Alisa Hunstman first came across my radar when she published Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. Her Mile-High Devil’s Food Cake and take on homemade wedding cakes caught my attention, along with her easy writing style and clear instructions. Her newest book, Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafepresents cakes and so much more.
No yeast, no rolling, no waiting—this is simply a delectable, easy cake you can whip up in minutes. At the café, it’s one of our most popular breakfast sweets. At home, serve it for brunch with big mugs of strong coffee or in the afternoon with a tall glass of sweet tea.
Excerpted from Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe, by Alisa Huntsman (Artisan Books). Copyright 2011. Photographs by Karen Mordechai.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese; do not use fat-free), softened
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup tart cherries, thawed frozen or well-drained canned
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with a round of parchment paper or wax paper.
- Make the cake: In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the egg and mix in thoroughly; scrape down the bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and mix only until the flour is incorporated. Pour the batter into the cake pan and spread it out across the bottom in an even layer.
- Prepare the topping: Using the same bowl without rinsing, combine the cheese, flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon zest; beat until smooth. Add the egg yolk and blend in completely. Pour this on top of the batter and spread out evenly, leaving a generous 1-inch border all the way around the edge of the pan.
- Toss the cherries with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, the almond extract and the cinnamon. Dot the top of the cheese evenly with the cherries and sprinkle on the juices.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheese filling is light golden and firm when you shake the pan gently. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before cutting.
- We have made this with both the frozen cherries and the drained canned that Alisa recommends and both work wonderfully. Just make sure they are sour cherries!