Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spiced Cherry Tea Cake

I started baking very early this morning...temperatures threatening to hit the 90s and even I won't turn on the oven to heat up a non-air conditioned house!  I was still thinking how my mother would "stretch" ingredients (Ham & Egg Pie) and remembered I had some left over cherries that I didn't use in the pie I made for the 4th of July.  I wasn't quite sure what to bake, but I let the cherries do the talking!!

They said, "We like spices to enhance our flavor," so I thought about my favorites and blended cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamon, of course.  I pitted the cherries, then, coarsely chopped them, and found I had one-and-half cups.  Perfect.

Whenever I bake something with fruit, I have a great tip to pass along.  Add some dried fruit to help balance the juices that will be extracted during baking, from the fresh fruit.  For instance, today I added 1/2 cup dried cherries to 1 1/2 cups of fresh cherries.  It seems to act as a stabilizer for the recipe.  I especially like this trick when I make blueberry muffins that can have a tendency to fall apart because they're too moist.

Spiced Cherry Tea Cake

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. cardamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried sour cherries

1/2 cup-3/4 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven 350F-degrees.  Use a non-stick spray to prepare pans.  I used a paper tube pan since I was giving one as a gift, but you could easily bake this in a 9" x 5" loaf pan or 10-cup bundt pan.  In the KitchenAid, using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and lemony.
 Add the spices and mix well.  Pour the melted butter into the batter and combine.  In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Add to the batter along with the sour cream and mix well, but don't over beat.  Fold in the cherries (fresh and dried) and pour into the prepared pan.
Sprinkle top with the sliced almonds.  If using the paper mold, place on a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake 40 to 45 minutes.  Check after 30 minutes.  I ended up lowering the oven temperature to 325F-degrees to finish the time so the top wouldn't get too dark.  Let cool in pan at least 30 minutes before unmolding.  And, if you're wrapping it up as a gift, let cool completely.
As you can tell, it rose beautifully and the almonds have that golden, toasted look.  The aroma of the spices filled the kitchen and I thought I felt a cool breeze outside.  Enjoy!


  1. It is so fun to see your finished product!
    The golden almonds look very delicious!
    These are a few of my favorite spices as well, what a great tip to mix both dried and fresh fruit. I am enjoying these 'scenes' that start your posts that you photograph very much! : ) xoxo

  2. I'm trying to add some relaxing time and just breathe!

  3. That looks so beautiful and delicious. You've galvanized me into doing something with the seldom used bag of dried cherries in my cupboard. The word that popped into my my mind is teacake. Perfect with coffee or tea--iced, that is! Can't wait to try it.

  4. Thanks Ellen~A PERFECT name for this dessert!