baking powder and baking soda, leading to fluffier and lighter cakes. The cherry cake adapted to these changes, with recipes calling for these leavening agents to produce a softer crumb.

In the 20th century, with globalization and the exchange of culinary ideas, cherry cake recipes began to vary widely. Some incorporated almond flavoring, while others introduced chocolate or even layers of cream. The cake also found its way into various cultures, each adding its unique twist to the classic.

Today, cherry cake stands as a versatile dessert, with countless variations across the globe. Whether enjoyed as a simple tea-time treat or as an elaborate birthday cake, its rich history and evolution make it a timeless favorite.

Essential Ingredients for Cherry Cake Recipe

  1. Fresh vs. Canned Cherries:
    • Fresh Cherries: These provide a natural and vibrant flavor to the cake. They are juicy and can be pitted and chopped before adding to the batter. Fresh cherries also give a burst of natural sweetness and color.
    • Canned Cherries: These are convenient and can be used when fresh cherries are out of season. They are often preserved in syrup, so it’s essential to drain them well before use. Canned cherries can be sweeter, so adjust the sugar content accordingly.
  2. Flour and Baking Agents:
    • Flour: The backbone of the cake, it provides structure. Typically, all-purpose flour is used, but cake flour can also be an option for a softer crumb.
    • Baking Agents: Baking powder and/or baking soda help the cake rise. Ensure they are fresh for the best results.
  3. Sweeteners: Sugar vs. Alternatives:
    • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is commonly used in cherry cakes. It provides sweetness and helps in the browning of the cake.
    • Alternatives: If you’re looking to reduce sugar, alternatives like honey, maple syrup, or artificial sweeteners can be used. However, the texture and taste might vary, so it’s essential to adjust the recipe accordingly.

Tools Needed for the Perfect Cherry Cake Discover the secrets to the perfect cherry cake. Dive into our step-by-step guide for a moist, flavorful, and unforgettable dessert.

  1. Baking Pans:
    • Choose the right size and shape depending on the recipe. Round, square, or loaf pans can be used. Ensure they are greased or lined with parchment paper for easy removal.
  2. Mixers and Whisks:
    • Mixers: Electric mixers, either stand or hand-held, make the mixing process easier and ensure a smooth batter. They are especially useful when creaming butter and sugar.
    • Whisks: Useful for manually mixing the batter and ensuring there are no lumps. They are also great for whipping cream or egg whites.
  3. Measuring Tools:
    • Accurate measurements are crucial for baking. Use measuring cups and spoons for dry and wet ingredients. A kitchen scale can also be handy for precise measurements.

Certainly! Here’s a step-by-step cherry cake recipe, along with variations:

Step-by-Step Cherry Cake Recipe


  1. 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  4. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  5. 2 large eggs
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup milk
  8. 2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Preparing the Cherries:
    • Wash the cherries thoroughly and remove the stems.
    • Using a cherry pitter or a knife, carefully remove the pits and halve the cherries.
    • Set aside.
  2. Mixing the Batter:
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
    • Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix until just combined.
    • Gently fold in the halved cherries.
  3. Baking to Perfection:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or line it with parchment paper.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Variations of Cherry Cake Recipe:

  1. Cherry Chocolate Cake:
    • Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.
    • Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips along with the cherries.
  2. Cherry Almond Cake:
    • Add 1 tsp of almond extract along with the vanilla extract.
    • Fold in 1/2 cup of chopped almonds along with the cherries.
  3. Vegan Cherry Cake:
    • Replace the eggs with 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce.
    • Use almond milk or soy milk instead of regular milk.
    • Use vegan butter or coconut oil in place of regular butter.

Pairing Suggestions for Cherry Cake

Discover the secrets to the perfect cherry cake. Dive into our step-by-step guide for a moist, flavorful, and unforgettable dessert.

Beverages to Complement Cherry Cake:

  1. Tea: A classic choice, black tea or green tea can be a great complement to the sweet and tart flavors of cherry cake. Earl Grey, with its hint of bergamot, can be particularly delightful.
  2. Coffee: A freshly brewed cup of coffee, especially a medium roast, can balance out the sweetness of the cake and enhance its flavors.
  3. Milk: For those who prefer a non-caffeinated option, a cold glass of milk can be refreshing and complement the cake’s richness.
  4. Sparkling Wine: A bubbly Prosecco or Champagne can add a festive touch and the effervescence can cut through the cake’s sweetness.
  5. Dessert Wine: Consider a sweet wine like Port or Moscato which can pair wonderfully with cherry cake.

Desserts to Serve Alongside Cherry Cake:

  1. Vanilla Ice Cream: The creamy texture and subtle vanilla flavor can be a perfect match for the cherry cake.
  2. Chocolate Mousse: The richness of chocolate can be a delightful contrast to the tartness of cherries.
  3. Lemon Sorbet: A tangy lemon sorbet can cleanse the palate and provide a refreshing counterpoint to the cake.
  4. Almond Biscotti: The nutty crunch of biscotti can add a different texture and flavor profile when paired with cherry cake.
  5. Cheesecake: A slice of plain or vanilla cheesecake can be a creamy and decadent addition to your dessert spread.

Storing and Preserving Cherry Cake

Refrigeration Tips:

  1. Cool Completely: Before refrigerating, ensure the cherry cake has cooled completely to room temperature to prevent condensation.
  2. Use Airtight Containers: Store the cake in an airtight container to keep it fresh and prevent it from absorbing other refrigerator odors.
  3. Avoid Direct Contact: Use parchment paper or plastic wrap to cover the cake’s surface, ensuring no direct contact with the cake to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Consume Within a Week: For best taste and texture, consume refrigerated cherry cake within 5-7 days.

Freezing for Longer Shelf Life:

  1. Pre-freeze: Place the cooled cherry cake on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. This prevents the cake from getting squished when wrapped.
  2. Wrap Tightly: Once pre-frozen, wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. This double layer helps prevent freezer burn.
  3. Label and Date: Always label your items before placing them in the freezer with the name and date, so you know when you froze them.
  4. Thawing: When ready to eat, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight. For quicker thawing, you can place it on the kitchen counter, but ensure it’s still wrapped to prevent drying out.
  5. Consume Within 2-3 Months: For optimal flavor and texture, consume the frozen cherry cake within 2-3 months.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  1. Overmixing the Batter
    • Mistake: Overmixing the batter can lead to dense or tough baked goods. This is because overmixing can overdevelop the gluten in the flour.
    • Solution: Mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. It’s okay if there are a few lumps left. Using a gentle folding motion rather than vigorous stirring can also help prevent overmixing.
  2. Choosing the Wrong Cherries
    • Mistake: Using cherries that are too ripe, too soft, or not suitable for the recipe can affect the taste and texture of the dish.
    • Solution: Always choose fresh, firm cherries. If the recipe calls for a specific type of cherry (like tart or sweet), make sure to use that variety. When in doubt, taste a cherry before adding it to your dish to ensure it’s the right flavor and texture.

Health Benefits of Cherries

  1. Nutritional Value
    • Cherries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They are also low in calories, making them a healthy snack option.
  2. Antioxidant Properties
    • Cherries are rich in antioxidants, which can help combat oxidative stress in the body. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are harmful compounds that can damage cells and contribute to aging and diseases. Consuming cherries can help boost your body’s natural defense mechanisms and promote overall health.


  1. What is the name of the cherry in cake?

    • The cherry used in cakes is often referred to as a “glacé cherry” or “candied cherry.” These cherries are preserved in sugar syrup and then dried. They are often brightly colored and are used as a garnish or ingredient in various baked goods, including fruitcakes and cupcakes.
  2. What is a baking cherry?

    • A baking cherry is another term for a glacé cherry or candied cherry. These cherries are specially prepared for baking purposes. They retain their shape and color during the baking process, making them ideal for decorative and ingredient purposes in baked goods.
  3. What is Sakura cake made of?

    • Sakura cake is inspired by the Japanese cherry blossom, known as “sakura.” The cake typically incorporates flavors and ingredients associated with sakura, such as sakura essence, pickled sakura leaves, and sometimes sakura flowers. The base of the cake can vary, but common ingredients include flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Some versions might also include a sakura-flavored cream or filling.
  4. How do you make cherries not sink in cake?

    • To prevent cherries from sinking in a cake, you can try the following methods:
      • Coat in Flour: Toss the cherries in a little bit of flour before adding them to the batter. The flour helps to reduce the weight of the cherries and gives them a bit of grip, preventing them from sinking to the bottom.
      • Layering: Instead of mixing the cherries into the batter, you can layer them in between the batter. Pour half the batter into the baking tin, add the cherries, and then pour the rest of the batter on top.
      • Size Matters: Use smaller-sized cherries or chop them into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces are less likely to sink compared to larger ones.
      • Batter Consistency: Ensure that your cake batter is not too thin. A thicker batter can help support the cherries and prevent them from sinking.


Cherries are a popular fruit known for their sweet and tart varieties. They have been consumed for centuries and have a rich history in various cultures. The cherry tree is also valued for its wood, which is used in making fine furniture. For more detailed information, you can refer to the Wikipedia page on cherries.


01 Chocolate Cake Shot

02 cherry cheesecake brownies

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