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Sour Cherry Crumb Cakes


Frozen dark sweet cherries may be substituted for fresh sour cherries. Let frozen cherries thaw before using.

  • Yield: Makes 16 squares
sour cherry crumb cakes

Photography: Simon Watson

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2009


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 Cakes

  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.

  2. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.

  3. 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.

  4. Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.

Reviews Add a comment

  • brendajv46
    24 JUL, 2017
    Made this today from the first picking of my sour cherry tree. It is more like a coffee cake and really good. Sweet enough for me and a great combination of sour and sweet. Will definitely make again.
  • racheljoylarson
    29 AUG, 2014
    These are DELICIOUS. This is my absolute favorite recipe for sour cherries. It reminds me of a marriage of pound cake and cherry crisp. The sour cherries help it to not be too sweet. Yum.
  • MS12326969
    5 JUL, 2014
    This is a good recipe. It is not overly sweet, and therefore was not well-suited to a dessert. Definitely great as a coffee cake.
  • Allison Short
    2 JUN, 2014
    I just baked this with cherries I picked at a local berry patch. Absolutely delicious! I'm on my 2nd piece!
  • cocoamemo
    30 JUL, 2012
    Just made these for some friends and they were absolutely delicious, gone in seconds! Light, fluffy, and the perfect balance between sour and sweet. Thank you for this recipe!
  • lovelettertypewriter
    7 JUN, 2011
    I doubled this recipe to take to my work potluck and I wasn't wowed. The cake just seemed to be lacking something. I don't think I would make this again.