Out, out damn spot…

Today I answered the door my hands stained in red and my apron the same, the UPS guy just says “making jam?”  I said “no, just cake”….in which he replied, “well, it is cherry season”.
I told Crazy Cocker Spaniel to take note that the next time we feel the need to murder someone in cold blood, let’s do it during cherry season. That way the UPS man will be none the wiser. Oh sure the body might come up as an issue, but I would cross that bridge when it came. ;)
It’s that time of year in Washington state. Rainier cherry time. Purist would scoff at me for even putting them into something (they like to eat them raw, as is). I think that they aren’t purist, just lazy. Too lazy to sit around and pit all the cherries needed to go into pies, cakes, or whatever concoction you are making.
And though it is well established that I am lazy (I did stay in my pj’s all day and did the laundry today without separating). Yet, I stood there for quite some time pitting cherries. I ended up doing the majority of the ones I had. And I had a lot. Eventually you just get into a rhythm. Which leaves your hands stained and your tummy full (I made a milkshake out of them for a breakfast of champions).
Awhile back I blogged about how Melinda had sent me a HUGE care package from her homeland, UK. Part of that package was a baking cookbook to show me the kind of options they have out that way. The recipes are indeed simple, but I like them and you can build on them nicely. There was a simple cherry crumb cake that I sounded lovely. A little plain so I decided to add a few butterscotch chips to give it just a little something more.
So I word of advice. If you piss me off, best not to drop by my house during cherry season. :)

Rainier Cherry-Butterscotch Chip Crumb Cake

12 ounce juicy, ripe, fresh Rainier Cherries (or others if you must)
5 ounces (about 1 1/8 cup) self rising flour
pinch of ground cinnamon
2 ounces (about ¼ cup) granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 fl oz milk
3 ½ ounces (about 7 TBSP) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup butterscotch chips (optional)

For the topping:

1 ounce (about 1/8 cup) all purpose flour
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ounce (about 1/8 cup) granulated sugar
1 ounce (about 2 TBSP) unsalted butter, cubed

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 8-inch diameter (or four, 4 ½ -inch) spring form pan with butter and parchment paper.
Remove the stalks and stones (pits) from the cherries using a cherry pitter if you have one, to keep the fruit whole, otherwise, cut them in half.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and sugar together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg, milk, vanilla, and melted butter together. On low speed add the dry ingredients and combine.
Beat well until thick and smooth. Remove bowl and scrap down whisk attachment to get all the batter.
Fold in the butterscotch chips.
Spoon into prepared pan (or evenly through out the 4 mini ones) and spread evenly. This will seem like a small amount, but remember stuff is going on top.
Scatter cherries over the mixture and gently  press them with the back of a fork.
To make the topping, place all the ingredients into a medium bowl. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, make a crumb like mixture. Scatter the topping over the cherries.
Bake for 30-35 minutes (about 27 for the minis) or until the top is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Leave in spring form for about 10 minutes until cool enough to handle. Then run a knife around the edge and remove the cake from the pan. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from Bake by Rachel Allen


  1. i bought a whole punnet of cherries yesterday. but they are so good that i’ll be eating them pure. will need to get a few more though to make this. sounds like a fruity dream.

  2. What a gorgeous cake! I love cherries, but, here, they are so damn expensive!



  3. Cherries and butterscotch? Are you kidding me?! That’s great! And thanks for the tip, about murdering someone during cherry season, that’s very clever, lol!

  4. Mmm….cherries…..it is strawberry season around here in CT…perhaps I should carry out some violent vendettas of my own with immunity….

  5. It’s really funny how I like cherries but I never buy them (as I always pick strawberries next to them :) and I don’t think I’ve ever used them in baking. But seeing your lovely cake and now that cherries really are in season, I should really do something with them soon. Hmm, my very own blog celebrates its 1 year anniversary on the 20th so that could be a great occasion

  6. Interesting conversation with the UPS guy, haha :-D And oh my, that flavor combination!!! I’m addicted to cherries and ADORE butterscotch.

  7. Ooh, what baking cookbook did you get?! (You didn’t separate your laundry! Gasp!!!)
    Anyway, loving the crumbcake, especially since cherry prices are astronomical here despite the season (… in the rest of the world). Ah, I’m “lazy” (and broke :).

  8. Nice , delicious cake. looks so good. Ha that was really funny I m immagining you red all over :)

  9. This looks wonderful! I will have to buy some cherries tonight!

  10. Oh, Wow…what a divine flavor combination! This cake looks so scrumptious…I probably shouldn’t be reading your blog while I’m so hungry…hehe…everything always looks so good. I was up to my elbows in cherries just the other day…on July 4th. I need to invest in a cherry pitter like yours!

  11. I just bought a container of Rainier cherries at Costco and the checker guy asked me why no one made pies with Rainier cherries. I might be lazy, but I love just eating them. The crumb cake looks worth making, though.

    Thanks for the murder cover-up tip. I’ll keep it in mind.

  12. looks yummy!

  13. This looks great! I pass by a guy selling cherries out of his truck when I go home. I should just stop one day and pick some up. I don’t have a cherry pitter though and pitting would be difficult. Did you actually use self rising flour? My British and Australian cookbooks always use this but I substitute flour + leavening ingredients. What do you do?

  14. Beautiful cake! I looooooove cherries. I might try it with dark chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch…

  15. So do you think the cops will be suspicious next cherry season when there are so many bodies turning up with cherry juice on them. Now how bizarre a conversation you’ve started on a food blog LOL
    The cake is lovely and I’ll seriously try NOT to piss you off.

  16. Margaret says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I love-love-love cherries, but sadly, I’m allergic to them raw. And no matter how much I sigh every time my husband buys them for himself, my stubborn allergy won’t go away. Now I can enjoy them too!

  17. I can’t believe all of these beautiful cherries I’m seeing in the blogosphere- Somehow, they haven’t yet made it to my neck of the woods. For now, all I can do is dream about this incredible cake… It sounds heavenly.

  18. Looks great! I have a big bag of cherries to pit — I might make this!

  19. I am in such a cherry mood…am waiting for our local cherries to become available…


  20. I haven’t tried Rainier Cherries. Here in PA they are a luxury food item at $6/pd. I love Bings and they have finally come into season(a.k.a. affordable). I’ll have to try this cake out.

  21. EX - Lurker DEB says:


  22. Hello Pea! How lovely to see something from the cookbook I sent
    to you. I knew you’d do something delicious. The butterscotch addition sounds perfect.
    I love cherries any which way. The big fat Bing cherries are so juicy and sweet from Washington and Oregon too.
    I hope your husband knows to lie low during cherry season now! You are funny!

  23. “I think that they aren’t purist, just lazy

    haha, I loved that. Totally agree! lol.

    The cake looks amazing. I miss living in WA and having all of those fresh cherries at my finger tips!

  24. How delicious! I love cherries!!!

  25. I have (and love) that book, and I also currently have (and love) many cherries! I feel this cake needs to be made VERY soon. It looks delicious :D

  26. I’d never have thought of cherries and butterscotch, sounds lovely. Looks lovely too :)

  27. At one of my baking jobs we made cherry clafouti as a special for a few weeks. Pitting fifty pounds of cherries is quite a task, and naturally you try to go as fast as possible when you have that much to do. Cherry juice went flying everywhere! My glasses were all spattered and I had red “freckles” galore.
    This cake sounds so yummy, and a cherry milkshake would definantly hit the spot right now.

  28. Sunshine says:

    As soon as I read, “UPS guy,” all I could think about was your other meetings with the UPS guy at your door. ;)

  29. Julia M. says:

    This looks great.. though I’m thinking I might sub mini choc chips for the butterscotch – I’ll let you know how it turns out. Again, great story with terrific pictures!

  30. I love cherry season. My parents just came back from my Grandparents orchard with a 6 quart box of Bings. Delicious.

  31. Gorgeous little crumb cakes…and cherries are the perfect topping. Give the UPS man some of this wonderful cake and he will swear there was no body, only juice stained hands.

  32. I wanted cherries the moment I saw this blog! I was lucky enough to be able to pick a huge container of them at my parents this weekend :)

  33. Well, hey, the UPS guy could be bribed with a cake or pie, and maybe he’d take care of that pesky body laying around. ;)

    I’ve never been the biggest cherry fan, but those pics… man, they could convert anyone.

  34. I am one of those lazy ones. I rather just wash them and eat them, like I am going to do right now with the nice big bag of Washington cherries I just bought this evening.

    When we lived in Italy we had cherry trees and I would pick, eat, pick, eat, and finally pit. Cherry overdose.

  35. This sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing. I love them as is as well:)

  36. What a great looking cake. Seems like it was definitely worth all the effort.

  37. That looks delicious! It’s too funny to hear about hands covered in cherry goo, since just yesterday I was pitting a bunch of them and thought, “Wow, it looks like I killed someone in here!”

  38. Will you have as a guest if I promise to behave? I’ll help you with the laundry and stuff. But I’ll have this cake in return – yes, this cake, and not only a slice of it. ;)

  39. i love cherries. and i always forget to wear my apron when i’m baking so i end up w/the most difficult stains sometimes. oh well, it’s worth it just to eat the baked goods :)

  40. Cherries and butterscotch? Yup, I’m sold.

  41. Perfect timing. I’m sitting here at work snacking on fresh cherries wondering what I can make with them!

  42. Lovely cake…love the way you have mixed cherries and butterscotch…looks very yummie!

  43. just found you blog and i LOVE it! and feel that i relate to you having a super-picky hubby who does not appreciate or even try the food i love to make! glad you decided to keep blogging!

  44. I went to a farmers market somewhere near Seattle (Bellvue?) and picked up some Rainier cherries. They were really good and I wish we could get fresh ones in my area.

  45. I am sorry that you have not been around for over a week.
    We miss you.

  46. I am sorry you have been around for over a week.
    We miss you

  47. Mmm, all I need is a fork. I love anything and everything with cherries.

  48. I could not be more of a cherry purist – they NEVER make it into any baked good…just my tummy :-)

  49. That looks wonderful! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ranier cherries that red, though. We now live in cherry country, and they’re always yellow with a red blush.

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