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German Sour Cherry Cake

If you follow along on Instagram, you might have seen that Mark and I were in Germany back in November. The trip was like a fairytale – the castles, the mountains, the buildings, the shopping, the towns, the markets…the FOOD – it just all made for an incredible trip.

*this recipe was created for my friends at Imperial Sugar

[Here are some Germany travel highlights from my Instagram. Rothenburg ob der TauberGarmisch and Neuschaanstein Castle, and Frankfurt Christmas Market.]

I visited many a bakery while Mark was working. And did, in fact, eat a cherry cake. But, it was a chocolate-cherry layer cake with fresh cherries and kirsch. It WAS delicious, but I want to make something more simple at home.

Shhh…don’t tell that fancy German bakery, but I like this German Sour Cherry Cake even MORE than the one I ate in Germany! 

A vanilla-almond cornmeal batter is scattered with tart cherries. The baked cake has a polka dot effect. So cute!

Not only is it simple enough to whip up on a weeknight, but how darling would this be to serve for Valentine’s Day???

Traditionally, the cake would be served with a dusting of powdered sugar, but I made a glaze using some of the cherry juice. I couldn’t let it go to waste!


Where can I find sour cherries?

The cake is called a “sour cherry” cake, but you’ll typically find the cherries in the US labeled as “tart.” You’ll want the cherries in water or their own juice. Canned or jarred is just fine.

Cornmeal really creates a beautiful and unique texture.

Just look at that golden batter!

Once the batter is made, you’ll smooth it into a pan. Then, scatter the drained cherries across the top. Press them onto the top of the batter…just the tiniest bit to keep them from rolling. The cake will bake up around them, so you don’t want to push them all the way down.

Ah, look at that polka-dotty cherry cake! So, so cute! Cherries and dots are two of my favorite things! (Full disclosure: I just typed out “thOngs.” Thongs are NOT on the favorite things list.)

Once baked, you’ll let it cool and then spread on the batter while the cake is slightly warm. Or skip the glaze altogether and dust with sifted Imperial Sugar confectioners powdered sugar.

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