as mother’s day approached this year, i had very little trouble deciding what to make in honor of my fabulous mom. it just had to be her famous cherry cake.
a brief summary: it’s a vanilla cake, topped with plump cherries and brown sugar that forms a beautiful, crunchy topping. it’s moist on the inside with a caramel-y outer crust, and perfect for dipping in tea or coffee. it’s super simple to make and can be assembled with things you likely already have in the fridge — i realize now it’s also dairy free! most importantly, it’s foolproof and comes out perfectly every single time (like in today’s case, when i didn’t have frozen cherries so i subbed them with mixed berries. i even messed up the sugar a bit. still perfect).
but in all its simplicity, it’s not just some ordinary concoction… mom made it when i came home to visit from college, or when she had friends over (and i’d steal a piece), or whenever i begged enough. later, it became my go-to recipe for all kinds of things too. my sister and i used to make it together when we lived closeby in Holland. i made it for her when her son (my adorable nephew) was born, as a welcome gift when they arrived home as a new family +1 for the first time. it was also the first thing i baked for the Australian Man when we first moved in. it’s become an heirloom. a world-travelling one, at that.
so thank you for this cake, mom, and for all the memories that came with it.
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup natural sugar
1 cup flour (half plain, half wholemeal)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet frozen cherries (or other berries you have handy), for topping
2 tbsp dark brown sugar, for topping
preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F. in a large bowl, mix together the canola oil, sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. sift the flour and baking powder, then fold in to form a thick batter.
grease (i spray) and flour a round springform pan. pour the batter into the pan, and add the cherries/berries over top to cover the batter in a single layer. sprinkle the brown sugar over the cake and berries.
bake 45 min to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.