What's Baking: Ground Cherry Coffee Cake


I first discovered ground cherries last year (kind of in the same way that Columbus "discovered" America...except without any of the associated genocide, enslavement, or syphilis...but I digress). Last year I made a ground cherry pie, so this time around I wanted to do something different with these sweet yellow fruits. Of course, my recipe interests lie firmly in the carb-friendly camp, so once I found a recipe on The Kitchn for ground cherry coffee cake, I knew I didn't have to search any further.

This coffee cake comes together rather quickly and if you don't happen to have ground cherries on hand (which, let's face it, is quite likely the case), you can easily substitute in your favorite berry or other chopped fruit. The cake portion of this coffee cake is particularly delicious and tastes rather sinfully more like a yellow cake than your typical coffee cake. I think a large amount of butter has a lot to do with providing a richer flavor -- and you won't find me complaining about that one bit. Just add a cup or two of coffee on the side, and you've got a brunch-worthy breakfast cake that's perfectly sized for sharing.

Ground Cherry Coffee Cake (printer-friendly version)
makes one 9" coffee cake

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1 1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup filtered water
1 large egg
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups ground cherries, husks removed
1 cup chopped pecan pieces
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9" springform cake pan. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut in the butter cubes until the mixture resembles shaggy peas. Remove 1 cup of the flour-butter mixture, place it in a separate bowl, and set aside (this will be used for the crumble topping).
3. Whisk the baking powder and baking soda into the main flour mixture. Stir in the yogurt-water mixture, egg, and vanilla.
4. Spoon the batter into the prepped cake pan. Scatter the top evenly with the ground cherries.
5. Add the chopped pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the reserved flour-butter mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the ground cherries; it will be thick.
6. Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving. Carefully insert a knife around the edge of the pan before releasing the cake from the springform pan.

 (lightly adapted from this recipe from The Kitchn)



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