Sweet Cherry Cake

By Sally Cameron on August 14, 2012

Bakery and Baking, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, the daniel plan

Old-fashioned flavor and simple preparation make this golden sweet cherry cake one of my go-to summer desserts. It is a favorite of friends and family alike. Top with ice cream, whipped cream or serve alone. You can’t go wrong. See my tips for reducing sugar and making it dairy-free.sweet cherry cake | afoodcentriclife.com

Sweet Cherry Cake

For simplicity sake I’m calling this a cake. The original recipe called it a torte. I think it’s really a French Clafouti which is a country-French dessert made with fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a thick batter. Some are more cake-like, some more pudding-like. This one is on the cake-y side but still nice and moist.

Thanks to cookbook author and teacher, Tori Ritchie, I discovered this recipe while taking classes at Tante Marie Cooking School (now closed) in San Francisco more than a decade ago. It’s one of the most requested recipes from the NY Times archives.

The original recipe calls for plums but I use cherries. Instead of wheat flour I use gluten-free flour. I’ve tested it with Bob’s Red Mill blue bag 1:1 flour. Almond extract replaces the vanilla. For dairy-free, see below.

sweet cherry cake | afoodcentriclife.com

Tools and Dietary Options

  • You need a 9″ springform pan. Buy them online or at a kitchen supply store.
  • Parchment paper is used to line the pan bottom to prevent sticking and over baking. Buy them in rounds or sheets then cut them into rounds.
  • Disposable kitchen gloves protect hands from the high stain juice of cherries
  • A cherry pitter makes faster work of pitting cherries
  • To make this cake dairy-free use plant-based butter such as Miyokos or Earth Balance

How to Serve Sweet Cherry Cake

To serve, all this cake needs is the simple embellishment such as a small scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or a little sweetened plain Greek yogurt, or just eat it plain. It’s that good. Serve it for dessert but sneak a piece for breakfast. The cake can be made a day ahead, cooled, wrapped well and refrigerated. Bring it back to room temperature before serving. 

If you enjoy baking, try my gluten-free German chocolate brownies made with teff flour or this orange almond cake. It’s another one pan easy recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Cherry Cake
Amount Per Serving (8 )
Calories 267 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 57mg2%
Potassium 123mg4%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 428IU9%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 55mg6%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
sweet cherry cake | afoodcentriclife.com
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Sweet Cherry Cake

This easy cherry cake makes sweet use of fresh summer cherries for a simple country-style dessert. You’ll need a 9″ springform pan and parchment paper. You can use either whole wheat pastry flour or a gluten-free flour blend.  Get your butter and eggs out of the fridge an hour ahead of time for better mixing. For a note on how to reduce sugar see notes at end of recipe.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake, Cherry, Dessert, Gluten-free
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 267kcal


  • 9" springform pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Kitchen gloves (optional)
  • Cherry pitter tool


Cherry Cake

  • Non-stick spray or use the butter wrapper
  • 24 large fresh sweet cherries or 34 smaller ones
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour blend or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 stick unsalted dairy butter or dairy-free butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup  organic cane sugar or monk fruit blend 5 1/2 ounces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur optional
  • 1 tablespoon sugar optional for top


  • Position oven rack in the center and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your pan. Spray or oil the bottom of the springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  • Wash, stem and pit the cherries with a cherry pitter tool or a paring knife. Cut the cherries in half. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat vigorously with a whisk by hand, or with a hand-held electric mixer. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated and the batter is smooth. Add in the almond extract. Add in the flour blend and stir to incorporate until smooth. Batter will be thick.
  • Scrape batter into the pan and smooth to the edges with a flexible spatula. Starting at the outer edge, place the cherries cut side down on top of the batter completely covering the top. Sprinkle the top with the extra tablespoon of sugar (optional) and drizzle with the Amaretto if using. Bake cake until golden on top, about 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester, toothpick or paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Run a thin paring knife around the inside of the pan edge to free the cake. Pop the spring and remove the sides of the pan. If serving warm, slice into eight pieces. 


1) Serve plain, or dust with powdered sugar. You can also top with softly whipped cream sweetened with a little honey or sugar and a little vanilla or almond extract for flavor. A small scoop of ice cream is also nice.
2) Kitchen gloves will prevent your hands from getting stained from the cherries and are a handy to every kitchen.
3) To reduce sugar, use 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of granular monk fruit-erythritol blend.
4) The cake can be made a day ahead, cooled, wrapped well in plastic film and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before serving.


Serving: 8 | Calories: 267kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 428IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

Updated 6-30-2020

  1. Madonna - August 15th, 2012

    I love the thought of any cake that can be quickly assembled, but has a wow factor. Oh, and most anyone would have the ingredients on hand with the exception of the fruit. You can just tell by the color of this cake that it has flavor. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe.

  2. Nan - August 15th, 2012

    Hi Sally, I notice you mention eggs in the directions and yet there are no eggs listed in the ingredient list. I’d love to make this recipe but wonder about the eggs? Thanks!

  3. Christina - August 15th, 2012

    Hi Sally,

    This cake looks absolutely yummy. A small note of clarification; the ingredients note 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons or 13 grams). Shouldn’t that be 113 grams? And the eggs? Also, any suggestions should you not have access to fresh cherries and have to resort to frozen ones? Thank you in advance!

  4. Sally - August 15th, 2012

    Hi Christina. Thanks for the catch. Just updated. I have not tried frozen cherries. Would be a good experiment. My only concern is their moisture content. If they are not too wet after thawing and draining it could work.

  5. susan - August 15th, 2012

    I am not a cake and frosting kind of gal – so not my style, This cake, on the other hand, is so something I would gobble up. Looks gorgeous, Sally!

  6. Shut Up & Cook - August 15th, 2012

    We’ve been up to our eyeballs in cherries, and running out of ideas of what to do with them…so this sounds like just the ticket!

  7. Sally - August 15th, 2012

    Sally, this is my kind of cake! I haven’t been doing much baking, so you really inspired me with this. I can imagine it with nectarines, plums, raspberries, and even apples as the season winds down. I’ve made cakes with frozen berries, and I think as long as they are not defrosted first they will work. If I don’t get around to this soon enough, I’m willing to risk it….Thanks!

  8. Russell van Kraayenburg - August 15th, 2012

    This is my kind of cake! It looks lovely!

  9. Angie@Angie's Recipes - August 16th, 2012

    This cherry cake looks divine!

  10. Mary@siftingfocus.com - August 17th, 2012

    Sally, you have inspired me to give clafoutis another try. I made it once and didn’t care for that particular rendition. Your recipe sounds great. Love the addition of the whole wheat pastry flour.

  11. Kulinarna Wyspa - August 20th, 2012

    Classic recipe, but unfortunately I have never tried to prepare this cake myself. It is about time to change this. I will use your recipe, because it sounds very credible to me.

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