There are cakes that are good for special occasions, like holidays and birthdays, and there are everyday cakes. Everyday cakes should be easy to make when you’re in the mood to treat yourself, but they can come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. This Buttermilk Cherry Cake is just one example of a great everyday cake. It comes together easily and the cake is topped with a little sugar instead of frosting – and, most importantly, it is delicious.
The cake has a light, soft crumb and a nice buttery flavor, thanks to both butter and buttermilk in the cake batter. It is actually quite tasty on its own, but it is also a great backdrop for fruits and that is where the cherries come in to play. The cherries add bright pops of color and flavor to the cake. A little vanilla and almond extract in the cake batter also serve to highlight the cherries.
I like to keep jarred cherries packed in juice on hand for baking. They’re easy to work with in recipes like this one, as well as in pies and cobblers. Fresh cherries will work just as well here, just make sure to pit them before using them. If you have frozen cherries, you don’t need to defrost them before stirring them into your batter, but you might need to add an extra couple of minutes to the baking time, since your cake will start off on the cool side before it goes into the oven. And if you’re not a big fan of cherries, you can always use this cake batter with blueberries, raspberries or any other berry you prefer.
Buttermilk Cherry Cake
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups cherries (fresh, frozen or jarred)
1 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, or lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Stir half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in the rest of the dry ingredients, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Fold in cherries.
Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the top with 1 tbsp coarse sugar.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan, then turn it out onto a cake plate (and reinvert, so the sugar side is on top) to serve.