Author Notes: This cake can easily be made with sweet or sour cherries, but I love to use sour cherries when I can find them (their season is frustratingly short). Sour cherries tend to be soft, so I usually just pit them with my hands. Sweet cherries tend to hold onto their pits a bit more fiercely, so I would suggest picking up a real-deal cherry pitter for that task. —Yossy Arefi
Makes one 9-inch cake
For the streusel:
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Gently stir the almonds, sugar, flour, salt, and baking soda together in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the butter and mix to combine. Set aside while you prepare the cake.
For the cake and cherry filling:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 1/2 cups pitted cherries (sour or sweet)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (sweet cherries may not need additional sugar)
- Preheat oven to 325° F and grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan. A springform pan works great for this, but is not necessary.
- Toss the pitted cherries with 1 tablespoon flour and sugar, if using. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds after each addition. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
- Add in the sour cream, lemon zest, and almond extract. Then fold in the flour mixture, gently, until just combined.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Scatter the prepared cherries over the top, then gently spread the rest of the batter over the cherries. It's okay if they aren't completely covered, just make sure the batter is evenly distributed over the top. Break up the prepared streusel with your hands and evenly distribute it over the top.
- Bake the cake until it's golden brown and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.
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