Sunday, June 13, 2010

Maddie & Me...Sweet Cherry Coffee Cake

This week I'll be posting from our oldest daughter, Erin's home in New Jersey.  I'm here babysitting Madison, our 19 month old granddaughter while her mom is in Istanbul, Turkey for an HR conference.

There's nothing like starting them early and, like my mother, I'm fearless when it comes to the challenge of baking with a toddler!  I know, wholeheartedly, that my love of baking came from my mother starting me early.  In fact, I made my first yeast rolls at the age of seven for our Thanksgiving meal.  I know some of you have seen me cooking with Ari, our almost two-year-old grandson, on Kelly & Kandyce's blog~Notions & Threads.  He and I had an enjoyable afternoon last month baking banana muffins and bread with some really ripe bananas.  It's so much fun to see the enthusiasm that both Ari and Maddie put in to baking and I look forward to a week with my little phenom of baking in addition to playtime.

Sweet Cherry Coffee Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 T vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/4 cups flour (plus an additional 1/4 cup to toss the cherries in)
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 cups pitted cherries
Preheat oven to 375F-degrees/convection.  Butter and flour a 9"x13" baking pan. (my daughter didn't own one, so I ended up using 2- 8"x8" glass baking dishes).  Maddie helped with the buttering and enjoyed every minute.
Use a KitchenAid with the paddle attachment or large bowl and a hand-held mixer.  Beat butter until fluffy, then, add the sugar.  Scrape down the sides and add the egg.  Beat well.  
Adding the sugar, Maddie really got into it!  I think she nabbed a bit to taste.  Add the flavorings and mix well.
I sifted the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add it to the batter, alternately with the milk, ending with the flour.  Mix until combined.  Scrape batter into the prepare pan(s).  Toss the 2 cups of pitted cherries with the additional 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.  I arranged them on top of the cake batter and then, let Maddie "push" them down into the batter.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.  Dust the top with confectioners' sugar and enjoy as a snacking cake with your morning coffee or tea or better yet, serve it as a dessert with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  Enjoy!


  1. Susan, Maddie looks right at home in the kitchen! I'm glad she shares the love of baking with her Mimi, Mama and Titi!

  2. My parents just returned home this evening after visiting with their close friends in New Jersey! Little Maddie is TOO CUTE!!! You have two of the cutest grandchildren Susan, what memories they will have of baking alongside you : ) This recipe sounds amazing, my oldest son would love it. Each year for his birthday he requests cherries on his cake, they are his favorite! Lots of love to you xo : )

  3. Tess~Every time I go in the kitchen, she wants to pull her "tower" over and says,"Mimi, help." Michael sure enjoyed the cake and kept telling Maddie..."good cake, good cake." We make quite a team and this will certainly be a memorable week!

  4. What a great little helper!! I can't wait for my helpers to come in August. We picked two quarts of blueberries from our bushes yesterday and I thought I could bake the cake---but then it wouldn't be a "sweet cherry coffee cake" would it? (The first thing I can remember that Mom let me bake all by myself was a two layer yellow cake---I was eight years old. And I have figured out that this is why you bake much better than I do----you had an earlier start!!) Love you, Sis

  5. I had an earlier start because you left me with 3 older brothers!!

  6. The photo with Maddie with the butter wrapper is soooo cute, she actually looks like she knows what she's doing. Enjoy your week. Oh yeah....the cake looks delicious,another one I have to try.
    Love you,

  7. Susan- my favorite childhood memories are with my grandmother... baking, canning, freezing. And everything was from her garden. How wonderful you get to share this with Maddie and Ari.She looks so cute at the counter! I think of you guys every day.
    Love, Gayle

  8. Gayle~The bagel recipe is in one of the "older" posts. They're easy.
    I think of those wonderful days at the clinic and the friendship that held us together. Right now, I'm longing for those days!!