sour cherry buttermilk cake.

mother’s day is almost here!

everyone has a special woman in their lives to be grateful for, and i’m sure you’ll be honoring them on mother’s day. handmade cards, breakfast in bed, and flowers picked from the garden (or a neighbor’s, shhh!) are all major parts of every mom’s favorite sunday.

unfortunately, i can’t draw very well. if i were to give my mom a handmade card, it would definitely look as if five year old me drew it.

also, i’m not terribly garden-savvy. it seems that my dad is the only one in our family with a green thumb. he grows rare, beautiful orchids, expertly trims the myriad of bonsai plants and trees at their home, and all of the citrus trees he tends to bear so much fruit during the seasons, the neighbors happily cart most of it away!

hmmm. now that i think about it, maybe he has two green thumbs. lucky guy.

anyhow. the best way i can think to treat my mom on mother’s day is to bake her something delicious.

to say that my mom has a sweet tooth is the understatement of the century. she proudly admits to eating ice cream for dinner sometimes, which is totally awesome. my mom loves candy so much that, even though my dad buys her a box of chocolates for valentine’s day, she always buys another one for herself!

she’s a damn smart lady.

this sour cherry buttermilk cake is the perfect brunch-time cake for mother’s day. the cake is subtly sweet, and the plump, dried sour cherries are just tart enough to make you pucker up.

sour cherries, by the way, are absolutely delicious. i believe they’re nearly in season, if not already making an appearance at your local farmer’ market. if you can find fresh ones, by all means please use them! they’ll likely burst slightly atop your cake while baking in the oven, allowing their sweet-tart juices to mingle with the batter. delish.

i adore dried fruit, so when i spied dried sour cherries in my grocery store, i knew they were coming home with me. i briefly soaked them in kirsch, a deeply flavorful cherry brandy. before scattering them atop the to-be-baked cake, i drained them well.

i may or may not have drank the kirsch afterwards. i’ll never tell.

anyhow, this cake falls into my favorite cake category: anytime cakes. this is a perfect cake to serve during brunch, or after a light lunch.

for my mom, i’d serve it to her for dinner. because that’s how she rolls.

i’d serve this cake with fresh, softly whipped cream, and a glass of champagne with a shot of kirsch. a kirsch royale, if you will!

this recipe yields two 9-inch cakes, so serve one on mother’s day, and wrap up the other and freeze for another day. yum!

if you can’t find sour cherries, feel free to substitute any fresh or dried berry that you’re fond of: blueberries or raspberries (or both!) would be absolutely amazing in this recipe.

happy mother’s day, mom. you’re the most wonderful, warm, hilarious woman i know. thanks for teaching me to embrace my unique silliness, and to try and spread a little sunshine wherever i go. i hope someday i’m half as amazing as a mother as you’ve been to me. i love you, mama!

i hope you all have a wonderful mother’s day, whether you’re a daughter, a son, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a best friend, or a doggie mom like me. i hope you spend sunday celebrating the women in your life with the people that you love.

and please, celebrate with cake. it’s only right.

sour cherry buttermilk cake

Yield: two 9-inch round cakes

if you can't find sour cherries, fresh or dried raspberries or blueberries would taste delicious in this cake!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1 cup dried sour cherries (fresh would be lovely here!)


preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in center.

butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

beat in eggs, one at a time. beat in vanilla.

beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding to butter mixture with buttermilk until just combined.

pour batter into cake pans, and scatter the cherries across the top of the cake.

sprinkle the tops of each cake with granulated sugar.

tap pans against countertop to release any air bubbles.

bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

cool completely on a wire baking rack before removing from pans.

the cakes will keep, stored in an airtight container at room temperature for five days.

adapted from gourmet

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3 Responses to “sour cherry buttermilk cake.”

  1. #
    merry jennifer — May 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve made a similar version of this Gourmet recipe and it was delicious. I love your version with the sour cherries. I think your mom would be quite proud of you for this cake – and for everything else you mean to her.

  2. #
    jaclyn — May 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    thank you so much, you’re the sweetest! the basic buttermilk cake from gourmet is absolutely brilliant, and i’m planning on using it again soon to showcase some of the amazing summer berries we get here!


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