JoyFoodly is delighted to create recipes each month for Whole Foods Market’s ‘Now in Season’ program. Be sure to look for our recipe cards in your Northern California stores, and don’t forget to speak with your Whole Foods Market produce person when picking out your summer cherries. They always have the best tips and easy recipes—and often offer tasty samples.
Whenever I see a swirled pound cake recipe in one of my favorite food magazines, I start to let out little oohs and ahhs. I personally don’t love baking, but I always imagine that someone has made that special dessert with love and a great deal of effort. Which is why I’m so excited to share this extremely simple yet fancy summer dessert with you.
Here’s a secret. Swirling doesn’t require a pastry degree.
When French kids learn to bake, there is a basic yogurt cake recipe their parents teach them using only the yogurt container to measure out ingredients. The idea is to help their children understand not just about the principles of baking and correct measurements, but to instill a simple truth. Food, including dessert, can be simple. You just need to have the essential ingredients and a little know-how.
Being that I’m truly not a baker, this is my confession. As a chef, people think I love cooking everything, but we all have our limits. What I do enjoy, however, is the feeling of making food that gives others pleasure. So my way of overcoming my dislike for baking is to find those three to four go-to recipes I can use again and again, adjusting ingredients slightly to fit each season. This cake is one of those recipes. In winter, I use oranges, and in summer, it’s cherries. Believe me when I say, it’s so easy you may feel guilty when your loved ones rant and rave about all the trouble you went to in making it! We’ll keep that secret between you and me.
- cherries, 1 lb, divided (about 3 cups whole)
- yogurt (plain), not greek style, 6 oz
- lemon, 1
- sugar, 1 1/8 cups (divided)
- eggs, 3
- vanilla, 1/2 tsp
- all purpose gluten free flour, 1 1/2 cups
- salt, 1/2 tsp
- baking powder, 2 tsp
- olive oil, 1/2 cup
- Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wash cherries and lemon.
- Toss 1 cup pitted cherries into a blender with ⅛ cup sugar. Puree until smooth and set aside. You will use this to swirl into the batter once it has been mixed.
- Zest lemon.
- In a medium sized bowl, rub zest of the lemon into the remaining 1 cup sugar with your hands until incorporated well and set aside. This is your dry ingredients bowl.
- Juice lemon in a separate medium sized bowl. This is your wet ingredients bowl.
- Mix the remaining dry ingredients and lemon sugar together and set aside.
- Mix the wet ingredients together (except the olive oil and the cherry puree).
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients into one bowl, slowly adding the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Mix until combined.
- Fold the olive oil into this mixture gradually, not all at once, and use light, long turns of your spatula to fully mix in the oil each time you add a little more.
- The batter should have a nice sheen.
- Rub a little olive oil all over the inside of your baking pan. We like to rub the oil on the sides of the pan in an upward motion. We think this will help the cake rise just a little more!
- Pour one-half of the batter into the 5x10 greased loaf pan. Dollop 8 heaping spoonfuls of the pureed cherries over the batter, and swirl with wooden skewer or a butter knife. Then pour the remaining batter on top. Repeat with 8 more heaping spoonfuls of pureed cherries on top and swirl.
- Bake uncovered at 350F for 50 to 55 minutes. Check at 50 minutes.
- How will I know when this cake is done? Use a toothpick in the center. If sticky dough comes off on your toothpick, your cake needs more time. Keep checking every 10 minutes until the toothpick comes out clean. This is a moist cake and once you remove it from the oven, it will continue to firm up from carry over cooking while it's cooling. Let cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving. This is a very simple but delicious cake. It does not rise a great deal, but it should be moist and tender on the inside. We even like to drizzle a little honey on top when we don't have powdered sugar and berries.
- Serve with the remaining whole cherries on the side!
If you’re looking for more ways to cook simple, yet nourishing meals for your family, join my Joyful 12 Kitchen Learning Lab. It’s a members only course for busy parents and adults. We cook nine veggies and three fruits together each season with other families that are looking for time saving ways to cook great food for their loved ones. Join the Joyful 12.
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