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~ My Buttery Sour-Cream Sour-Cherry Pound-Cake ~

IMG_9853Pound cakes are a personal thing.  I would never proclaim to have the best pound cake recipe, because almost everyone's mother or grandmother made the best pound cake they ever tasted and I am no exception:  my grandmother made the best pound cake I ever tasted.  Like all pound-cake-baking grandmas, she used the same basic pantry ingredients as everyone else (flour, sugar, butter and eggs) then embellished her cake with ingredients common to her heritage.  Being of Eastern European descent (Russian), those ingredients included sour cream, sour cherries and dried sour cherries, all of which are very common to Russian cuisine!

IMG_9649My grandmother didn't own a bundt pan, she owned a tube pan.  Why? Because she was baking long before two women from Minneapolis approached the Nordic Ware founder, H. David Dalquist (in the 1940's), to ask him if he would produce a modern version of the IMG_9683German Gugelhupf pan.  In 1950, the bundt pan (the "t" was added to the name for trademarking purposes) was sold for the first time. My mom bought one sometime in the latter 1950's and this is her pan -- one of the originals -- cast in unembellished aluminum!

The bundt pan itself, didn't gain in popularity until a woman by the name of Ella Heifrich won second place in the 1966 Pillsbury Bakeoff with her "Tunnel of Fudge" cake!

I only remember my mom using this  IMG_9688pan during the 1960's to make bundt cakes from recipes she clipped out of magazines like Redbook and Women's Day.  She never made my grandmother's pound cake in a bundt pan, and, to this day, neither do I!

To learn the difference between a bundt pan and a tube pan, read my post ~ Bakeware Essentials:  A Bundt Pan & A Tube Pan ~ in Categories 6, 15 & 16, or, by clicking on the Related Article link below!

A bit about pound cake ("quatre-quarts" in French, meaning "four fourths":  Originally, this fine-textured loaf-shaped cake was made with 1-pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs, plus a flavoring, most commonly vanilla.  This is the original recipe, nothing more, nothing less.  Over the years, variations evolved, mostly adding leaveners like baking powder and baking soda to encourage rising, resulting in a less dense cake.  Vegetable oil is sometimes substituted in place of some of the butter, to produce a moister cake.  "Sour cream pound cake", substitutes sour cream in place of some of the butter, to produce a moister cake with a pleasant tang too!

It's time to bake a pound cake, just like grandma used to make!

IMG_96926 large eggs, at room temperature, separated

1  cup salted butter (yes, salted butter), at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

3  cups sugar

1  tablespoon wild cherry brandy

1  teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  tablespoon baking powder

1  cup sour cream

1/2  cup dried/dehydrated sour cherries

1 1/2-2  cups pitted, fresh sour cherries, sliced in half

1-2  tablespoons additional butter, for preparing pan

1-2  tablespoons additional flour, for preparing pan

1  tablespoon confectioners' sugar, for dusting top of cake

PICT0637~ Step 1.  You must have a 10" tube pan with a removable bottom for this recipe.  Don't confuse it with a bundt pan, as removing the cake from a bundt pan is not going to be a pretty sight!

Using the additional butter and flour, butter the inside of the pan, including the center tube.  Add the flour.  Holding the pan over the sink or trash can, shake, twist and turn the pan until the flour has evenly coated the entire surface, including the center tube.  Shake out and discard any excess flour.  Set aside.

IMG_9696~ Step 2.  Separate the eggs and set aside.  Place the cherry brandy, almond and vanilla extract in a small bowl.  Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.  Pit and slice the cherries and set aside. Make sure all other ingredients are measured and in place.

IMG_9713~ Step 3.  In a large mixing bowl, on medium-high speed of hand-held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

~ Step 4.  Beat in the egg yolks, one-two at a time, beating well after each addition, about 30 seconds each time, again, scraping down the sides of the bowl.  Add the cherry brandy and extracts and beat again, about 30 seconds.

IMG_9724 IMG_9732~ Step 5. Lower mixer speed and blend in flour mixture, in 3 parts, alternately with the sour cream, in 3 parts, beating well after each addition, again, scraping down the sides of the bowl .

IMG_9736Remove mixer. Wash, dry and replace beaters.

PICT0019 IMG_9750~ Step 6.  In a second mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed of electric mixer (with clean beaters), until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. 




IMG_9739                                         ~ Step 7. Using the spatula, fold the dried cherries into the batter. 

IMG_9764Add and gently but thoroughly fold in all of the egg whites.


IMG_9769~ Step 8. Using the spatula, fold the fresh cherries into the batter.

IMG_9787Spoon batter into pan, turning the pan with each scoop, to insure even distribution....  

... then keeping pan on countertop, give it a few firm back and forth shakes to even out the batter.

IMG_9796~ Step 9.  Bake cake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven for about 65-75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted at several spots comes out clean.

IMG_9799Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and cool, in pan, for 15-20 minutes...

... cake will be beginning to shrink away from the sides of the pan, but not completely free of it.

IMG_9813~ Step 10.  Using a sharp knife, carefully run it between sides of cake and outside perimeter of pan, to insure it is completely free of pan.

IMG_9816Grasping tube portion of pan, lift and transfer cake, to a cooling rack to cool completely, about 3 hours...

IMG_9827 IMG_9819... using the same knife, loosen the cake from the bottom of pan, just like you did the sides.  

Carefully invert the cake onto a large, round, serving plate.  

Using a fine mesh strainer and a teaspoon, lightly dust to top with confectioner's sugar.  

Slice and serve: 

IMG_9891My Buttery Sour-Cream Sour-Cherry Pound Cake:  Recipe yields 12-16 servings.

Special Equipment List:  10" tube pan (not a bundt pan); cherry pitter; cutting board; paring knife; large rubber spatula; hand-held electric mixer; 2 large mixing bowls; very large spoon; cake tester or wooden skewer; cooling rack; small, fine mesh strainer; ordinary teaspoon

PICT0731Cook's Note: ~ My NY Deli-Style Jewish Apple 'n Almond Cake ~ is another example of a dense cake which I also prepare in a 10" tube pan, and, as it should, my recipe specifies that for you.  Why? Because I've made it in a bundt pan, and it creates too heavy of a crust for this yummy, moist cake (just look at it).  You can find my recipe in Categories 6 or 9!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos Courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)


Veena -- Thank-you so much for the feedback. Our cherries are ready to pick again this year, and, I am going to bake one in a springform pan this time -- I love that idea!!!

Hi Melanie,

I just thought I'd give you an update. I was in the mood to experiment so I halved the recipe and baked it in a 9-in wide 3-in tall round springform pan and it turned out great! No spill-overs or seepages! :) The cake itself was dense yet super moist! And oh-so-flavourful! The combination of cake and cherries is simply amazing. :D

I didn't have any cherry brandy on me so I used some imitation rum extract and some raspberry emulsion instead.

My co-workers loved the cake!

Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! Take care. :)

Thank you for taking time out to respond to me, Melanie! Thank you for the detailed tip as well.

That's a great idea! I'll try by cutting the recipe down to 1/3rds. Better to be safe than sorry. And where there's cake, we don't want any sorry, do we? :D

Thank you so much once again. I truly appreciate it!

Veena -- Thank you for your comment and question. I think a loaf pan would work great, but, after thinking about your question at length, I believe you should cut the recipe into thirds (not in half) and place one-third in each loaf pan. Even in the tube pan, this is a very large, very dense pound cake. That said, please understand, I have never tried this and can only hope it comes out great!


This recipe looks amazing and I can't wait to try it!

However, I don't own a tube pan. If I halve this recipe and bake the pound cake in a round pan or loaf pan, do you think it would work?

Thank you for sharing this wonderful creation! :)

Amanda -- thanks for the feedback and kind words. I made one about two weeks ago myself (it was sour cherry season in my backyard). Also, thanks for sharing that defrosted cherries and a bit less sugar is an option too!

Excellent recipe. Thanks for sharing it. I picked sourcherries last month so was excited to try this. I only use defrosted sour cherries and 1 3/4c of sugar but still had rave reviews and request for seconds at the dinner party I hosted.

M. Baker: If you had taken the time TO READ the instructions and/or the specialty equipment list, you would have noticed I specifically said to use a:


Better luck next time. ~ Melanie

It better taste amazing because it overflowed my 12 cup nordic cake pan and has dripped all over my oven!!! Better yet, use two medium pans.

You have touched some good points here, and I found it quite useful. Maybe you can elaborate those ideas you shared in a future post for my blog site. Anyway, keep up with your writing! I'm sure more people will be more interested in your website in the future.

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