Sour Cherry Cake


Cherry season has finally hit us, and we’re loving this gluten free sour cherry cake. If you’re a fan of sweet, tart, and fruity, it’s a guaranteed win for you too! 

Photo, taken from above, shows a white plate with a piece of sour cherry cake sitting on it with a fork. Nearby is a small bowl of cherries, and another plate of cake.

Fruit has definitely been later this year than usual, but that’s okay – we’re loving it as it comes! 

Admittedly, I did fill in some of the gaps with frozen fruit and buying rhubarb while we were visiting family up north (where it actually grows!) to make gluten free rhubarb crisp. 

But even though they’re later, cherry season is just as good as it ever was! Last year we made a bunch of cherry cheesecake no-churn ice cream, which is so good with a little chocolate fudge swirl added to it. And my kids were huge fans of gluten free cherry crumble. 

But we’re talking about sour cherry cake here.

It might surprise you to know that this is very close to my gluten free blueberry cobbler recipe. The main difference (besides using cherries) is that the fruit is more evenly distributed throughout the batter, and it’s less saucy. 

My husband is my pickiest eater when it comes to gluten free desserts, and he really enjoyed this cake. 

Using sour cherries adds so much flavor. As much as I love sweet black cherries for snacking, their mild flavor isn’t as well suited to baking. If you don’t have access to fresh sour cherries, don’t worry! Most grocery stores carry them in the frozen fruit section. 

Image shows a small plate of sour cherry cake with a fork resting on it. In the background is a casserole dish with the rest of the cake, and a small bowl of cherries.

Sour Cherry Cake

This cake is super easy to make. We make it gluten-free, but that doesn’t mean you have to. It works just as well with all-purpose flour. Just be sure to skip the xanthan/guar gum. 

  • I usually use a blend of flours made from Judee’s gluten-free flours. I find their flours to be excellent quality, and they carry quinoa and teff flours, which I like. To be clear, I’m still a fan of inexpensive gluten free flour mixes, but since my husband doesn’t tolerate rice well, and we can afford it, I prefer to use mostly these types of flour. 
  • Whipped cream is the perfect topping for this dessert! It adds a bit of cool sweetness that really pops – especially when the cake is warm!
  • Can you substitute other fruits? Sure! A lot of berries would work really well in this cake. 

This is such an easy recipe.

First, gather your ingredients. Baking always goes so much more smoothly when you have your ingredients prepped and measured before you start mixing. 

Photo shows all the ingredients needed to make sour cherry cake- a bowl of flour and sugar, a container of cherries, vanilla and butter

Next, put your butter in an 8×11 or 9×13 inch baking dish, and put it in your preheating oven to melt. 

Image shows a white casserole dish sitting on a counter, with a stick of butter to be melted in the center.

While the butter is melting, combine the rest of your batter ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

When your butter is melted, pull the baking dish out of the oven, and pour the cake batter on top. Next, sprinkle the cherries in, and put it in the oven to bake. Don’t worry, the cherries will sink and end up covered by the batter.

After about 35 minutes in the oven, pull your cake out, and serve warm or cold.

Image, taken from above, shows sour cherry cake in a white pan, with a spoon resting where one piece has been removed.

That’s it! Scroll down to see the recipe instructional video and the exact written recipe. 


Sour Cherry Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.4 from 7 reviews

Bright sour cherries pop in this delicious buttery cake! It’s so easy to make, and perfect served with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • Author: Elise
  • Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50-60 minutes
  • Yield: 1218 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cup flour (I use 1/3 cup each of quinoa, teff, and cornstarch + 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups cherries, pitted


  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Place butter in a 9×13, or 8×11 baking dish, and put in oven while it preheats for the butter to melt
  3. While butter is melting, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  4. Add milk and vanilla, and stir until a smooth batter
  5. When butter has finished melting, remove from oven, and pour batter over butter
  6. Sprinkle cherries over batter
  7. Bake in center of oven for 35-40 minutes, until done through (a toothpick through the center should come out clean unless it hits a cherry)
  8. Remove from oven and let cool several minutes before serving
  9. Enjoy!

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  1. TOTAL GARBAGE!!!! I followed the recipe exactly. Preheated oven properly. Used 100% all purpose flour. I was immediately suspicious at the lack of egg. And SHOCKED at the obscene amount of sugar it called for! 1:1 ratio of flour to sugar? Seriously?
    The wet:dry ratio was also way off, because the batter was overwhelmed by the milk. It was extremely runny. Not like “batter” at all. I decided to use a 9×13 dish, since a shallow cake is more likely to bake through. Baking for 40 minutes produced a golden crust, but the batter was like APPLESAUCE underneath! Returned it to the oven… After 60 min (total) bake time, the rapidly darkening crust forced me to pull it out, though the center STILL wasn’t set.
    [Result] This thing that can hardly be called a “cake” had an oily, dark crust and gripped the side of the dish like rubber cement. My sharpest knife struggled to free the edges. Yet everything in the middle was a PUDDLE OF SLOP!

    I tasted an edge piece…. My suspicions about the sugar were confirmed…. Diabetes on a spoon! MyGAWD it was disgusting. The sickening amount of sugar rendered it INEDIBLE.

    Never was I so mistaken in trusting a recipe. JUST KEEP SCROLLING.

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