This Cherry Bundt Cake is a simple but elegant dessert that will melt in your mouth. This German recipe is perfect with a hot cup of coffee and makes for a delicious afternoon treat.
The original recipe is a traditional German dessert from my grandmother's "treasure chest."
Whenever the family got together, Oma miraculously whipped up another cake for our afternoon coffee hour. A German tradition is also known as "Kaffee und Kuchen". And her Cherry Almond Cake ("Rührkuchen") was among our favorites.
Rührkuchen ("whisk cakes") are really easy because essentially all you do is whisk a number of ingredients into a smooth batter.
Add some of your favorite fillings, bake, and decorate with sugar or a glaze. And with just a little bit of prep, you've yourself a delicious afternoon treat.
Once she taught me how to make the basic recipe, I understood why she'd make it so often.
It's really easy to make, hard to mess up, and you can easily customize it to suit what you have in your fridge and pantry.
And like all bundt cakes, it makes for a dramatic presentation when you bring it to the table. Serve this cake with a dollop (or two) of whipped cream, and you'll feel like you're in a German bakery.
Why This German Cherry Bundt Cake Works
LIGHT AND MOIST - The batter is light, moist, and incredibly delicious.
CUSTOMIZABLE - Cherries and Almonds are a great combination. But you can easily customize this and add other fresh or even canned fruits.
BEGINNER FRIENDLY - It's a forgiving cake recipe. Combine all of the ingredients and beat them with a hand mixer. Add in cherries and almonds, and your cake is ready to go into the oven.
EASY INGREDIENTS - For this German Cherry Bundt Cake, we'll use simple pantry and fridge staples! My favorite kind of cake recipe!
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
BUTTER - You've heard me say this before. But make sure to use unsalted butter. For this recipe, you'll want to make sure to use softened, room-temperature butter.
EGGS - I generally use large eggs for this recipe but have had good results with ultra-large eggs as well. Unlike other recipes, you don't have to separate egg yolks.
FLOUR - This is where I didn't exactly follow Oma's recipe. Instead of using all-purpose flour with a raising agent, I typically prefer self-rising flour. It's just easier.
VANILLA EXTRACT - If I were to make this recipe in Germany, I'd recommend using 1 package of vanilla sugar. And you can make this substitution if your grocery store carries vanilla sugar (mine actually does). But for simplicity's sake, I'm using vanilla extract for this recipe adaptation.
SUGAR - We'll use two types of sugar for this recipe. For the batter, we'll use granulated sugar. To finish and garnish the sponge cake, we'll use a couple of tablespoons of confectioner's (powdered) sugar. (Psst, it's also great to cover any imperfections.)
FILLINGS - Cherries, sliced almonds, and a bit of fresh lemon juice. If you want to boost the lemon flavor you can also add a bit of lemon zest. I don't always do, so it's not part of the recipe.
How To Make A German Cherry Bundt Cake
For step-by-step instructions please print the recipe card below.
Making the batter
- Prep Work - Preheat your oven to 350º Fahrenheit and grease your bundt cake pan. Defrost the cherries, pat them dry, toss them with some flour, and set aside.
- Mixing the Batter - Cream together butter and sugar, then blend in eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and lemon juice. Gradually mix in the self-rising flour until smooth, then gently fold in the cherries and almonds.
- Baking - Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes. The perfect bake time ensures a golden exterior and a moist interior.
- Finishing Touches - After baking, let the cake cool before inverting onto a rack. Finish by dusting with powdered sugar for a beautiful presentation.
Recipe Success Tips
If you're using cherries from a jar, make sure to carefully pat them dry to remove the excess moisture.
This recipe belongs to the category of German fruit cakes. While I use cherries from a jar, I highly recommend using fresh cherries when they are in season.
PRODUCT UPDATE 11/21: When I originally shared this recipe, I typically bought Morello Cherries in a glass jar from Trader Joe's. Sadly, this product has been discontinued. I've updated the recipe and am now using defrosted, pitted frozen cherries that are available year-round.
If you can't find cherries in a jar (I usually find mine at Trader Joe's), you can also use frozen cherries. If you choose frozen cherries, make sure to use a paper towel to remove as much excess moisture as possible. Just do it carefully because you don't want to squish the cherries.
Be sure to drain the cherries and remove as much moisture as possible. Give the cherries a light dusting of flour before adding them to the batter. This will help to make sure the cherries don't clump together.
Once you've made this recipe a few times, I encourage you to experiment with other fresh berries. Try using fresh raspberries or strawberries.
I always use sliced strawberries, but if your strawberries are small, you can also try fresh whole strawberries. I'd love to hear about your experiments in the comments.
If you don't have a bundt cake pan, you can also use a 9-inch springform pan instead.
STORE - Keep leftover cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days to maintain its moist texture.
FREEZE - For longer storage, wrap the cake well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.
REHEAT - If you prefer your cake warm, a quick stint in the microwave can revive its freshly baked warmth.
- WHIPPED CREAM - A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream complements the cake's richness.
- FRESH FRUIT - Serve with a side of fresh berries for a refreshing contrast.
- COFFEE OR TEA - A hot beverage makes a cozy companion to this sweet treat, perfect for afternoon tea or a coffee break.
- ICE CREAM - A scoop of vanilla ice cream alongside a warm slice of cake makes for an indulgent dessert.
More Easy And Delicious German Desserts
- BIENENSTICH - German Bee Sting Cake
- GERMAN CHEESECAKE - Käsekuchen
- STREUSELKUCHEN - German Crumb Cake
- SAND CAKE - German: Sandkuchen, a simple German Bundt Cake.
Cherry Bundt Cake
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease a 9½-inch bundt cake pan.
- Defrost the cherries. Use a paper towel and pat dry to remove the excess moisture. Give the cherries a light dusting of flour. Set aside.
Making The Batter
- In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla extract, sour cream, and lemon juice and continue to beat until well combined.
- Slowly add self-rising flour and continue to beat until the batter is smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is well combined.
- Fold the flour-dusted cherries and sliced almonds into the batter. Be sure not to overwork the batter at this point. The goal is just to evenly distribute the cherries and almonds.
- Pour the batter into the greased bundt cake pan and bake for 50-55 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit.
Adding The Finishing Touches
- Use a wooden toothpick to check for doneness. Once done remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
- Invert the cake pan onto a wire cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool completely. Dust the cake with powdered sugar.
- Make sure the butter is at room temperature.
- Allow the cherries to drain properly and remove as much excess moisture as possible.
- To keep the cherries from clumping together, sprinkle them with flour before adding to the batter.
- UPDATE 11/21: When I originally shared this recipe I used Morello cherries in light syrup. This product has been difficult to get (Trader Joe's has discontinued them) and I am now recommending frozen pitted cherries (fresh if in season).