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Italian Cherry Pound Cake

My Aunt Raffy had been telling me about a cherry pound cake that her nonna and mother had made long ago, and wanted me to try my hand at re-creating it! After all, it's the perfect season for it - fresh cherries are super abundant, and I love baking with fresh seasonal produce.

This is a wonderful pound cake with the slight flavor of almond - I adore the combination of almond and cherry (like my thumbprint cookies!). To ensure that the cherries don't sink in the batter or bleed their color everywhere, I opt to toss them in a bit of flour first, and add them to the cake in layers. It makes for a perfectly, evenly-dispersed slice every time, and it's just beautiful to slice into.

A quick hint, too - you don't need to purchase a cherry pitter if you don't have one. I like to take the stem off of the cherry, and place it on top of a small glass bottle - a 10-12 ounce one you'd get something like beer in - and use a chopstick or metal straw and press down on the center of the cherry until the pit pops off the bottom. You could also simply cut them in half and remove the pit that way. However you get the pit out, the cake will turn out delicious!

Italian Cherry Pound Cake
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Italian Cherry Pound Cake

Category

Dessert

Servings

6

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

60 minutes

Calories

642

Author:

Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Italian Cherry Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs, (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour,
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 heaping cups fresh cherries, (pitted*)
  • Powdered sugar, (for dusting)
  • Amarena Cherries, if desired, for topping
  • *Cook's Note: Frozen cherries can be substituted in for fresh. Thaw completely and drain any excess liquid before using.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan and line the bottom and sides with a strip of parchment paper.
  2. To a large bowl, add the butter and sugar. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and mix on medium, scraping the sides if necessary, until thoroughly mixed. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next egg. Add the vanilla and almond extract, and beat to combine. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the ingredients together until just combined, being careful to not overmix.
  3. Set aside 1/3 cup of cherries for topping the cake, and slice them in half. Set aside. Add the remaining 1 2/3 cups cherries to a bowl or plastic bag, and add the 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Coat the cherries evenly with the flour and set aside.
  4. Add 1/3 of the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan. Next, evenly sprinkle ½ of the floured cherries on top of the layer. Add another 1/3 of the cake batter, and top with the rest of the floured cherries. Add the last third of batter, and decoratively top it with the reserved slice cherries.
  5. Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is evenly golden brown. Remove to a rack to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar for serving. Slice and enjoy.

Nutrition

Nutrition

per serving
Calories
642
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
Carbs
63 grams
Protein
8 grams
Fat
41 grams
Saturated Fat
25 grams
Trans Fat
1 grams
Cholesterol
183 milligrams
Sodium
633 milligrams
Fiber
1 grams
Sugar
35 grams
Unsaturated Fat
13 grams
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5 reviews & comments

  • Author's avatar image
    Jenny C
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Delicious and easy to make! Had a bunch of cherries a few months back and the recipe was a perfect way to use them up.

  • Author's avatar image
    Steve Nardini
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    This a great and easy recipe for anyone. Unfortunately I decided to finally make this after fresh cherries were out of season near me. But frozen organic cherries worked well after letting them drain thoroughly for a couple days. At 60 minutes, it was under-done. I think I left it in just a couple minutes too much, as I hoped it would have been moister. But next time I'll dry a little different. But the flavor of the vanilla and almond vs. the cherries is great. It'll be a great recipe to try different variations also.

  • Author's avatar image
    Dhaliwal
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Great balance of flavours. Will definitely use this recipe again. Used the seeds from half a vanilla bean pod instead of extract, it made all the difference. I also added the zest of half a lemon during this step.

  • Author's avatar image
    Stacey Kopnitsky
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Perfect balance of flavors among the cherries and almond extract. The sour cream adds the right amount of dense texture. If someone ordered it to be sweeter, one could drizzle a simple confectionery almond glaze. Personally, I enjoyed the lower sugar content allowing the cherries to be the sweet stars!

  • Author's avatar image
    Cynthia Forchielli
    ★★★★★
    ★★★★★

    Yummy! I substituted full-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream and added some sliced almonds on the top.

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