This sour cream cherry crumb cake is the BEST. Rich and buttery with a thick crumb topping, this crumb cake is loaded with ripe, sweet cherries and is made from scratch with common pantry ingredients.
I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.
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Why you should make this recipe
- Seasonal – If you await stone fruit season every year like I do, and you love a buttery crumb cake, this recipe is for you.
- Quick & easy – This recipe will take about 20 minutes of work, then slide the cake into the oven to bake.
- Versatile – You can swap out cherries for other fruit to make variations of this cake when cherries are not in season.
Sour cream cherry crumb cake from scratch
Why make this cake from scratch? Because the taste of a boxed mix and a can of pie filling doesn’t even come close to the taste of this cake. Trust me. Crumb cakes have always been a favorite. It’s the crumb topping that always lures me back.
Making this cake from scratch is not difficult at all, even for beginner bakers. If you have kiddos, get them involved – they can use the cherry pitter and do some of the work for you!
This simple crumb cake recipe uses common ingredients that are likely already in your pantry.
- Sour cream – Use full fat, please do not use fat-free, the results will not be the same.
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste will give this cake lovely flavor.
- Butter – Always use unsalted butter so you are the one in control of the salt.
- All-purpose flour – Any brand will do, I used King Arthur flour.
- Salt – I used fine sea salt, you can also use Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
- Baking powder and baking soda – These are leaveners. They help the cake rise.
- Sugar – Regular white sugar, nothing fancy.
- Eggs – I used large eggs in the recipe.
- Fresh cherries – Dark, sweet Bing cherries, or any variety that you find and like.
How to make it
Here’s a quick summary of how to make cherry crumb cake. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe.
Start with a glass baking dish or 8 inch cake tin that has been buttered and floured or sprayed with non-stick baking spray. Sometimes I make a sling out of parchment paper to ensure it doesn’t stick and it makes it easier to lift the cake out of the pan.
- Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Then, add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream to the sugar and butter.
- Mix in the dry ingredients.
- Then, gently fold pitted and halved cherries into the batter.
- Last, cover with crumb topping and bake.
There is just something about a simple crumb cake that I absolutely love. It’s not fussy, it’s suitable as a snack with tea or coffee (for breakfast or dessert) and it is a sweet treat that I happily serve to guests.
I’ve never met a single person who doesn’t like a delicious cake covered with a buttery crumb topping, and I’m guessing you haven’t either.
Cherry crumb cake FAQ’s
Make the most of cherry season this summer with a few helpful tips.
Crumb cake does not need to be refrigerated, but to extend the life of the cake, store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Yes! The best method for freezing fresh cherries is to give them a rinse in cold water, then make sure they are completely dry. Remove the stem and the pits. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer and freeze for about 5 hours. Place them in an airtight container and freeze for up to 6 months.
Yes. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and seal in a zip-top freezer bag for extra protection against freezer burn. Thaw uncovered, at room temperature. I would suggest warming it in a low oven after thawing to help remove any sogginess in the crumb topping.
Variations and substitutions
- Swap out cherries when they aren’t in season. Substitute with blueberries to make my blueberry crumb cake.
- Use your favorite seasonal fruits all year. As the seasons change, so can the variations of this cake. This buttery treat makes a delicious snack with a cup of coffee or tea, and it’s also a great dessert, or a breakfast treat. There really isn’t a bad time to enjoy it.
This is the scale that I own and use daily. It is easy to use, plus it measures in pounds, ounces and grams.
Measuring ingredients by weight, ESPECIALLY in baking, is much more accurate than cup measurement.
Recommended tools and equipment
- A cherry pitter is without a doubt your most valuable tool when it comes to working with fresh cherries.
- Electric hand mixer – No need to break out the stand mixer for this recipe. An electric hand mixer gets the job done.
- 8 x 8 baking dish – The stand glass baking dish in everyone’s cabinet. You can also use an 8″ cake pan – round or square, just make sure it has tall sides.
And there you have it – an easy crumb cake recipe loaded with fresh cherries. It’s a delicious summer treat that everyone will love.
More cherry recipes
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For the crumb topping
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour // 180g
- 1/2 c. brown sugar // 107g
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar // 50g
- 1/2 tsp. fine salt
- 1 tsp. nutmeg (or cinnamon)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted // 113g
For the crumb cake
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour // 180g + extra for coating pan
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened // 85g + extra for pan
- 2/3 c. sugar // 67g
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. sour cream // 114g
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved // 320g
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas mark 4. Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven.
Make the crumb topping
- In a small bowl, mix sugars together with nutmeg (or cinnamon) and salt.
- Stir in melted butter.
- Using a fork, gently mix in flour, making sure to scrape along the bottom of the bowl as you are mixing to incorporate sugar mixture.
- Do not over mix - otherwise, you will not have big pieces of crumb topping. Set aside.
Make the cherry crumb cake
- Butter and flour an 8 x 8 glass baking dish or cake pan. Make a sling with parchment paper, if desired, by placing two overlapping strips of parchment in the bottom of the dish.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate medium bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating egg before adding the second one, then beating to fully incorporate again.
- Mix the vanilla and sour cream in and beat to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. A few small pockets of flour are ok.
- Gently fold cherries into batter. Spoon batter into the baking dish and use an offset spatula if necessary to level the top.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the entire cake.
- Bake crumb cake for 50 - 65 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool on wire rack before slicing.
Take care not to overbake the cake. The tester should have a few moist crumbs stuck to it, it should not be completely dry.
This cake does not need to be refrigerated. Store it tightly wrapped in plastic for a few days at room temperature, or in the fridge for up to a week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 466Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 674mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂
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