Recipe: Olive Oil, Cherry and Yogurt Cake

Perfect with coffee, this summer dessert is light, tangy and citrusy.

By: Francesca Montillo, Lazy Italian Culinary Adventures 

Ok, maybe not. I must confess, summer is not my favorite season. It’s hot, sticky and humid. Although summers usually mean I return to our home in Calabria and spend the days at the beach, it’s still not my favorite season. But there is one thing I adore about summer, and that’s the fruit! The peaches and plums, nectarines and melons, and watermelon, lots and lots of juicy watermelon dripping down my arm. And let’s not even start on the figs from Calabria!

But my favorite by a long shot? Cherries! I love, Love, LOVE cherries! The more the merrier. They’re sweet and tangy at the same time. They’re bite size nuggets of goodness and one begs another. I could (and have) eat them by the pound!

It seems to be a particularly good year for cherries and I sure have had my share this summer, so I decided to make a delicious cherry cake. Perfect with coffee, this cake is light, tangy, citrusy and perfect for summer dessert! Be sure to make this for your next BBQ outing! While social distancing, of course.

2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour + 1 tablespoon for dusting the cherries
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 medium eggs
3/4 cups sugar
Zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange
1/4 cup light tasting olive oil (you can substitute vegetable oil)
1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (I use skim, any will work)
2 tablespoons sugar crystals or regular sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a springform pan by buttering and flouring it or using nonstick cooking spray, set aside. (Alternatively, this will make 12 cupcake size small muffins.)
2. Pit the cherries, cut in half, dust with 1 tablespoon of flour and set aside.
3. Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
4. With a handheld mixer, or stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and zest until light and fluffy.
5. Slowly add the oil and mix well. Add the yogurt and milk and mix on low until combined.
6. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated, do not over-mix.
7. Using a spatula, add the cherries and mix into the cake batter. Spread the batter into the springform pan, or any other pan you are using, and top with the sugar crystals or the regular sugar.
8. Bake for 43 – 45 minutes or until the edges are golden. Cook completely before removing from the pan. (Adjust cooking time if making muffins/cupcakes.)

Covid-19 put your 2020 travels on hold? I know, us too! But we’re headed to Italy in 2021! Consider joining us in one of our Culinary Adventures!

CHIANTI: MAY 1 – MAY 8, 2021. Click here for all trip info on this great adventure
EMILIA ROMAGNA: MAY 9 – 16, 2021. Click here for all trip info on this great adventure
AMALFI: MAY 17 – 24, 2021. Click here for all trip info on this great adventure
SICILY: SEPTEMBER 1 – 8, 2021. Click here for all trip info on this great adventure
CHRISTMAS in TUSCANY – SPECIAL CULINARY & MARKET TOUR: DECEMBER 10 – 17, 2021. Click here for all trip info on this great adventure! ​

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