Monday, January 30, 2012

Cherry-Vanilla Tea Cake with Vanilla Sugar

I love cherry and vanilla and was deeply attracted to this cake when I saw this recipe in the book, Bon Appetit by Barbara Fairchild. Thus, I've suggested baking this cake with my two baking buddies, Lena, from Frozen wings and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours for our 17th bake-along.

Apart from just baking according to this recipe, I've also tried baking this cake in a form of cherry vanilla cupcakes with a slight twist. I've created a glossy version of cherry vanilla cupcakes using this similar cake mix but without adding any cherries inside. Instead, I've made a cherry sauce with the fresh cherries and used the sauce to create a glossy topping on these cupcakes. I reckon that both cake and cupcakes are fantastic, the basic cake mix is very moist and they are all very delicious to eat. 

cherry vanilla tea cake vanilla sugar

Watching vanilla sugar melting on both my cherry cake and cupcakes...
cherry vanilla cupcake
A closer look of the glossy cherry sauce...
cherry vanilla tea cake
Look how moist this cake! All are so yummy!
Here's the recipe from Bon Appetit website or the book, Bon Appetit by Barbara Fairchild
(with my modifications and notes in blue)



1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda (replaced by baking powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (I didn't add this)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 cup canned pitted sweet cherries, halved, drained
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 
2 tbsp powdered sugar
(replaced by 2 tbsp store-bought vanilla sugar from a Lygon spice shop plus 1 tbsp powdered sugar)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour 10-inch springform pan. 

Sift first 5 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla extract. Transfer 2 tbsp dry ingredients to small bowl. On low speed, beat half of remaining dry ingredients into butter mixture, then mix in sour cream and lemon peel. Beat in remaining half of dry ingredients. Mix cherries into reserved 2 tbsp dry ingredients; fold cherries into batter.

Spoon batter into prepared pan; smooth top with spoon. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, using small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into small bowl. Mix in 1 tbsp sugar, rubbing with fingertips to distribute seeds. Add powdered sugar and rub again.

Sift vanilla sugar over hot cake and cool. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake; remove pan sides. Do ahead can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.

Note: Using half of the recipe, I've baked a 14cm round cake at 160°C fan forced for 30 min and use the excess batter to bake 4 extra cupcakes. 

This is how I bake my cherry cupcakes:


My cherry sauce (for 4 cupcakes):

8-10 pitted medium sized fresh cherries
1/2 tsp cornflour, well-mixed in 1/4 cup water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Combine all except lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook in low-medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened. Use the sauce when it is completely cooled.

Distribute the excess cake batter evenly into the cupcakes cases. Bake the cupcakes at 160°C fan forced for the initial 10-15 min to semi-bake the batter. Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Distribute the cherry sauce evenly over the cupcakes and return the cupcakes to bake for another 8-10 min until the surface is slightly glossy.

Sift vanilla sugar over hot cake and cool.Transfer cupcakes to rack and allow to cool completely.

Last but not least, I would like to thank a little helper for this bake...that's my cherry chomper. Thanks for chomping and pitting the cherries. LOL.

My Cherry Chomper
Happy Baking.
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. Fresh cherries! I'm so jealous!! Fresh cherries are EXTREMELY expensive over here! Love your version with the sauce, looks very yummy. A Cherry Chomper too, how cool! :)
    Yup this is one lovely cake, we enjoyed it too!

  2. Zoe, the close up of the cherry sauce made me drool! YUM!! The cake looks fabulous!

  3. Hi Zoe, your cheery cake looks delicious. I loves the fresh cherries.
    Have a nice day.

  4. Hi Zoe! This cake is right up my alley. I could probably eat the whole thing in one sitting, but I don't think that would be a good idea! It would be ideal as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea.

    I love that cherry chomper and I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like that over here in the states.

  5. Enjoying and drooling over your pictures. Great looking bakes and yes fresh cherries are super expensive here.

  6. Mmmmm ... I can imagine biting into the cherries in the cake ... juicy, luscious, moist ... gosh, you've got me drooling! Love the cherry chomper ... so cute!

  7. Hi Zoe, beautiful tea cake and delicious cupcakes!
    Have a nice week

  8. These are delectable !!! I love the moistness of the cake and the addition of vanilla sugar on top ;) & I'm so jealous of your cherry chomper wahhhhhh hahaha I had to do mine manually so no gorgeous WHOLE cherries in my topping :P ;D

  9. Great cake! I love this cherries in!

  10. Oh I like this, looks so drooling and mouthwatering. Cherries are just perfect for this summer!

  11. Baking with friends is so much of fun, envy envy!And this tea cake looks so tasty!

  12. How I wish I can get a piece from each of yours, Lena's and Joyce's. Stop tempting my palate!!

  13. Cake with fruit is always something I never pass up. This recipe here does look like a winner. I am wondering now if I can get my hands on some fresh cherries, I know it can make all the difference. Amazing photos here, thanks for sharing.

  14. hey, first time i'm seeing a cherry pitter! really makes your job so much easier..i also used the vanilla sugar that i got from lygon! Yeah, agree that the basic cake itself is very nice and moist! great pick, zoe!

  15. Zoe I love this cherry cake and I love cherries, look delicious!!! gloria

  16. Seriously cant take my eyes from ur irresistible clicks,super tempting and prefect looking cake.

  17. This looks so perfect and delicious!

  18. very lovely combo of flavours,yummy bake!

    Erivum Puliyum

  19. Oh my gosh, this cake looks so good! I also love cherry and vanilla :)

  20. What a fantastic cake!Well done,dear!Kisses!

  21. I have been wondering how do you pit the seed of the cherry then I see the cherry chopper! What a good little kitchen gadget!

  22. #1 i am so jealous of your adorable cherry chomper! #2 these look fabulous! #3 i love the idea of a bake along!

  23. I Like your cherry chomper! So cute! Where did you get it? (: I've nominated an award for you, hope you'll like it! (:

    1. Hi Jasline, Thanks for the award.

      I bought my cherry chomper from a store called The General Trader from Melbourne. My son simply love this cherry chomper and help me to pit the cherries using this chomper. He thinks that he is doing a great job...LOL!

  24. Cute gadget you have got. this cake looks yummy!

  25. Wow Zoe, this cake looks great, now I just need a cup of tea to go with your cherry chomper :)
    Have a great week!

  26. I like the look of this. Cherries always taste good and the sugar on the top must make it extra nice! :-)

  27. What a great idea - vanilla and cherries is a magic combination! I could eat that whole cake - delicious
    mary x

  28. Gorgeous looking cake, Zoe! I would love a slice!

  29. Your post reminds me of how much I love cherries in dessert. And I so want a cherry chomper!

  30. these look so yummmy! and that cherry chomper is CUTE, i use a chopstick.

  31. I love cherry and vanilla together as well, so this cake sounds fantastic! I haven't done anything at all with cherries lately. Beyond tossing them into smoothies, that is. Gorgeous cake, once again, Zoe.

  32. This looks absoloutely beautiful! I love cherries! P.s. your photography is so incredible, magazine standard!:)

  33. emmmm....look to your recipe make me so hungry and the instruction very detail....nice share

  34. Mmm, I wish I had cherries now so I could bake this beautifully moist and elegant cake, but I guess I will have to wait until spring!

  35. This is obviously one of my favourites.

  36. omg yum yum yum! already sounds good enough plain, and then you go on to make a cherry sauce!? brilliant.

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  38. DH and I enjoyed this cake and will bake it again soon!

  39. This looks beautiful! I love cherries in cakes. Perfect for afternoon tea!

  40. I love me some cherries :) This cake looks absolutely divine! I bet it tastes just as lovely, beautiful job!

  41. Both the tea cake and cupcakes sound divine- cherries are my favorite! And I REALLY want one of those adorable Cherry Chompers! :)