Sour Cherry Streusel Cake

This recipe was shared with me many, many moons ago by one of my pals at Nigella’s Kitchen Forum.

This cake also happens to be my son’s favorite sweet comfort food. It is one of two sweet things my son will request – the other being my kitchen sink oatmeal cookies. The cake is light and delicate with sour cherries and a crispy, buttery streusel topping.

It doesn’t ship well.

My making this can only mean one thing – VISITING WEEKEND AT CAMP! I cannot wait to put my arms around that skinny boy. I know. I know. He’s a man – HA. He’s 21. He’s my baby. I don’t care if he’s 51. He’s my baby.

Enough filler. Let’s get back to our regularly scheduled cake.

Although the recipe is originally called Platz (Mennonite Streusel Cake), it came to me as Sour Cherry Streusel Cake and that is how it shall forever be known. The recipe comes from Johanna Burkhard’s 400 best Comfort Foods.

And besides, if I had told my family that their now beloved Sour Cherry Streusel Cake was actually called Platz, I don’t think they would have been quite so quick to love it! And until I bought the book, I would never have thought to make this with other fruit! I think it was more of a sour cherries – yum – what could be better than that! The book recommends cherries or apricots. I’m thinking blueberries!

And I wait patiently every year until late spring/early summer for the sour cherry crop to be ready. And sometimes I miss it.

I was very lucky this year, and came across some at the Farmer’s Market in Union Square Park. I pitted all of them and put some in the freezer for use later in the season. Did I mention I love my cherry pitter? Well I do! Not as much splattering and the fruit doesn’t get too damaged in the process.


  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/3 C butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C half-and-half or light cream
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract or grated lemon zest
  • 4 C pitted, drained sour cherries or other seasonal sliced fruits

Crumb Topping

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C butter, at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork to make coarse crumbs.

Beat egg in a bowl; stir in cream and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture to make a thick batter.

Drop small spoonfuls of batter into a generously greased 13 x 9-inch cake pan and spread evenly.

Top with cherries in a single layer.

Combine flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork to make coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle evenly over fruit. Bake on middle rack in oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until top is golden.

Place pan on a rack and let cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 12 squares

NOTE: In a dash of occasional madness, I have been known to add almond paste (1/2 a tube) to the cake batter and a little almond extract (1/2 teaspoon). And to incite further frivolity in my house I have made 1 1/2 times the streusel topping!

And just coz I know you want it – one me peek at the cake …

13 Responses

  1. Looks wonderful! I love sour cherries!

  2. I love the topping! This looks so delicious.

  3. I want a piece…right now!
    Looks wonderful….no sour cherries here:(

  4. delicious looking streusel cake I make with strawberries looks wonderful

  5. I have so many cherries right now. This will be a perfect way to use some of them – the cake looks delicious!

  6. Gorgeous cake. What a good recipe to have on hand for cherry season.

    • I buy many more than I need and pit them and freeze them so I have the cherries any time we want the cake! I pit them while I’m watching TV with TONS of newspaper all over the surrounding area!

  7. Lovely recipe and a gorgeous cake.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. Some things never change I guess…even when they are 21.

  9. Can I freeze the cake after baking?

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