Cherry Sour Cream Cake 8.000
Nov 6, 1991

This gorgeously moist cake consists of a buttermilk-based sponge soaked in a tangy sour-cream-and-sour-cherry mixture.

You'll need a 9-inch springform pan. By all means, use fresh sour cherries when they are in season.

Make Ahead: The cake should be assembled at least 8 hours in advance and up to overnight.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • For the cake
  • Unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 3/4 cup canned sour cherries, well drained, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Toasted walnut halves, for garnish (see NOTE)
  • For the cream
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup canned sour cherries, well drained and mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons cherry liqueur


For the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease the pan with butter.

Pulse the 3/4 cup of cherries in a food processor for just a few turns, to break them up, then transfer them to the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Add the buttermilk, sugar and eggs; beat on low, then medium speed for about 1 minute.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt on a sheet of wax paper.

Reduce the mixer speed to low; gradually add the blended dry ingredients to the cherry mixture to form a batter. Pour into the pan; bake for about 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack; cool completely before removing from the pan.

Meanwhile, make the cream: Whisk the sour cream and sugar together in a mixing bowl for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cherries, walnuts and liqueur; whisk until well blended.

To assemble, use a long serrated knife to carefully cut the cake horizontally into 3 even layers. Place the top cake layer on a serving platter, cut side up; brush with one-quarter of the cream. Top with the second cake layer and repeat. Top with the third layer, cut side up. Spread the remaining cream on the top and sides of the cake.

Decorate the top with cherries and walnuts; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving.

NOTE: Toast the walnut halves in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until lightly browned and fragrant, shaking the pan to avoid scorching. Cool completely before using.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Please to the Table," by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman (Workman, 1990).

Tested by The Washington Post.

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