A stocked pantry, fridge and freezer can truly save your life when the clock is ticking. A friend hosted dinner last week, and the meal was potluck style. Instead of running out to the store to grab ingredients for an experimental side dish, I figured it would be much easier to bake a cake. All of the ingredients were on hand, and it would be the perfect opportunity to play around with the recipe for a Dark Cherry Buttermilk Cake originally sampled during the Dole Summit earlier this Spring. This cake is perfect for any frozen fruit you have on hand. Any frozen fruit at all. This is where convenience is your best friend, so shake hands with simplicity and get ready for a quick and easy dessert.
A group of blogging women noshed on slices of this cake at the California Health and Longevity Institute, and the base recipe featured buttermilk and frozen dark sweet cherries. No need to thaw here! The cherries go right on top of the cake batter–straight from the freezer. Most excellent. The buttermilk is also a good way to keep the cake moist and tender, as well as low-fat. Around here, recipes are always tweaked based on what’s on hand, so vanilla almond milk was a fine substitute. Almond flavor and cherries are a prime pair, so it was a great plan from the start. This batter also features spelt flour, which you may remember from those Brown Butter and Ginger Oatmeal Cookies. The spelt flour lends a deep, nutty flavor that will remind you of whole wheat flour.
What makes this cake even better is the crumble on top. I have a couple of friends who love and adore crumble. The three of us have been known to snack on it during its raw state, which should say a lot about crumble’s appeal. This is a very simple crumble recipe, and the brown sugar adds very slight notes of molasses. Another great combination with the spelt flour, cherries and almond milk. Feel free to play around with this recipe, then bring the final crumb cake to a dinner party or a weekend brunch. It will be a crowd pleaser.
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- Floured baking spray
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk*
- 12 ounces Dole sweet cherries, frozen
- For the crumble, mix the flour, brown sugar and salt until combined. Use a fork or pastry cutter to evenly incorporate the butter until the mixture looks uniformly chunky. Cover, and store in the refrigerator until the cake batter is ready.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then spray a 9" springform cake pan with floured baking spray. Place the cake pan on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until well incorporated.
- Shake the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, slowly, then add the almond milk. Once the batter is ready, pour into the prepared cake pan and dot the frozen cherries on top.
- Sprinkle the crumble evenly over the cherries, and slide the cake into the oven. Bake for 55-60** minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
**Dole's recipe also calls for a 20 minute baking time. This recipe features slightly more cherries, as well as a crumble topping, which increased the bake time.