How to Make a Layered Fresh Cherry Cake Loaf


1247 2 1247 Cherries

Cherries are here!

We are so excited to highlight our Dark Sweet Cherries in our Layered Fresh Cherry Cake recipe. Although these cherries are delicious to eat as is (and trust us – we do that plenty), they’re great for so much more. These cherries in particular are full of flavor. They’re incredibly sweet and juicy with just the right balance of acid to make one delicious fruit. You’ll frequently find us throwing these cherries into salads, smoothies, and, as we are in this recipe, even baked goods.

ingredients for layered cherry cake

For most, cherries may not be a go-to for baking. We’re here to change that! They bake into almost every dessert where you’d typically use berries beautifully. Using fresh cherries is even better as they’ll be juicer than their frozen counterparts.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t it a bit of a pain to pit enough cherries for a dessert like this?” Good news: it’s much easier than you’d think! In fact, we’ve have three methods for pitting your cherries: using a paperclip, chopstick and bottle, or cherry pitter. Using one of these methods, you’ll have all of the cherries you need pitted in a jiffy.

layered cherry cake
The Dessert People Crave!

This layered cake is the perfect dessert for late spring and summer. It also makes a fabulous addition to a brunch spread! It keeps well which means you can make it ahead of time and travels easily. There’s little it can’t do.

The key to making this treat special is the layers. You’ll start by spreading a little batter in the bottom of a loaf pan, followed by a layer of halved fresh cherries tossed in jam and repeat, ending on a layer of batter. The layering makes for a beautiful presentation and ensures you get fresh cherries in every bite.

Layered Cherry Cake Icing

This recipe makes a delicious, dense loaf cake so make sure to cook in advance: 1 hour and 15 – 30 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of cooling time. This dessert is worth the wait: we promise. Speaking of planning ahead, good news: this loaf cake is still delicious when served the next day (even for a few days). Just keep wrapped tight in plastic wrap or a zipper top bag.

The Cherry On Top

The icing is optional, but I wouldn’t skip it if I were you. A little powdered sugar mixed with lemon juice adds a final dash of sweetness and the tart lemon really brings out the natural flavors of the cherries. We recommend drizzling the whole loaf with the icing and serving extra on the side for folks to add a little more to their slices.

Make sure to let us know how your layered cherry cake turns out in the comments or what other fun cake pans you like to bake it in!


  • Cake Loaf
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fresh cherries (approximately 50 to 75), stemmed, pitted and halved
  • 1 tbsp berry jam (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, as preferred)
  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus 1 tsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Icing
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Delicious layers of cake and fresh cherries is a perfect choice for a summer dessert.

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  • Yield
    12 servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place berry jam in a pot over moderate heat, stir continuously until just melted. Remove from heat.
  3. Add halved cherries to melted jam and stir gently to lightly coat. Set aside.
  4. Grease and flour loaf pan (easily done by using a paper towel to spread a thin layer of butter along sides and bottom of pan, then add 1 teaspoon of flour and gently roll and tap pan to dust buttered surfaces.
  5. Invert pan over sink to remove excess flour. Set pan aside.).
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Set aside.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy.
  8. Add egg and egg whites, one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions.
  9. Add extract and yogurt and continue mixing until both are well incorporated. Reduce speed to lowest setting and begin adding flour in batches, until all has been thoroughly mixed in, scraping sides of bowl as you make additions.
  10. Layer portion of batter (1/3 or 1/4, as preferred – see recipe header note) in bottom of pan.
  11. Top batter with one layer of cherry halves, nestled side by side to cover.
  12. Repeat batter and cherry layers, ending with final batter layer. (Use a kitchen knife or small offset spatula to spread batter to edges of pan, covering cherries.)
  13. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, until cake is lightly golden and toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
  14. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes.
  15. Using a dinner knife, lightly “cut” around edges of pan to help loosen cake, then invert and remove cake from pan. Allow cake to rest on wire rack until completely cooled.
  16. Once cooled, cake can be iced or served immediately. Cake also keeps beautifully if made the day ahead.

For icing:

  1. Simply combine powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice until smooth and of desired consistency (add more sugar or juice, as needed).
  2. Pour over cake. Let icing set before serving, approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 335
  • Fat Content: 8.2 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 4.9 g
  • Protein Content: 6.8 g
  • Carbohydrate Content: 61.2 g
  • Fiber Content: 1.6 g
  • Sugar Content: 38 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 36.2 g
  • Sodium Content: 194 mg