Sweet and Short: Tart Cherry Season

Some of the best July fireworks are tart cherries sparking bright red on our hardy fruit trees here in Colorado. On hot summer days, we stand under the shady branches and harvest as many as we can, popping sun-warmed fruit into our mouths and plotting all the delicious things we’re going to make with the bounty. One thing is sure, this tart cherry pound cake will be in the mix. 

Tart, Montmorency cherries are a pie’s perfect match, add a sprinkle of sparkling sugar to these little red gems, top with a flaky crust and your pie dreams will come true. Macerated in a bit of sugar or honey, these puckery little guys become a delicious sauce for ice cream or yogurt. And don’t get us started on sour cherry jam with duck or pork. Oh, yes.

We discovered this recipe for Tart Cherry Pound Cake several years ago and it’s become our go-to recipe every cherry season. Rich, tender and studded with tart/sweet cherries, this melt-in-your-mouth cake develops a lovely crust when drizzled with cherry syrup while it’s still warm.

Serve a slice just as it is with a frosty glass of sweet tea, or add a dollop of ice cream and another spash of cherry syrup. It freezes well, too, just in case you need a taste of high summer when the leaves start to fall.


Tart Cherry Pound Cake

(adapted from Domenica Marchetti)

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen tart (sour) cherries
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/2 cup for marinating cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt or sour cream

Preheat oven to 325°. Coat a Bundt pan with cooking spray and dust with flour. Combine cherries with ½ cup of sugar and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and yogurt to batter, beginning and ending with flour.

Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup. Gently fold drained cherries into batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and a tester comes out clean, about 75-80 minutes.

While cake is baking, simmer cherry syrup in a small saucepan until thickened, about 10 minutes.

When the cake is done, cool for 25 minutes and then depan. While cake is still warm, place cake on a rack and drizzle with cherry syrup. Serves 10-12





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