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Fresh Cherry Cake

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This fresh cherry cake is sweet and fruity, a light and tender cherry cake topped with a rich white chocolate ganache and garnished with a crown of plump, in-season cherries. The moist cake is studded with fresh cherries baked inside, and our cherry cake recipe includes an easy tip to prevent the heavy fruit from sinking. This dessert is a wholesome, from-scratch cake recipe and one way to make the most of cherry season!

Fresh cherry cake with a drizzle of white chocolate ganache

When we start to see fresh cherries popping up at the grocery store and farmers markets, it’s a pretty exciting time! Cherry season is short and sweet (pun intended!), so we like to take advantage of it! With a touch of almond flavor, juicy cherries, and an ultra-moist cake, this recipe is simple yet heavenly.

There’s something about the combination of cherries, almonds, and white chocolate that makes this treat irresistible. It’s right up there with our favorite cherry recipes, like this Rainier Cherry Clafoutis with Amaretto and our Black Forrest Cherry Cake. These sweet, decadent treats are the cherry on top of summer (again, pun intended 😉 )!

What makes this recipe extra special is that it’s simple to prepare and it’s not a major baking project. The tender, one-layer cake comes together easily, and so does the white chocolate ganache. There’s no piping involved and the only cake decor it requires is a few more fresh cherries on top!

A bowl of cherries

The Ingredients:

This fresh cherry cake recipe from scratch has a few ingredients that make the cake ultra moist and so flavorful! Sour cream gives it a really moist, tender crumb, while almond extract, lemon zest and a touch of nutmeg pair wonderfully with the flavor of the cherries. Here is a list of the ingredients but make sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

You will need:

  • Fresh cherries
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg
  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sour cream
  • Almond extract
  • Lemon zest
  • White chocolate
  • Heavy cream

How to Make Cherry Cake:

Since cherries are a heavier fruit, the issue that many people experience when making a cherry cake is that the fruit sinks into the cake batter. But don’t worry, we’ve troubleshooted that! So, how do you keep cherries from sinking in cherry cake? It’s actually quite simple- the secret is flour. By tossing the pitted cherries into an extra two tablespoons of flour, you will prevent the cherries from sinking into the cake. BAKING IS MAGIC.

Here is a quick summary of the process, make sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

To make this fresh cherry cake:

  1. Prep the cherries: Rinse and dry the cherries and set aside 15 (you’ll use them later to top the cake). Stem, cut, and pit the remaining cherries.
  2. Make the cake: Mix the batter, add it to the cake pan along with the cherries and bake the cake.
  3. Make the white chocolate ganache: Make the white chocolate ganache while the cake is in the oven.
  4. Glaze the cherry cake: Pour the ganache over the cake and arrange fresh cherries on top.

Cherry cake with white chocolate ganache being poured on top

Baking Tips:

Do not over-mix the batter after you combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients. Overmixing will develop the gluten in the flour and make the cake tough.

Sift the dry ingredients together before you combine them with the wet ingredients. When you sift the flour and leavening together it helps them get more evenly distributed throughout the batter. It also removes clumps and lightens the batter.

Overhead view of fresh cherry cake covered with white chocolate ganache

More Tips and FAQs:

  • For the easiest cake removal and cleanest edges, line the inside rim of the pan with parchment paper.
  • Don’t forget to toss the pitted cherries with flour! This will prevent the fruit from sinking into the cake batter.
  • Our fresh cherry cake recipe only requires about half of the white chocolate ganache. Store the other half in a sealed container and keep it refrigerated for your next project, like this White Chocolate Cake!
  • The ganache should set for a few minutes before adding the whole cherries to the top. This will keep the cherries in place.

A slice of fresh cherry cake with white chocolate ganache and fresh cherries

A slice of this fresh cherry cake is pure, summer goodness! The flavor combination is bliss, and we can’t wait for you to try it for yourself. Happy baking!

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Fresh cherry cake with a drizzle of white chocolate ganache

Fresh Cherry Cake

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Our light, moist cherry cake is studded with fresh cherries baked inside.  The easy, white chocolate ganache is drizzled over the top and garnished with a crown of fresh cherries. 

Ingredients

Prepare the Cherries:

  • 1 pound fresh cherries, divided

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the White Chocolate Ganache

  • 15 ounces white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Cherries:
  2. Place the cherries in a colander and rinse under cold water then drain on a kitchen towel.  Set aside about 15 cherries and keep refrigerated.
  3. Stem, cut, and pit the remaining cherries and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform/cheesecake pan.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick and fluffy about 5 minutes. 
  4. Stop the mixer and add the oil, sour cream, almond extract and lemon zest.  Mix on low speed for 1 minute to combine. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients a third at a time whisking on low speed just until combined.  Do not over mix the batter.
  6. Place the prepared cherries in a bowl and toss with the 2 tablespoons of flour.
  7. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and arrange 1/2 of the cherries on the batter.  Pour the remaining batter on the cherries and smooth the top.
  8. Arrange the remaining 1/3 of the cherries on top of the batter.  Transfer the cake to the oven and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
  10. When the cake is cool, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, release the side latch and lift off the pan rim.  
  11. Insert a thin sharp knife between the metal pan bottom and the cake to loosen and gently slide the cake back onto the wire rack.  

For the White Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Fill a saucepan with enough water so it is 2 inches deep.  Bring the water to a gentle simmer.  Do not boil the water.
  2. Place a metal or glass bowl over the warm water.  Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water.
  3. Place the chocolate and cream in the bowl and stir frequently.  When the chocolate is almost melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the rest of the chocolate melt, stirring frequently.  Any remaining bits of chocolate will melt as it continues to sit over the warm water.
  4. To glaze the cake with the ganache, place a sheet of parchment paper beneath the wire rack to catch drips.   Pour the ganache in the center of the cake and carefully tip the cake, turning it so the ganache flows over the edges and drizzles down the sides.
  5. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes, then arrange the un-pitted, seemed cherries on the top.  Set the cake and cooling rack directly into the refrigerator to finish cooling.

To serve:

Remove the cake from the refrigerator and transfer the cake to a cake plate or pedestal, slice and serve.

Notes

  • Optional:  Lining the inside rim of the pan will ensure a smooth, clean edge to the baked cake as well as allowing for easy removal of the cake.
  • Tossing the pitted cherries with the 2 tablespoons of flour will prevent the cherries from sinking to the bottom.
  • You will only need about half of the ganache. Transfer the remaining portion to a sealed container and refrigerate for another project.
  • Allow the ganache to set for a few minutes before adding the whole cherries to the top.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 355mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 2gSugar: 38gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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