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Sour Cherry Coffee Cake

I’m in Portland right now, but I made this sour cherry coffee cake not long before I left Brooklyn, with sour cherries we picked from my father’s tree.

Bonnie helped us pick the first round of cherries off the tree,

It was a 4-foot-all dwarf tree when my parents first bought it, but now it dwarfs us all.

We picked cherries for two days, and ended up with about 3 dozen jars of jam, 4 pies, 2 coffee cakes, sour cherry syrup, sour cherry molasses, at least a gallon of pitted sour cherries in the freezer, and a Persian sour cherry meatball polow (a sort of pilaf, a rice dish). And we left about a third of the cherries on the tree because we were stuck heading out of town before all of them had fully ripened, and some of them were too high up and too far out from the house for us to reach no matter how we tried.

Next year, maybe we should just rent a cherry picker and make no travel plans for June just to be sure to pick them all!

2007: Apple Caramel Ice Cream
2006: Blueberry Oatmeal Crisp with Lime Ice Cream

Sour Cherry Coffee Cake
(adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
for the batter
1 1/3 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp plus a pinch of salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 C (1 stick, 8 tbsp) unsalted butter
1 C plus 1 tbsp (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 C whole milk
2 C pitted sour cherries
for the crumblies
1 C flour
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 C butter

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Prepare a 9×9 square baking pan by buttering and flouring it.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp salt for the batter. Set aside.

In a separate bowl (I always use my KitchenAid for this), beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form firm, glossy peaks. Transfer them to a separate bowl and set aside. (You don’t have to clean the mixer bowl between steps, mind.)

Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in half the dry ingredients, then all the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

Take the bowl away from the mixture and stir in 1/4 of the egg whites with a spatula. Fold in the rest of the whites. Fold in the sour cherries.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Make the crumblies by mixing together the non-butter crumbly ingredients. Cut the butter into the mixture until the texture is crumbly. Spread over the cake batter.

Bake for about 55 minutes, or until a knife or cake tester comes out clean.

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11 Responses to “Sour Cherry Coffee Cake”

  1. Kitt says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of cherries! Lucky you.

    Enjoy your trip!

  2. Mireille says:

    If you are in Portland, might I suggest that you go to the Pearl Bakery?

  3. Katie says:

    The cake looks wonderful. How great to be able to pick your own cherries.

  4. kyburg says:

    VERY jealous. Sour cherries!

  5. This must be a grand sour cherry season across the country. I made a “Double Sour Tart” (sour cherries and sour cream), blogged the recipe at http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com/2008/07/really-from-scratch-sour-cherry-tart.html and cited your blog, and linked to post and your recipe. I did not, however, have the nerve to include a rear view of me picking the cherries :-)

    Claire @ http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com

  6. mr.ed says:

    Auntie Liz reports sour cherries were $4/pt., $7/qt. this week at the farmers market in suburban Cleveland. So you have roughly eleventy-seven thousand dollars worth.

  7. Sophie says:

    We would like to feature this coffee cake recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

  8. Jessica says:

    wow looks great I hope it tastes as good as it looks :)

  9. mojtaba says:


  10. I like cherries.Here they look so nice.

  11. [...] Cherry Archives 2008: Sour Cherry Coffee Cake 2007: Almond Buttermilk Biscuits with Sour Cherry Compote, Butterscotch, and Candied Pickled Ginger [...]

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