This Christina Tosi–Inspired Cherry Bundt Cake Lets the Fruit Shine

July 31, 2018

I love a good Bundt cake—I always have. I still remember the buttery box mix version with that crunchy, crumbly topping made by an elementary school friend's mom for sleepover breakfasts, and my own stepmom’s kitchen counter cake plate which always held a perfect lemon pound.

There's something about Bundt cakes that always brings me right back to the cozy comfort of childhood baking memories, like getting to lick the wooden spoon after watching my mom (or dad, or grandma) whip up a favorite recipe and pop it into the oven, knowing something warm and delicious is on its way.

The Bundt cake is having a moment. Photo by Bobbi Lin

I first made Christina Tosi's Cherry Cola Bundt Cake in the dead of winter, after flipping through last year’s Suburbs Issue of Lucky Peach, looking to recreate a little of that kitchen comfort. I was intrigued by the ingredients (molasses! cola extract!), the bubblegum pink cherry coke glaze, and, of course, the opportunity to use maraschino cherries for maximum kitsch. It was fun to make and cute as heck—just the cake to brighten a dreary winter weekend and transport me to the Bundts of my childhood. Dense with molasses, brown sugar, and ultra sweet glaze, the cake was delicious. And it certainly hit all of my baking nostalgia sweet spots.

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I kept on with the Bundts, trying a few other ideas: a sticky toffee, a banana. I even tried to recreate the box mix version I remembered so well from those sleepovers, but never hit on anything really spectacular.

Then, stone fruit season rolled around. Like always, I bought a ridiculous amount of fresh Northwest cherries. While mapping out my baking plan, Tosi's cake came to mind: What if I made it again, but with a fresh cherry update for summer?

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Top Comment:
“And, yes, that crunchy Bundt cake crust. It won a First Prize in the Alaska State Fair in Palmer one year, to boot!”
— Mrs N.

I ditched the soda, the molasses, and the dark brown sugar and added more fresh cherry puree (so good) and chopped cherries. The glaze got a darker cherry, slightly tarter makeover as well. It worked. The cake was still dense and moist but with a lighter crumb and overall taste, sweet but without the cola sugar shock. The extra puree and fresh fruit really let the cherry flavor shine, and the glaze was so delightful my kids asked to lick the mixer paddle. Of course, I let them.

here, have another

What's your favorite Bundt cake recipe? Share it with us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Karla Balin Fürst
    Karla Balin Fürst
  • Mrs N.
    Mrs N.
  • HalfPint
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
  • Erinn Simon
    Erinn Simon
I cook, write, and put stuff on my cake stand


Karla B. August 1, 2018
Could this recipe work with canned sour cherries? Drained i guess...
Mrs N. July 31, 2018
With an invitation to share a favorite Bundt recipe, I have to admit that I no longer possess the recipe, but I do have the memory of a Jewish Marble Coffeecake. It's basic recipe had all the good stuff in it, and the marbling had chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon. And, yes, that crunchy Bundt cake crust. It won a First Prize in the Alaska State Fair in Palmer one year, to boot!
Eric K. July 31, 2018
I love this story.
Erinn S. July 31, 2018
Lovely! I dream of that crunch!
Robin L. August 1, 2018
My Mother was the "Queen" of Bundt Cakes! She would make at least 2-3 cakes a week.My Daddy worked construction and took his lunch with a slice of Bundt Cake in it to work every single day. She made many from scratch, but also had a "go to" from mix that was my Daddy's favorite.
1 Butter Pecan Cake Mix
1 Butterscotch pudding mix [4 serve instant]
1/2 C oil
1 C water
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Cinnamon Sugar Glaze~ 3T Sugar 1 T Cinnamon
Streusel mix
1/2 C Brown Sugar, 1/2 C pecans chopped fine, 3 tsp
cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg whisk together, set aside:
whisk dry mixes together, combine water, oil, eggs & vanilla
Combine wet & dry mix, well blended.
Grease Bundt pan well, Sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar mix in bottom of pan, roll it all around to cover the greased pan [this will make a sugar glaze when cake bakes]

Layer ½ of cake batter then 3/4 of streusel mix on batter, pour remaining batter then sprinkle remaining streusel on top.
Bake @ 350 for 55-60 min test with cake tester at 50 min to gauge remaining bake time. Tester comes out clean, remove from oven, cool in pan for 15 min, turn on to serving plate.
Drizzle ~
Powder sugar, milk & vanilla to taste and consistency.
This only lasted about a day or 2 with a family of 5.

Erinn S. August 1, 2018
Now this is my kinda recipe!! Going to try it out for sure!
LULULAND August 3, 2018
Thank you can't wait to try it!
HalfPint July 31, 2018
I have about 3lbs of bing cherries. Something possessed me to buy the container at Costco and it may be that I sensed this recipe was coming. It will work with Bings, right?
Erinn S. July 31, 2018
It should! I know, I can never resist the cherries either!