Homemade Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake is an easy homemade cake recipe with fresh cherry flavor in every bite. When cherries are in season this is the best cake to make – so easy, simple, and perfect with a scoop of ice cream on a warm night.

Cherry cake on a white cake stand and a slice on a plate.

I can hardly wait for cherries to show up during the spring and early summer. I love the sweet, tart flavor and, of course, the color. It’s hard not to just snack on them all day, but I manage to save some to make this easy cherry cake.

It’s such a simple dessert that really lets the cherries shine. This and my cherry bread and cherry bars are some of my favorite dessert recipes to make this time of year.

Easy Cherry Cake Recipe

This cake is made with pastry flour so the crumb is soft and delicate. If you don’t have pastry flour, don’t worry. I’m sharing how to make it yourself to save a trip to the store.

The cake is enriched with half and half plus whole eggs and an extra egg yolk. They add lots of moisture so the cake is nice and tender.

Don’t forget the cherries. They’re folded into the batter so when you slice the cake, you see their beautiful red color.

This really is the best summer cake. So easy and delicious.

Cherry cake dusted with powdered sugar on a white cake stand.

Ingredients

  • Pastry flour
  • Large eggs plus one egg yolk
  • Half and half
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Melted butter
  • Pitted cherries cut in half

Substitutions

  • If you don’t have pastry flour, you can make it with all-purpose flour and cornstarch. For every cup of flour, remove two tablespoons and replace them with the same amount of cornstarch.
  • No half and half? You can mix equal parts 2% or whole milk with heavy whipping cream.
  • Instead of melted butter you can use the same amount of vegetable oil.
  • You can also swap the vanilla for almond extract.
Cherry cake on a white cake stand and a slice on a white plate.

How to Make the Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease and flour an 8″ baking pan (20 cm). Mix the cherries with one tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and set them aside. If you wish you can also stir in 2-3 teaspoons of flour to keep the cherries from sinking to the bottom.

The cherries and sugar mixed in a white bowl.

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl (or stand mixer), beat the eggs, extra yolk, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Dry ingredients whisked in a white bowl and eggs and sugar beaten in the mixing bowl.

Mix in the melted butter (or oil) and half and half.

Mixing in the buttermilk and oil.

Add the dry ingredients in two batches, mixing between each.

The batter mixed and cherries mix in.

Once combined, fold in the cherries and then pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.

The batter in the cake pan before baking.

Bake the cake for about 35 to 40 minutes and then let it cool in the pan at room temperature. 

The baked cake in the pan.

For serving, dust the cooled cake with powdered sugar and serve slices with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Cake Tips

This cake is really very easy to do, but be careful not to overmix when you add the flour. I add the flour in two parts and mix just until combined. If you overmix, your cake will have a tighter tougher crumb.

If you can’t find fresh cherries, you can use the same amount of frozen ones but I don’t recommend thawing them first. 

How do you pit cherries easily?

The easiest way is with a cherry pitter. Or, you can use a chopstick, metal straw or even a piping tip to pit your cherries. Remove the stem and then push the chopstick into the cherry where the stem was. Push the pit out of the cherry.

How to store it

This cake will keep well for a few days at room temperature. Keep it covered with plastic wrap. You can also store it in the refrigerator.

Or, freeze the cake for up to two months. Double wrap it in plastic wrap and then let it thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving it.

A slice of cherry cake on a white plate.

More Easy Recipes

I hope you grab some cherries before they’re out of season so you can make this homemade cherry cake. It’s the perfect summer dessert or snack cake – Enjoy!

Cherry cake on a white cake stand and a slice on a white plate.

Homemade Cherry Cake

Rosemary Molloy
Cherry Cake is a simple homemade cake recipe with fresh cherries in every bite. It's soft, moist, and delicious. Serve it with ice cream for a wonderful summer dessert.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 305 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cups pastry flour*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup half and half**
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (divided)
  • ¼ cup butter melted and cooled (or vegetable oil)
  • 1½-2 cups pitted cherries halved

*To make homemade pastry flour for every cup of all purpose flour remove 2 tablespoons and substitute with 2 tablespoons of corn starch.

    **To make homemade half and half combine ½ whole/heavy or whipping cream with ½ milk (whole or 2%).

      EXTRAS

      • 2-3 tablespoons powdered/icing sugar

      Instructions
       

      • Mix the cherries with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar.
      • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour an 8 inch (20 cm).
      • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
      • In the mixing bowl beat the eggs, yolk, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes, add the melted butter and half and half. Add the flour mixture half at a time, beating to combine. Fold in the cherries. Transfer to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan. Dust with powder sugar before serving if desired and or serve with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!
      • Fold in the cherries. If you wish you can also stir in 2-3 teaspoons of flour to keep the cherries from sinking to the bottom.
      • Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes. Let cool in pan. Dust with powder sugar before serving if desired and or serve with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

      Notes

      If you wish you can toss the cherries with a couple of teaspoons of all purpose flour and mix to coat. Then add the cherries to the batter and continue with the recipe. If using frozen cherries, don’t thaw them but lightly toss them in flour, the flour will help absorb some of the liquid.
      The Cherry cake may be kept at room temperature for a day if the area is not too warm, after that the cake should be covered with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to a week.
      The cake can also be frozen be sure to wrap the cake tightly with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or freezer bag. The cake should keep up to 4 – 6 months.
       

      Nutrition

      Calories: 305kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 6gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 248mgPotassium: 216mgFiber: 4gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 430IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 86mgIron: 1mg
      Keyword cherry cake, cherry cake recipe, Homemade cherry cake
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

      6 Comments

      1. 5 stars
        I made this using all purpose flour. Cut the cherries in half. Added 1 teaspoon of almond extract and baked it in a 9 in. × 7 in glass pan. It was excellent. Great recipe. Thank you.

          1. Thanks for quick reply. So I use same amount as the pastry flour and no cornstarch?

          2. Hi Laurel, yes the same amount and no cornstarch, cornstarch is only for those who don’t have pastry flour and have to make homemade. Hope that helps.

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