Cherry Ciambella Coffee Cake

fullsizeoutput_3d7aI know this is the fourth cherry recipe I’ve posted in almost as many weeks but they’re just so good. Plus I just got a cherry pitter and it’s amazing. It’s also that time of year where I’m starting to get panicky about trying to bake with all the fresh fruit before winter rears its ugly fruitless head.fullsizeoutput_3d58


I gave this recipe what I’ve come to think of as the “Frankenstein treatment” wherein I take two recipes I love and smush them together. The first recipe is Dorie Greenspan’s Roman Breakfast Cake. It’s sponge-y lemon-y goodness, offset with the tartness of whatever kind of berries you throw in and it is truly addictive. I struggle to keep it in the house for more than a day because every time I walk past it on the counter I slice off a little sliver. I’m all for balanced meals but I’m also all for days where I eat breakfast cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This recipe is perfect and I will continue to make Dorie’s original version over and over again.


But sometimes I just can’t leave well enough alone. I think it will come as no surprise that my usual, go-to coffee cake is Ina Garten’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake. It’s a perfectly tender, slightly tangy cake with two layers of cinnamon streusel. I’m a sucker for a streusel.


So here was my formula. I took Dorie’s cake base and adjusted the lemon flavor slightly to accommodate for the introduction of cinnamon in the streusel. I substituted cherries for the berries cause that’s my thing at the mo’. And then of course I had to make the glaze cherry because it’s delicious and also it makes the most gorgeous natural pink color.


Not all of my Franken-baking works out, but this one was no monster. Thank you for listening to my joke.

Cherry Ciambella Coffee Cake

Cherry Ciambella Coffee Cake

  • 6 eggs, room temperature and separated whites from yolks
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 lb. sweet cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons flour

For the Streusel

  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, small diced
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons reserved cherry juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Start by assembling the streusel. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. Use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is shaggy and sticks together when pinched. Set aside.

This cake has quite a few steps so it is best to take the extra time to get everything ready before you start mixing. This is not a one bowl recipe, but it is well worth the dishes. Separate egg yolks and whites into two bowls. Set aside. In another bowl, rub together sugar and lemon zest. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out oil, vanilla, and juice of one lemon. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Pit and quarter cherries, measure out 1 1/2 cups, and toss with 2 tablespoons flour. Press the leftover cherries into a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and set aside this juice for the glaze.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt until they reach firm (but not dry!) peaks. This should take about 2 minutes. Transfer whipped whites to a separate bowl.

Switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment and in the same mixing bowl (you don’t need to wash it) place the lemon-sugar and egg yolks. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Lower the speed and drizzle in the oil-lemon juice-vanilla mixture. Mix for another 3 minutes on medium. Lower the speed and add the flour-baking powder-salt all at once and continue mixing just until the flour disappears. Remove the bowl from the stand and mix the batter and few times with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as you go. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the egg whites in three additions, waiting until the whites are fully incorporated into the batter before adding more. Add the cherries and continue folding until they are evenly suspended in the batter.

Pour in about half of the batter into the tube pan. Sprinkle half of the streusel evenly over the top. Add the other half of the batter and top with the remaining streusel. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out nearly clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a knife along the sides of the pan to loosen the cake from the pan and invert the pan to slide the cake out. Turn back upright (the top of the cake is the same as when it went in the oven) and let cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze by combining cherry juice and powdered sugar. Stir until there is no more white from the sugar. Add enough lemon juice so that the glaze will drizzle smoothly off of a spoon. Place the cake on a cooling rack and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle (or pour) glaze over cake.


  1. Nice recipe.

    Just check my amazing chicken curry recipe. Click the link video, then wait for few seconds and you can watch it.

    Click here…


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