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Brown-Sugar Cherry Cakes

We used a standard muffin tin to make taller cakes, but you can use two jumbo muffin tins for shorter, wider ones; the directions and cooking time will be the same.

  • prep: 15 mins
    total time: 40 mins
  • yield: Makes: 12




  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60 cherries (about 11 ounces), pitted
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Cook's Note

If you don't have a cherry pitter, you can use a paper clip. Unbend clip at the center; insert tip of one end slightly into stem end of cherry. Twist clip to loosen pit, and pull to remove.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup standard nonstick muffin tin. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

  2. Step 2

    With an electric mixer, cream butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time; beat until combined. Beat in buttermilk and vanilla, then flour mixture.

  3. Step 3

    Spoon batter into prepared tin, filling cups about 1/3 full. Place 5 cherries on top of each; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

  4. Step 4

    Bake until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in tin. Run a knife around edges; turn out of pan, cherry sides up. Serve warm, with ice cream, if desired.

Everyday Food, September 2004



Reviews (6)

  • 23 Jul, 2014

    These cakes came out great. They are very buttery and rich and do have the brown butter taste described in the previous review. I thought the butter could be reduced 1-2 tablespoons possibly. Was a great use for some overripe cherries I had.

  • 11 Aug, 2013

    I made these this morning with fresh cherries and they are amazing! The brown sugar gives the cakes a brown-butter taste and the cherries get soft and juicy. I'm not sure why the other reviewers didn't have better things to say -- these were easy, fast and delicious!

  • 28 Jan, 2009

    tasted like cornbread. not at all what i expected.

  • 24 May, 2008

    disappointing. These mini cakes didn't look pretty or taste very good

  • 24 May, 2008

    disappointing. These mini cakes didn't look pretty or taste very good

  • 24 May, 2008

    disappointing. These mini cakes didn't look pretty or taste very good