Monday, January 30, 2012

Cherry-Vanilla Tea Cake with Vanilla Sugar : Free and Easy Bake-Along #17

Thank you for all the Chinese New Year wishes!! I'm back from the week long Chinese New Year holidays and had a nice time travelling to my in-laws' and my dad's home. Well, CNY is not over yet, it will last for a total of 15 days and looking forward to another party this weekend!

Cherry-Vanilla Tea Cake with Vanilla Sugar, sounds really nice and fragrant! We made this for our Bake-Along, together with Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids.

The cake is a soft tender butter cake, lightly spiced with nutmeg. After the cake is baked, the top is sprinkled with vanilla sugar, a mixture of vanilla seeds with some sugar and confectioners' sugar while still hot, about 10 minutes after baking, then left to cool so that some of the sugar melts on the top.

This cake is perfect to go with tea! It's texture is light, tender, soft and moist. At first I was afraid that it might be sweet, but since I did reduced the sugar in the cake itself, so this is not a too sweet cake, really nice with the fragrant vanilla sugar.

Though some of the cherries stays throughout the cake, most of it settled at the bottom. But then, it does not affect the yumminess taste of the cake one bit!!

Overall review : A nice cake to have with a cup of tea for afternoon tea-break. It is light, soft, moist and tender. Another keeper recipe from Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook.

Let's go over to Lena's and Zoe's and also to our friends in the linky below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking based on a theme "Red Velvet Cupcakes" which we will post on 13/02, in time for Valentine! Everyone's welcome! Just bake any Red Velvet Cupcakes and join us as we celebrate Valentine's Day! See you!


Cherry-Vanilla Tea Cake with Vanilla Sugar
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Desserts" by Barbara Fairchild)
A springform pan is ideal for this cake. The powdered sugar topping can be sifted over the hot cake while it's still in the pan - allowing some of the sugar to melt ever so slightly - then the sides can be slipped off without disturbing the topping. Tossing the cherries with the reserved flour mixture before they're added to the batter prevents them from sinking to the bottom
10 servings

1-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream (I use homemade yoghurt)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel (I use orange zest)
1 cup canned pitted sweet cherries, halved, drained
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter and flour 10-inch-diameter springform pan with 2-3/4-inch-high sides. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla extract. Transfer 2 tablespoons dry ingredients to small bowl. At low speed, beat half the remaining dry ingredients into butter mixture, then mix in sour cream and lemon peel. Beat in remaining half of dry ingredients. Mix cherries into reserved 2 tablespoons dry ingredients; fold cherries into batter.
Spoon batter into prepared pan, smooth top. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, using small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into small bowl. Mix in remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, rubbing with fingertips to distribute seeds. Add powdered sugar and rub again.
Sift vanilla sugar over hot cake and cool. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake, remove pan sides.

Do Ahead : Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.


  1. I like your idea of using homemade yogurt to make your cake. I thought of replacing the sour cream with yogurt initially but still prefer to use sour cream eventually for the extra fat and moisture. I love watching the sugar melting and absorbed onto the surface of the cake and I think that this recipe is fantastic!

  2. Te ha quedado hermoso el pastel y me encanta el yogurt casero,abrazos hugs,hugs.

  3. Simply awesome looking cake. Wonderfully prepared. Wish I was there to get a tste of it. :)

  4. What a beautiful cake, Joyce! The changes you made sound great. And the crumb looks moist and tender.

  5. Looks great! I love the cherries in the cake!

  6. Happy Chinese New Year, Joyce. Beautiful cake - when I was young my Mum used to make me cherry cake every year for my birthday, so this brought back lots of memories. I need to try this. I love the vanilla sugar topping too.

  7. My kind of cake perfection!I pinned it; love that little hint of nutmeg in the mix.

  8. Party this weekend? What party? How come I'm not invited! haahaa..anymore left of this wonderfully moist cake?? Save a piece for me.

  9. I think I love the idea of vanilla sugar as much as I do the tea cake. Both sound amazing and perfect for a sweet treat for breakfast or dessert. I am wishing I had a huge piece right now!

  10. another party next week? wow! yeah, i also have more cherries at the bottom of the cake! really enjoyed eating this, very nice cake!

  11. Incredible and super elegant cake,just love with a cup of coffee..

  12. Delicious!I wish I had a slice right now!Kisses,dear!

  13. I love vanilla sugar, I always stash my used vanilla pods into my tub of sugar, they give the sugar a very nice fragrance and flavour! Your cake looks really delicious, will adapt it to make a blueberry version instead I think (; I've nominated an award for you on my blog, hope you'll like it!

  14. I don't mind having a slice right after lunch!

  15. This really is a fabulous little cake. My family would love it. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  16. Hi, how you doin'? I bet you had a fantastic holiday too.
    Seeing your this lovely cake makes me wish I am your neighbour, ha ha.
    And try hint for an invitation for coffee and this cake.
    3 pieces will do me fine, ha ha.
    You sure very good with cakes......
    Have fun and stay young.

  17. I went to Lena's place for tea and now I am coming here for breakfast. haha

  18. Oooh! What a gorgeous tea cake :) The cherries look delicious

  19. Your visitors celebrating with you this joyous festive season will surely enjoy this. I would like to wish you and your family Happy Chinese New Year. Sorry lambat wish. It has been a really busy 2012.

  20. Thanks Joyce for the invitation to bake this delightful cake. Definately baking it again, soon!

  21. The cake looks super moist and yummy..