Tuesday 16 April 2024

Spiked Brown Cherry Cake

This is very similar to another German sour cherry and chocolate cake that I've been making for years (also on the blog).  This one is from Kindred by Eva and Maria Konecsny, two sisters who along with their mother founded Gewürzhaus, a spice shop in Melbourne.  Their cookbook has many family recipes that they are now sharing with the world.  

I made this one for Cookbook Club a while ago.  I love sour cherries, though I am feeling a bit dubious about them now, after having read a chapter in The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo.  Apparently, they are made with lots of dyes and chemicals to make them look plump and red in the jar!  Eek!  But I will keep using them, I reckon.  I just like 'em too much to stop.  She also discusses how she uses the kernels of apricots or cherries to make an 'almond' extract - which contains cyanide.  She is either brave or stupid - you pick!

looking very edible :=)

Serves 10:


140g./5 oz. salted butter, at room temp.

50g./a scant 2 oz. coconut sugar    see Notes

4 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites

3 Tbs maple syrup

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

a pinch of ground black pepper

90g./3.2 oz. dark chocolate, grated    see Notes

150g./5.3 oz. almond meal/ground almonds

50g./1.8 oz. dried breadcrumbs  see Notes

1 x 680g./24 oz. jar of pitted morello (sour) cherries, drained but KEEP the liquid

cream, to serve

Spiked syrup:

cherry juice (from above) - I ended up with 350 mL/12 oz.

2 Tbs raw sugar

1 cinnamon quill

8 black peppercorns

pinch of sea salt

Kirschwasser or liquor of your choice - I used 20 mL/0.7 oz. of spiced rum!


Whack on the oven to 170C/340F to heat up

Butter and flour a 23cm/9 inch round springform tin

Grab your electric beaters and cream the butter and sugar in a medium bowl

Now beat in the egg yolks, one yolk at a time, beating well

Keep beating while you add the maple syrup and spices, then fold in the chocolate

Now grab another mixing bowl, and beat the egg whites till stiff

You now fold half the egg whites into the batter, then half the almond meal and half the breadcrumbs

And do it all again with the other halves :=) i.e. the egg whites, almond meal and breadcrumbs

Pour/spoon the batter into the tin and make it smooth

On go the cherries across the top of the batter; press them gently into the batter

Try to get some of the batter over the cherries; you want 'em just a wee bit drowning and submerged in the batter (hehehe)

Put the cake tin on a baking tray, and bake for 25-30 minutes (tho' my cake took closer to 40 mins.!).  I do have a recalcitrant oven tho'.

Once the skewer comes out clean, you know it's done

Leave it in the tin, on a wire rack till absolutely cool - the sisters suggest you leave it overnight in an airtight container so it gets all lovely and cured and juicy

Syrup making:

Don't forget the syrup, which you can make and leave in the fridge till you're going to eat the cake, or make it the next day after you've allowed the cake to 'cure' for a day - yeah, what the?! :) when the cake is screaming out: "Eat me now!"

The cherry juice and sugar go into a small saucepan over low heat; stir till the sugar dissolves

Now add the spices and salt, and increase the heat till the syrup starts to boil

Reduce the heat, and let it simmer away for 15-25 minutes (mine took 20 mins.) until lightly thickened

Let it cool down for 15 mins., then add your liquor of choice - I ended up with 125 mL/4 big oz./½ cup of syrup before I added the spiced rum

Serve with the cake!


I used light brown sugar as I had no coconut sugar, and some panko breadcrumbs

I use Lindt 70% dark chocolate as it is very easy to break up with your fingers, and you get big chunks!

fold the chocolate into your batter

spoon into the tin, and smooth over

cherries in, and smoothed over before baking at 170C

and baked!

and eat!

c. Sherry M.


  1. Interesting about the cherries and the cyanide. I think I’d leave the pits alone.

    1. Yes you have to be careful with the pips/seeds from stone fruit!

  2. That looks like a perfect accompaniment with some freshly brewed tea or coffee!

  3. That sounds YUMMY, Sherry!

  4. I am going to read the ingredients of jarred sour cherries to see what's in them. This cake sounds delicious.
    Tandy | Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com

  5. I love the sound of this cake, as I also love sour cherries. They are hard to find here in the United States.

    I’m going to go with brave! I say that because I use cherry pits to make liqueur and apricot kernels to make extract.

    1. Yes I've only seen them in jars. Wow you are brave indeed!

  6. Wouldn't that be fun to own a spice shop! I've heard about the connection between cherries and cyanide, but I think the levels are miniscule. Still a good trivia tidbit to share at a cocktail party! Speaking of sharing, I won't be sharing any of this cake...it's all mine!! :-) (And I see that salted butter in there. Haha!)

    1. I think apricot kernels have more cyanide :) Yay for salted butter.

  7. I'd heard something similar in refernce to maraschino cherries, but not other kinds. Regardless, I think I'd draw the line at cyanide! I can just imagine myself at Whole Foods, asking where they keep the organic cyanide.

    1. yes gotta be careful. We have had two instances of wild mushroom poisoning here in australia in recent times! So yep be careful :)

    2. Yeah, I'm always amazed at people who can forrage mushrooms. I don't think I have the nerve for it.

  8. Your Spiked Brown Cherry Cake sounds absolutely delightful, especially with the addition of spiced rum to the syrup! Definitely this is a perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of cream or coffee. Thanks for sharing this delightful recipe!

  9. I know about pits from some stone fruit, but I agree with David that the amount is safe to consume. But I remember in my childhood they would say cherry jam with pits (and yes, that kind of jam was a thing. You won't probably believe how much better and flavourful this type of jam was compared to one with removed pits!) should be consumed in moderation - so go figure! :) Anyway, who can resist a combination of cherry, almonds, and chocolate? Plus I love those cakes with a generous amount of cake soak. Amaretto would have been nice addition, too!

    1. Yes Kate Lebo does say a small amount is fine :)

  10. and thanks again Ben!

  11. I guess I should have suspected that cherries were modified to make them more appealing. But it does sadden me.

    1. yes it is very sad. Our food is not very pure these days.

  12. That sounds so good - I would love to be at your book group! I am sad about the morello cherries - why does everything delicious have to have an evil backstory!

    1. Yes bookclub is fun! And I eat morello cherries regardless :)

  13. oops - forgot to put my name - damn blogger comments - johanna from https://gggiraffe.blogspot.com/

    1. I know what you mean! Blogger is just plain evil!

  14. This looks super yummy - I love anything cherry. I would have to turn a blind eye to the cherry backstory and I would definitely hard pass on the cyanide!

    1. me too Sammie. I love cherry! Good idea to forego the cyanide :)


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