This German Sour Cherry Cake is one of the first cakes I learned to bake in my Oma’s kitchen. It’s a fairly simple cake to bake, no special tricks or techniques, no frosting, and no decoration other than a dusting of powdered sugar. This particular recipe called “Apfel oder Kirschkuchen, sehr fein “(Apple or Cherry Cake, very Fine) comes from my beat up copy of Das Beste Dr Oetker Backbuch. To me, it’s a cake that can be baked for everyday, BUT, it, since it’s “sehr fein”, it will also fit in quite well if you are hosting a Kaffee Klatsch.
As I said, this is not a complex cake. The batter is sweet, but not TOO sweet… and the cherries give a nice sour/sweet bite. I used to use the jar of Morello cherries from Trader Joes, but lately, they don’t carry them anymore. Still, any pitted, sour cherries will work. DO NOT substitute Maraschino cherries… they aren’t the same at ALL. (BONUS- you get to drink the juice from the cherries… a tart treat my cousins and I always fought over).
If Cherries are too difficult to source, go ahead and use apples instead. Just lay them on top of the batter instead of stirring them in. Bake as usual, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Honestly, you can’t go wrong if you have another Apple Cake recipe.
Because the recipe originally comes from a German cookbook, it has metric measurements. American kitchens tend to be set up with measuring cups instead of scales, so I included both. (Of course, you can always use a German Cone Shaped Messbecher, for the best of both worlds!)
All photos by Karen Lodder
German Sour Cherry Cake
German Sour Cherry Cake
- 125 gr. 1 1/4 stick Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
- 125 gr. 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest the German Recipe calls for 4 drops Backoel Zitrone; http://amzn.to/2wVqBpy
- 3 Eggs room Temperature
- Pinch Salt
- 200 gr. 1 1/2 cups All purpose Flour
- 1 Tbl Baking Powder
- 4 Tbl. Milk
- 750 gr jar or 350 gr DRAINED Sour Cherries (the Trader Joes jar comes out to right amount after draining)
- Powdered Sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Spray or grease the inside of an 11'' (28 cm) Springform Pan
- Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest with a mixer until light and fluffy (around 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides and under the beaters occasionally.
- Slow the mixer down, and add the eggs one at a time until they are incorporated.
- Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in the measuring cup, and slowly add it to the Sugar/butter/eggs.
- Alternate with a bit of milk if it looks too dry.
- The batter should be a bit stiff, but not too stiff... add more milk if it feels too stiff.
- Stir the cherries into the batter, then..
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Put a toothpick in the center... if it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake another 5 minutes. It shouldn't take longer than 50 minutes.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for a while.
- Cut around the edge to loosen the pan, then take the edge of the pan off to finish cooling.
- Before serving, put the powdered sugar into a sieve or sifter... and sprinkle it generously and evenly across the cake.
Easy German Cookbook
Like this recipe? Why not add my Easy German Cookbook to your recipe collection?
It’s loaded with 80 Classic German Recipes made Simple for the American kitchen.
German Baking Essentials
I find that baking German recipes is much easier if you have the right tools. Springform pans, a scale and a Messbecher make baking a lot more true to the original. And with a springform you have less worry about the cake “sticking”.
Kaiser Springform Pan with 2 Bases, Stainless Steel Black, 28 cmPohl Schmitt Digital Food Kitchen Scale, Multifunctional Weight Measuring for Cooking and Baking in Grams/Ounces, Auto Shut-Off, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included) (Silver)
Looking for more German Cake Recipes?
Take a look at this page—> Kaffe and Kuchen Traditional German Cake Recipes
And more CHERRY Cake Recipes?
Cherry Streusel Muffins!
(less traditional, but oh SOOO delicious)
Baking the Cherry Cake
Bake 40 minutes, then check by testing with a toothpick in the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes up with batter, bake another 5 minutes.
Cake should be a nice golden brown.
Release sides, and let cool completely. Then transfer from cake pan to a serving plate.
Sprinkle the top with a generous amount of powdered sugar, and serve.
Cake is best the same day, or the next day…. but it will keep for a few more days in the refrigerator.