Summer is the perfect time to bake with delicious in-season cherries! This easy recipe for Fresh and Fluffy Cherry Coffee Cake gives you the perfect excuse to do just that. The cake is moist and fluffy, with a sweet cherry flavor and a delicious streusel crumb topping!
It’s no secret that baking with fruits in season makes a treat taste SO much better. That’s why I love making desserts like this cherry crumb cake! As a trained pastry chef I love to make the most out of each seasons produce.
Cherries give baked goods such a wonderful flavor. They’re tart and sweet at the same time, with a delicate flavor that is both unique and refreshing. They’re perfect in pies and cobblers, and of course cakes! This cherry coffee cake is one of my favorites.
This cherry cake is versatile and can be served as a summer dessert or for a sweet and tasty breakfast! I love to enjoy a slice (or two) with my morning coffee.
It also feeds 10-12 people depending on how big you cut the slices. I know I would want a BIG slice of this!
WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS RECIPE
- It’s beautifully sweet and tart, with a delicate cherry flavor.
- This cake is moist and fluffy, with a delicious crumb topping!
- It’s versatile and can be served as a dessert or for breakfast.
- The ingredients are simple and the recipe is easy to follow.
For the crumb topping:
- All-Purpose Flour – Makes up the base of the crumb topping by adding its dry crumbly texture.
- Brown & White Sugar – Creates a deliciously sweet crust on top of the cake.
- Cinnamon – Gives the crumb topping its warm and fragrant flavor.
- Salt – Balances out the sweetness.
- Cold Butter – Makes the topping nice and crumbly when baked and adds buttery flavor.
- Pitted Cherries – I used fresh sweet cherries for this recipe, but you can use any variety you enjoy. Instructions on how to use frozen cherries are below.
- Unsalted Butter – Adds flavor and moistness to the cake along with a buttery flavor.
- Granulated Sugar – Sweetens up the base of the cake.
- Egg – Binds all of the ingredients together and also adds richness to the batter.
- Vanilla Extract – Adds a light vanilla flavor that enhances this dessert.
- Buttermilk – This type of milk is perfect for baking because it’s thick and tangy and helps tenderize the flour.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – Helps the cake to rise and become fluffy.
- All-Purpose Flour – Gives the cake its structure.
- Cinnamon – A small amount of cinnamon warms up the banana flavor and compliments the sweetness.
- Salt – Balances out all of the flavors in the cake.
- Optional Glaze – By using a mix of cream and powdered sugar, you can add a sweet drizzle to the top of the cake that rounds out all of the flavors.
HOW TO MAKE CHERRY COFFEE CAKE
Assemble the crumb topping: You’ll want to make this first so it has time to chill. Mix the flour, sugars, and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the cold butter to the mix and press it into the mixture using a pastry cutter or your fingers until damp crumbles form. Store in the fridge.
Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 10” springform pan with baking spray and set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients: Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream on medium speed for one minute. Scrape down the sides and then add the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract making sure to scrape down the sides. Mix for one minute.
Assemble the dry ingredients: In another bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Use a whisk to fully combine.
Create the coffee cake batter: Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk to the wet ingredients 1/3 at a time and mix until just combined.
Dust the cherries: Add the cherries to a bowl and add the remaining flour on top. Toss to combine. Mix them into the prepared batter lightly.
Bake, cool, and glaze: Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the crumb mixture. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake is set. Let it cool completely. Mix the sugar and cream until a glaze is formed, then drizzle it on top of the cooled cake. Let harden. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS
- When mixing the wet and dry ingredients, do not overmix the batter. Overmixing can result in a tough cake.
- For the cherries, I like to use fresh sweet cherries, however, you can substitute frozen or even canned cherries. If using frozen, make sure to thaw them completely and drain any excess cherry juice before adding them to the batter.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a substitution by adding milk and vinegar. For every one cup of buttermilk needed, add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then fill the rest of the way with milk. Give it a stir and let it sit for five minutes before using.
- Everything except the butter for the crumb topping should be at room temperature. This will help everything mix together more easily and prevent any clumps.
- Let the cake cool completely before glazing. This will help the glaze to set and not drip down the sides of the cake.
- To properly measure out the dry ingredients, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level it off with a knife. Do not scoop the flour directly from the container as this will cause you to add too much.
- For a fun twist, squeeze cherry juice into the glaze for a bright pink-colored frosting.
- Instead of vanilla, use other flavor extracts such as almond, coconut, maple, butter, or cherry.
- Substitute peaches, raspberries, or blueberries for the cherries for a fun summer dessert.
- Make a cherry almond cake by adding sliced almonds to the batter along with the cherries.
STORAGE AND FREEZING
Storing: This cherry cake can be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer. If stored at room temperature, it’s best to keep it in an airtight container or wrapped tightly. It will stay fresh for about four days stored this way. If you need to store it for longer, pop it in the fridge where it will last for up to one week.
Freezing: To freeze, wrap the cherry cake tightly in plastic wrap, then place it in a freezer-safe bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing. The cake will stay fresh for up to three months frozen. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the fridge or for a few hours on the counter.
What pan is best for coffee cake? I like to use a springform pan but you can use any 9″ round cake pan as long as you spray it well with baking spray and/or line it with parchment paper.
How do you pit the cherries? You can use a cherry pitter or poke the cherries with a sturdy straw to push out the pit.
MORE Breakfast recipes
Fresh and Fluffy Cherry Coffee Cake
For crumb topping:
- 1 cup all purpose flour 120g
- ½ cup brown sugar 107g
- ¼ cup sugar 50g
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup butter unsalted, cold, diced small.
For cherry cake:
- ½ cup butter 113 g unsalted softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200g
- 1 egg large
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour 240g + 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon or more to taste
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ pound cherries pitted
- ½ cup confectioners sugar 56g
- 1 tbsp cream
- Make the crumb topping. In a small bowl combine the 1 cup flour, 1/2 brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 -1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt.
- Use a pastry cutter to cut in the ½ cup butter or pinch the butter into the mixture with your fingers gently until small clumps are formed no larger than the size of a pea. Place in the fridge while you make the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for one minute. Scrape down the sides and add the 1 cup sugar. Cream for 2 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Scrape the bowl again and add the egg and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl combine 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, ½ tsp kosher salt ½ tsp cinnamon and ¼ tsp baking soda. Mix lightly with a fork or whisk to combine.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk starting and ending with the dry ingredients- ⅓ at a time- mixing in between each addition.
- Take the remaining 1 tbsp flour and dust it over the cherries. Mix to combine and add to the batter, mixing lightly.
- Spray a 10” springform pan with baking spray and pour in the batter.
- Top with the crumb topping and bake for 50-55 minutes on until the cake is no longer jiggly.
- When the cake is cooled, mix together the ½ cup confectioners sugar with 1 tbsp cream and drizzle all over the cake.