Monday, June 24, 2013

Brown-Sugar Cherry Cakes

As I mentioned in my last post, we went cherry picking and came home with about six pounds of cherries. Let me be honest, standing at the kitchen sink pitting cherries is the pits. Here's a tip: wear dark colored clothing and an apron, because bright red cherry juice will squirt all over you and stain your clothes. Also, have some good music playing to keep your mind off the drudgery of pitting cherries. (Can you tell I really didn't like this?)

When we arrived home from our cherry picking adventure, I baked a batch of brown-sugar cherry cakes. The directions say to fill the muffin cups 1/3 full, which I did, but I had a lot of batter left over. Rather than listening to the little voice in my head that said, "Use an extra muffin pan," I added more batter to the cups, filling them 1/2 full, before adding the cherries. That was a mistake. The batter overflowed and made removal from the pan a bit disastrous. Below is what they looked like before going into the oven. DO NOT replicate this! Your batter should not come up this high in the cups. Even though this first batch of cakes turned out quite ugly, they tasted great, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (which hid the flaws). 

Do not fill your muffin cups with this much batter or they will overflow and not cook properly.

A few days later, determined to master the recipe, I made the cakes again. This time I used a 6-cup jumbo muffin pan plus a standard muffin pan, ending up with six large cakes and eight small. I made sure to fill the cups only 1/3 full this time. In the jumbo cups, I used five cherries per cake and four cherries per cake in the standard cups. They turned out perfectly! They are delicious and very easy to make. Enjoy a couple warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream. Truly amazing. These are now one of my favorite summer desserts. You can find the recipe here.

Cakes made in a jumbo muffin pan come out wider and not as tall.
Cakes made in a standard muffin pan


  1. These look so good and thank you for the tip about when to add the cherries. Cherries are so good right now. I'd like to find a local spot to go cherry picking:) sounds like the place you went to was loaded with ripe fruit!

    Happy Monday!

  2. Yummy! Getting up on that ladder was totally worth it. Claudia, if you and your husband visit Denmark, let me know. It is an expensive country (especially food there). We travel frugally by visiting right before and after the peak season, and staying in moderate hotels like the Scandic chains (big breakfast included). Have a great week!

  3. How do you pit cherries? What's your technique?

    1. Hi Sheila. I have a very simple, small tool that I bought at the orchard years ago. It has a round wooden handle with indentations for your thumb and forefinger, and a hollow metal tube. You just insert the tube into the stem end of the cherry and push the pit out the other end of the cherry. Williams-Sonoma sells a fancy tool and OXO makes one with a "splash guard," but considering how infrequently I pit cherries, I think my $4 tool works just fine.

  4. Yum! Thanks for sharing the link to these, I will have to try these out when cherries are back in season here in Australia... they look delicious! x


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