A not-too-sweet cherry crumble cake made with jarred sour cherries, a soft lemon vanilla cake base, and crumble topping. An excellent coffee cake, it can be enjoyed any time of year. This cake is a rührteig as in our German apple cake but it's not a standard German cherry cake – see below for some notes on that.

For some more pretty white cake recipes, try a classic Victoria sponge, bright and zesty lemon olive oil cake, or sweet little confetti cupcakes.

A large single-layer cake with cherries and a crumble topping on a glass cake stand.
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Ingredients

Cherry cake ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Cherries: use jarred sour cherries if you can get them. Fresh cherries are the best substitution, and thawed drained frozen cherries can be used too. Jarred bing cherries are a little too sweet for this recipe.
  • Sugar: raw cane sugar adds a hint of caramel flavour that pairs nicely with the cherries and lemon, but plain white sugar can be substituted.
  • Flour: use pastry or cake flour for a softer crumb. If you can't get it, plain all-purpose flour will be perfectly fine.
  • Baking powder: it will seem like a lot, but it's a large cake.
  • Make it dairy-free: use a good vegan butter that comes in block or stick form and a creamy non-dairy milk like cashew milk.

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

Method

Cake steps 1 to 4, creamed butter and sugar, eggs added, finished batter, topped with cherries.

Step 1: cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and lighter in colour. It won't cream as noticeably as white sugar.

Step 2: beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the vanilla.

Step 3: mix in half the flour mixture on low speed, then mix in the milk, then the remaining flour.

Step 4: spread the batter into a springform pan and top with the cherries.

Cake steps 5 and 6, before and after baking.

Step 5: top with an even layer of the streusel topping.

Step 6: bake until lightly golden and cool fully before slicing and serving.

Top Tips

  • The batter will be thick: this is not a batter than can be poured, but it is moist due to the high butter content.
  • Don't over-bake: if the cake is baked too long, it will be dry, especially around the edges. Do a skewer test in the middle of the cake near the end of the baking time to check - there will be some small crumbs from the topping, but it shouldn't be wet or doughy.
  • Go to the international aisle: jarred sour cherries can usually be found in the 'international' or 'ethnic' aisle at grocery stores in Canada and the U.S., or in specialty German, Polish, or other northern European shops.

Recipe Notes

A more typical German cherry cake is more aligned with what Americans would think of as a pie with a crumble topping, or sometimes rührteig with cherries mixed throughout (also possible here). While this version is made using a fairly traditional cake base and topped with streusel, it's probably not something Alex's granny would make - though her mum might.

German cakes like this usually don't contain added salt, but you can add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter.

This is made in a large springform, 25cm or about 10 inches. If yours is smaller, the cake will probably need a little longer in the oven as the batter will be thicker. If you are using and 8- or 9-inch springform, mix the cherries into the batter rather than topping the cake. Otherwise you'll have too much cake height to get cherries in every bite.

Other types of cake pans can't be used for this cake, you will need a springform. We highly recommend weighing the ingredients rather than using unreliable cup measurements.

How to Store

Storage: keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days. The cake is best the day it's made but still excellent on day two. It can be stored in the fridge for a few days longer, but dries out a bit in the cold.

Freezing: transfer the fully cooled cake to an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving. It's best to freeze the day it's baked (so that it's still fresh).

If you make this Cherry Coffee Cake recipe or any other cake recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

A large single-layer cake with cherries and a crumble topping on a glass cake stand.
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5 from 1 vote

Cherry Crumble Cake

A not-too-sweet cherry crumble cake made with jarred sour cherries, a soft lemon vanilla cake base, and crumble topping. Perfect for coffee.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Yield: 12 people

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Smaller mixing bowl for topping
  • Hand or stand mixer
  • 10-inch (25cm) springform pan
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • cup salted butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup raw cane sugar or white sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Zest of a lemon about 1 tablespoon
  • 2 ¼ cups cake or pastry flour*
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 cups jarred sour cherries, drained**

Streusel Topping

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour or use more pastry flour
  • ¼ cup cane sugar or white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter room temperature
Makes: 10inch round

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the base of a 10-inch (25cm) springform pan with parchment paper. Do this by placing a square of paper on the base before securing the sides. Grease the pan with butter and set aside.
  • Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in colour.
    ⅔ cup salted butter, ¾ cup raw cane sugar
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition to incorporate. Mix in the vanilla and lemon zest.
    3 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, Zest of a lemon
  • Stir the flour and baking powder together. Add half of this mixture to the cake batter and mix on low to incorporate (if using a standing mixer, switch to the paddle attachment).
    2 ¼ cups cake or pastry flour*, 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • Add the milk and mix in on low speed. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. A few small streaks of flour are fine.
    ¼ cup whole milk
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared springform and spread into an even layer. Top with a layer of the cherries.
    2 cups jarred sour cherries, drained**

Streusel Topping

  • Add the flour, sugar, and butter to a mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix until crumbly and well incorporated. This can be done with a spoon but it takes much longer.
    ½ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ cup cane sugar, 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • Sprinkle over the cake in an even layer.
  • Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out with just a couple small crumbs attached.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing the sides and cooling fully on a wire rack. After about an hour (or sooner, depending on how cool the space is) the cake can be carefully lifted off the base of the pan and cooled directly on the rack.
  • Serve as is or with Chantilly cream. Store leftover cake in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

Notes

This recipe is best measured by weights.
* If using plain flour, this will be 2 cups.
** Reserve the juice from the jarred cherries for drinking, it's very nice. This is the standard size for a jar. It can be slightly over or under 2 cups total.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 764IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 1mg

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