Sweet treats that celebrate the patriotic spirit of Independence Day can run the gamut from the simple to the more refined, from tabletop fare to outdoor barbecues. And as varied are the offerings, so too are the occasions, from morning fetes to twilight extravaganzas. Being one that favors the more subtle and sublime when it comes to celebrations, I particularly love a recipe that can be prepped the day before and, like a chameleon, adapt to a variety of servings.

This Red, White & Blue Layered Fresh Cherry Cake is a tasty pound cake, dressed up two ways for a special occasion. The batter is subtly sweet and moist, made even more delicious with the addition of several layers of fresh Stemilt cherries.

And, best of all, it’s a sweet treat that can be prepped early… leaving loads of time for other patriotic pursuits. Need a little something to welcome breakfast revelers? How about something a little sweeter for lounging on the lawn? Or, perhaps a parfait best suits the day? Sliced on its own, drizzled with a lemony glaze, or layered with berries and the “créme” of your choice (whipped, ice, or cultured… as in yogurt)… this cake plays well with a variety of toppings.

This Red, White & Blue Layered Fresh Cherry Cake is a nice, subtly sweet welcome to breakfast takers. Sliced as thin or thick as you like and served along with some fresh Greek yogurt and blueberries, it’s a fitting nod to the flavor and color of the day.

Or, drizzle the whole thing with a wonderful lemon-infused icing for a sweeter dessert offering that makes this fruit-laced cake perfectly patriotic when dolloped with a little whipped topping that’s dotted with a few fresh blueberries to mimic our flag.

Or, if you’re feeling a bit more versatile, layer squares of this bread with your créme of choice and a few fresh blueberries for a charming red, white, and blue “pop” of fun.

Red, White & Blue Cherry Cake


  • 1 lb fresh cherries stemmed, pitted and halved
  • 1 tbsp berry jam
  • 3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour, plus 1 tsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 to 5 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

This Red, White & Blue Layered Fresh Cherry Cake is a tasty pound cake, dressed up two ways for a special occasion.

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  • Yield
    12 servings
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This Red, White & Blue Layered Fresh Cherry Cake is a tasty pound cake, dressed up two ways for a special occasion.


  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. Add halved cherries to melted jam and stir gently to lightly coat. Set aside.
  3. 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. Invert pan over sink to remove excess flour. Set pan aside.).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and butter on medium speed until creamy. Add egg and egg whites, one at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions. 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.
  6. Layer portion of batter (1/3 or 1/4, as preferred – see recipe header note) in bottom of pan. Top batter with one layer of cherry halves, nestled side by side to cover. 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.)
  7. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, until cake is lightly golden and toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. 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. Once cooled, cake can be iced or served immediately. Cake also keeps beautifully if made the day ahead.
  8. For icing, simply combine powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice until smooth and of desired consistency (add more sugar or juice, as needed). Pour over cake. Let icing set before serving, approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.
  9. Once you’ve stemmed and pitted the cherries, this cake comes together quite quickly. I use a single, hand-held pitter by OXO that has a little plastic shield on it that works great in keeping splatter to a minimum. This tool, along with lining my work surface with wax paper topped with a few paper towels really keeps clean up easy and mess free. And, once the cherries are all pitted I halve them with a paring knife… making sure there are no pits left behind. Two to three layers of cherries work best in this cake so, depending on how many you choose, just portion your batter accordingly. For two layers of cherries, you’ll need three layers of batter (so about a third of your batter between each layer of cherries); for three layers of cherries, you’ll need four layers of batter (so portion batter into quarters)… no need for exact measurements, visual approximations work great! It takes about 45 halves to complete a layer of cherries (so about 25 cherries are needed for each layer).
  10. Depending on how “linear” you want your cherries to appear, I’ve found that slicing the cake in half crosswise, and then cutting slices off the “sides” of the cake will present a nice “flag-like” rectangular shape and more even stripe of cherries.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 335
  • Fat Content: 8.2
  • Protein Content: 6.8
  • Carbohydrate Content: 61.2
  • Fiber Content: 1.6
  • Sugar Content: 38