Cherry Pistachio Olive Oil Cake

Here is my annual contribution to the cherry dessert recipes for the month of June.

Cherries have such a short season here, they come right after the strawberries and asparagus.
Next to come are the green beans and blueberries. :)

I despise pitting cherries, and I finally retired my olive/cherry pitter from Italy this week.

My kitchen looks like a scene from Dexter.

I now smash them gracefully, with the back of a small pairing knife, trying not to create too much bloodshed.

This is a beautiful olive oil cake.
Reminder: make sure you are using a mild flavored olive oil (I use Colavita extra virgin), save the expensive Sicilian stuff for dressings.

Also, I was hoping the pretty cherries would stay on top, but after baking, the cherries sunk to the bottom and the pistachios were no where to be seen. So......feel free to use strawberries or raspberries, which don't sink in cakes (much prettier), and use sliced almonds on the top instead.

What else can I tell you about this lovely cake?

Nothing, except this is a great cofee cake, not too sweet and just right for breakfast (if you are the kind of person that eats cake for breakfast).

Cherry Pistachio Olive Oil Cake:

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup mild flavored olive oil
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1/4 cup of chopped pistachios or sliced almonds
turbinado sugar for the top

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Mix the sugar, eggs, extracts, lemon juice and zest.
Add in the olive oil and mix well, about 5 minutes.

Add in the dry ingredients to form a batter and pour into prepared cake pan.

Dot the top w/ the cherries and sprinkle w/ the almonds or pistachios.

Sprinkle with turbinado (raw) sugar and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Let rest 10 minutes before removing the cake ring.

Because this cake did not turn out pretty (it was just a brown cake), I glazed it with some confectioners sugar mixed w/ a tablespoon of milk and a tsp of fresh lemon juice. A dusting of powdered sugar is always a good idea.

Delicious, enjoy!


Elizabeth said…
Looks delicious and very pretty pictures! I haven't seen any affordable cherries here in MA yet, but I will keep an eye out for them.
Katie C. said…
You got that right Elizabeth. I am not paying $4 or more per pound no matter how much I adore them because one pound is never enough!

The fruit always sinks to the bottom. I made Smitten Kitchen's blueberry crumb cake for my guy's birthday earlier this week and all the blueberries were on the bottom too. Some recipes have you coat the fruit in flour but that never seems to work for me. Sigh.
Stacey Snacks said…
I would happily pay $4. a lb for cherries!!!
Here in NJ they are $7.99 in the beginning of the season! and they are not that great.

Coating w/ flour has never worked for me, the fruit still sinks to the bottom.

Strawberries & raspberries don't seem to sink, and they are so good in cakes.......

Anonymous said…
I love cherries so much and the season is so short that I don't even LOOK at the price when I grab a bag at the market.

I'm typing this with the last pit in my mouth from my cherry garnished breakfast... :o)
Bebe said…
California Bing cherries (the big luscious ones) $2.49/lb on Tuesday. Unbelievable. And every one perfect. Surely a special crop this year as last year they were not as large, nor as rich-tasting. Eating this bag. All by myself. :)
Terri said…
I love fresh cherries. I buy them no matter the cost and never cook with them. Any over-ripe cherries I find are destined for the freezer. I like frozen cherries as much as frozen grapes.
I make an olive oil, polenta and red grape cake and the technique for keeping the fruit on top is to mix half of the fruit into the batter, put it in the oven for about ten minutes until it sets for a bit and then dot the top with the remaining fruit. Wonder if that would work here?
Katie C. said…
I have heard of that technique but I had forgotten about it. Chef Laura Caulder had a grape olive oil cake recipe that use it. I always meant to try it. My only worry is that the cake would be done and the fruit would still be on the counter!
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I don't care if the cherries sink to the bottom. I want this cake.