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First things first, I’d like to announce the lucky winner of the giveaway!  Bertolli, our generous sponsor, will be giving Kate, a fellow food blogger,  the gift package containing the ice cream maker, the iTunes gift card, the espresso maker, and the coupons for the Bertolli frozen meals.  Congratulations, Kate!  So, have fun, eat well, and celebrate all things Italy!

I absolutely love tart cherries.  I actually found a can of them, unsweetened and uncolored at Walmart, of all places.  I took them home couldn’t wait very long before baking into something warm and streusel-y and glistening with a creamy glaze.

My, oh, my.

tart cherry crumb cake

for the cake batter and cherries layer:

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (112g) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 14 ounce can tart, unsweetened cherries, drained

for the streusel topping:

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 tablespoons butter

for the cream glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch square baking pan. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Incorporate eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Add in vanilla and sour cream. Beat until smooth. Slowly incorporate flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

3. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the streusel topping, and add in the butter and almond extract. Mix with hands or mixer until mixture starts pulling together.

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4. Spread two-thirds of the batter into the bottom of the cake pan. Mix cherries with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Distribute evenly over batter. Sprinkle 1/4 of the streusel topping. Top with remaining batter and streusel topping. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

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5. While the cake is still warm, mix together powdered sugar, cream, and almond extract until smooth and runny (add more cream if necessary). Drizzle over top of cake. Serve warm.

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