This is something I’v made every cherry season back in Australia. The tradition doesn’t have to change as cherries are in abundance here in the States too. I think I have bought closer to a dozen ponds by now, from various farmers markets here in Seattle and food stores.
They are fresh, juicy and in so many different colors and shapes. Wow! I tried to look up all the varieties but gave it up! I don’t think I will be able to remember all the names 😀 haha. I am especially fond of the sour cherries, may be it’s their color that makes them taste better. But I love the sweet and sour notes, that goes really well with bakes.
This cake is a variation of the lemon yogurt cake. Every house-hold or family has their own version of a lemon yogurt cake I guess. It is such a simple one bowl cake batter that can work as a carrier for so many things, like berries, stone fruits, pineapple or just plain as it is with loads of lemon juice. It is usually made into a loaf or mini cakes, drizzled with a thin lemon glaze.
But I like to make it into a sheet cake, specially when I use cherries. So this will have a nice golden top, crispy edges, and a moist center. The cherries go soft as the cake cooks and taste even better. Some times I think this cake is a mix between a pudding a cake and a torte.
Even though, this is a one bowl cake, its recommended to mix certain ingredients first, just to make your life a little easier. What I normally do is, whisk yogurt and sugar until smooth. And then add eggs followed by oil. Whisk the mixture to emulsify. Add lemon juice and then add the flour. This way the batter doesn’t get lumpy. The batter should be light and at dropping consistency.
If you don’t have self-raising flour, use normal all purpose flour and baking powder ( add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup flour )
Coat the cherries before adding them to batter to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. And when folding in cherries, do not over mix as it will break/crush the cherries. We want them in chunks!
I bake the cake at 180 °C with top and bottom heating. keep an eye on the cake, and let the edges go golden brown. Make sure the center is cooked through.
This recipe can be doubled or quadrupled. Batter can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can make small individual cakes instead of one large.