I know this as "Mum's Cherry Cake" - even my dad calls it that - but to my children, it's "Babcia's (grandmother in Polish) Cherry Cake".
Getting the recipe for this was no small feat. My mother never wrote it down so it took me several tries to finally perfect it, initially standing by her side trying to quantify the ingredients (she used a fine bone china tea cup to measure flour and sugar and approximated the amounts of everything else!) then baking it repeatedly, making adjustments each time until it was right, which family certainly didn't mind since even the "fails" were delicious!
The cake is a rich and sturdy coffee cake, but it's moist, not too sweet and has great vanilla flavour - a perfect contrast to the tart cherries. Excellent with a cup of tea.
Babcia's Cherry Cake
yield: 23cm x 32.5cm/9" x 13" cake; 24 pieces
prep time: 30 minutes
baking time: 45 minutes
390g/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
250g/1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g/1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
240g/1 cup full fat (14%) sour cream
60ml/1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 540ml/18.2 fl. oz. can cherry pie filling
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour a 23cmx32.5cm/9"x13" pan or line with parchment or foil first before greasing and flouring. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, measure the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high (stand mixer) or high speed (hand mixer) for 5-7 minutes until fluffy and light in colour. Add the eggs one at a time and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until blended.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Add the sour cream; mix until blended. Add the rest of the flour and mix just until it disappears. The batter will be very thick.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden and firm.
Allow to cool completely in the pan and cut directly from it or, if you've lined the pan with foil or parchment, lift the cake to a cutting board by the foil/parchment handles, cut and serve.
As with most cakes, it's best eaten the day it's made but this one does keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container; make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.