Rainier Cherries Crown This Cake{14}

Rainier Cherries almond cake batter

In far-off Minnesota, my favorite blogging baker and bon vivant, Eileen of Passions to Pastry, posted a recipe that called to me: rustic rhubarb – almond cake. (Full disclosure: all of Eileen’s recipes call to me.) But a trip to my over-harvested, under-watered rhubarb patch showed me that a substitution was in order. Dry, stringy, tough rhubarb has little appeal in any recipe or for any palate.

rainier cherry almond cake recipe

As luck would have it, my friends Beth and Pam had just returned from eastern Washington, where cherry orchards abound and fruit stands are aplenty. When they handed me a 20-pound corrugated treasure chest of organic Rainier cherries, I do believe I teared up. (They say “whimpered.”)

Rainier cherries almond cake

With a fridge full of Rainier cherries at my disposal, a little recipe modification was in order. Rather than rhubarb, Rainier cherries would be the crown jewels in this cake recipe. (Thanks Mom and sis for the fine pitting job!)

cherry almond cake closeup

Rainier Cherry Almond Cake


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1lb Rainier Cherries
  • 1 1/4 cup All-Purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs (large and room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


Tom Conway adapted recipe from Eileen Troxel's adapted recipe from Alison Roman | Bon Appétit, April 2015


Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, butter one ten-inch springform pan, dust with flour, tap out extra.
Step 2
Pit one pound of Rainier cherries. (Other cherries work fine, too.) Set aside.
Step 3
Whisk flours, baking powder, and salt until mixed. Empty into bowl.
Step 4
Mix 1 cup butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth, add extracts, mix on medium until incorporated, smooth, light and fluffy, about 2 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend first egg before adding second. Beat until mixture is pale and fluffy, about 2 minute.
Step 5
Gradually add dry ingredients, followed by yogurt. Continue mixing, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed, just to combine (batter will be thick). Fold in half of the pitted cherries and scrape batter into prepared pan. Smooth batter and arrange remaining cherries over top. Sprinkle with three tablespoons sugar.
Step 6
Place springform pan on a large rimmed baking sheet (to catch any rogue juices) and bake, rotating once, until cake is golden brown and cherries are soft, 60 - 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool before removing from pan.

slice of cherry almond cake

Try this recipe with any seasonal fruit; I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and thank you Eileen; bake on, bake on!