Last weekend I didn’t want to put out much effort for this place. I admit it, I was feeling the lazyitis somthin’ fierce. I searched and searched for some kind of slothfully easy recipe that would practically make and bake and serve itself. I just wasn’t feeling the cooking vibe! Please don’t smite me, cooking gods.
I thought maybe some kind of layered cookie bar recipe might do the trick. It sounded…well, easy. So I searched. And looked. I turned over many a magazine page and searched under the proverbial rock. In the end I probably spent more time looking at recipes than we did cooking last weekend. Please, no applause. It’s what we slaves to obsessive compulsive cooking do.
But then I ran across this recipe and I thought my problems were solved. It certainly looked like a bar recipe of some kind. Even though the title had cake in it. Don’t snicker at me, I thought maybe the cake was of the more dense variety that would hold up to being handled up to my mouth as opposed to babysat on a fork.
I was wrong. But it turned out so right.
Behold, the star of this recipe, the cherry. Make that many cherries. As many as you can stuff into this thing. You’ll see what I mean further down. The recipe actually calls for sour cherries, but please, we live in Podunkville, Alabama, and I’ll take these sweet kind when it’s all they had.
Dum dum da dum, here come the crumbs….OK, I apologize for that. What can I say, I break for streusel toppings. Or make bad jokes for them.
You’re gonna mix all sorts of crayzy ingredients, like butter, sugar, eggs and stuff that’ll make this cake rise! You put that all in your mixer, let it go whiiirrrrrrr and whallah – you get this fluffy stuff of the cooking gods. Isn’t it lickable purty?
Slather the stuff into a 9×9 pan. It kind of reminded me of freshly made marshmallows. Not that I’ve made those, I’ve just watched them…of whatever, that’s what it looks like! Fine, if you don’t believe me be sure to lick some. You won’t be able to get it all off the spatula anyway. *whistle*
This is where you get to stuff all those awesomely juicy, tasty cherries into the batter. I’m ashamed to say that my sister blogging partner had to prompt me to put even more cherries on. Don’t be like me – pile ‘em on! If you can see most of the batter, pile pile pile! And don’t be afraid to shove some of them into the batter. You’re not their friends, your their hungry cook!
Time to make use of all that glorious streusel topping! Use it all. It will look like a lot, but this will taste so good once it’s baked and in your mouth. I mean, there’s a reason the phrase ‘slap yo mama’ was invented….not that I’m a mama slapper.
It’s time to put a fork in it, folks! Cut yourself a generous slice and dig in. Don’t forget the coffee! This makes a phenomenal breakfast treat or dessert. The cherries get so soft and I really liked their subtle sweetness. The cake itself isn’t unruly sweet, just right, and the streusel topping – wowzas. It’s almost a little tangy compared to the sweet of the rest of this cake. You’ll be glad you used it all!
Cherry Crumb Cake
From Sour Cherry Crumb Cakes, Martha Stewart Living, July 2009
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Level: Easy Serves: 9
For the topping:
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dish
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dish
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups (1 pound) fresh sour cherries, pitted, or frozen dark sweet cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.
Make the cakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Dot top with cherries, and sprinkle with crumb topping.
Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.
As said above, the recipe obviously calls for sour cherries, but we just used the regular fresh sweet cherries from our local Publix and they worked out so well. I lacked a cherry pitting tool, so I carefully used the sharp end of an apple corer to extract the pits. Emphasis on careful. The apple corer actually worked pretty well. You can do this step ahead if you want to save some prep time. Save them in the fridge till you’re ready to assemble the rest of the recipe.
Once baked, keep this in the fridge if you think you’ll snack on it more than a couple of days. I wouldn’t keep it in the fridge longer than five or so days. Reheat for a few seconds in the microwave. It’s best the day of baking and the day after.
Good news: You can make this one the morning of your afternoon or evening gathering, or the night before if you want to serve it for breakfast. Make sure to cover it well with foil or some tight plastic wrap after thoroughly cooling it.