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Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Cake

This supremely moist cherry-vanilla yogurt cake is studded with fresh fruit, then topped with an almond crumble and vanilla glaze to create the perfect summertime dessert!

Slice of cherry-vanilla yogurt cake on white plate with fresh cherries

Moist Yogurt Cake With Fresh Cherries

I became very excited when cherries started appearing at our local markets a few weeks ago. It’s exciting because, well, they’re cherries! Also, the arrival of stone fruits means that summer has peaked. (Come on, fall!) But, most of all, it means it’s time to bake cherry berry crumble and cherry plum slab pie, of course, this cherry-vanilla yogurt cake.

While you have to be a serious cherry lover to enjoy cherry pie and cherry cobbler, this cherry-studded yogurt cake offers a little more balance. Instead of being the star of the show, the cherries are part of an ensemble cast here—there’s plenty of vanilla, a crunchy almond topping, and the wonderfully tender crumb and slight tang from the yogurt.

Just remember that cherry season won’t last long. Make this cherry-vanilla yogurt cake while you can!

Whole cherry-vanilla yogurt cake on cake stand with glaze dripping down sides

Why You’ll Love This Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Cake Recipe

Here’s what makes this cherry-vanilla yogurt cake such a hit:

  • Perfectly moist. The benefit of baking with yogurt is that it gives cakes, muffins, and quick breads a tender, moist crumb without having to add a lot of oil. 
  • Irresistible topping. A sweet almond topping takes this recipe from good to outstanding. The crunchy texture and nutty flavor perfectly complements the juicy cherries and vanilla in the cake.
  • A slice of summer. Cherries are at their peak during the summer and this cake is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. The addition of vanilla really brings out the best in these little stone fruits.
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Overhead view of ingredients for cherry-vanilla yogurt cake

What You’ll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.

For the Topping:

For the Cake:

  • All-purpose flour – Here’s how to measure flour for baking.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Let the butter soften at room temperature.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – While the butter softens, you can set the eggs on the countertop, too. Room temperature eggs hold more air when beaten.
  • Vanilla extract – Use store-bought or homemade vanilla extract.
  • Plain or vanilla Greek yogurt – Be sure to use Greek yogurt, which has a thicker consistency than regular.
  • Cherries – Pit the cherries and then coarsely chop them.

For the Glaze:

  • Confectioners’ sugar – Break up any lumps or sift the sugar to ensure a smooth glaze.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk – Any variety you have on hand.

What’s the Easiest Way to Pit Cherries Without a Cherry Pitter?

You can use a chopstick or stainless steel straw to push the pits out of the cherries if you don’t have a cherry pitter. Another option is to place the side of the blade of a chef’s knife on top of a cherry and then press down firmly with the heel of your hand. This will make it easy to pull the flesh away from the pit.

How to Make Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Cake

Although there are three components to this cake—the topping, the cake, and the glaze—it’s still quite simple to make. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 325°F and grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan.

Make the topping. Stir together the almonds, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl and scatter this mixture into the Bundt pan.

Mix the dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk 2 1/4 cups of flour with the baking soda and salt.

Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the butter and sugar in a second mixing bowl, until they’re light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

Finish the batter. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three portions, alternating with two portions of the yogurt. 

Fold in the cherries. In another bowl, toss the cherries with the remaining flour, then fold the cherries into the yogurt cake batter.

Bake. Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for about 60 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Make the glaze. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk in a bowl until the mixture is smooth.

Finish. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cake.

Tips for Success

Read over my baking tips for beginners, then follow these additional pointers for a perfect cherry-vanilla yogurt cake.

  • Don’t over-mix. As with any cake recipe, be sure not to over-mix the batter. Too much mixing can result in a tough cake, so you should only stir until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
  • Use a cherry pitter. Investing in a cherry pitter will save you time and frustration when preparing this recipe. 
  • Allow for cooling time. If you pour the glaze onto a warm cake, it will absorb right into the cake—it’s still delicious, but not the look you want! 
  • Make cleanup easy. Place a layer of foil under the cooling rack before glazing the cake. This will catch the glaze that drips off, sparing you from having to wipe it off of your counter or scrub it off of a platter.
Removing slice of cherry-vanilla yogurt cake from cake stand

Variations

I like sweet cherries in this cake, but you can use tart cherries if you prefer. Other diced stone fruit like peaches or apricots would also be delicious, as would fresh berries. 

Another simple swap is substituting almond extract for vanilla. Despite its name, almond extract isn’t nutty; instead, it has a fruity, almost floral aroma. It pairs particularly well with cherries and other stone fruits because the same compound that gives almond extract its fragrance is found in the pits of stone fruit. (That’s why almond extract tastes a little bit like cherries!)

Serving Suggestions

This cherry-vanilla yogurt cake is delicious on its own, but a dollop of homemade whipped cream never hurts either. On a hot day, try it with a scoop of no-churn vanilla ice cream and an assortment of fresh summer fruit for garnish.

Slice of moist cherry-vanilla yogurt cake on plate with glaze dripping down sides

How to Store

Store cherry-vanilla yogurt cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or wrap the cake tightly on a platter.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, this cherry-vanilla yogurt cake can be frozen. To freeze the whole cake, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until the glaze is solid. Then, wrap the cake in a layer of plastic followed by a layer of foil. Individual slices can be wrapped in plastic and then stored in an airtight container or freezer bag. 

The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let it thaw at room temperature before serving.

Slice of cherry-vanilla yogurt cake on plate with fresh cherries

Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Cake

Yield 12-16 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Fresh cherries and vanilla are a perfect match in this moist Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Cake!

Whole cherry-vanilla yogurt cake on cake stand with glaze dripping down sides

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

For the cake:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (226g) plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 10-12 ounces cherries, pitted and diced*

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup (110g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

To make the topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously grease a 10-12 cup Bundt pan.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the almonds, sugar, and melted butter. Scatter the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.

To make the cake:

  1. Whisk together 2 & 1/4 cups (270g) flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  3. Add the flour mixture in three portions, alternating with two portions of the yogurt. Mix just until blended.
  4. Toss the cherries with the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Gently stir the cherries into the batter.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake 60 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cake in the pan for 15-20 minutes. Then, transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

  1. Combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and milk stirring until smooth.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cake.

Notes

*I like sweet cherries in this cake, but use tart cherries if you prefer.

Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.

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    36 Comments on “Cherry-Vanilla Yogurt Cake”

  1. I can’t begin to tell you how many of your recipes I’ve pinned. Probably about 97% of them. I had to cut it off somewhere 😉

    This cake looks and sounds absolutely divine, it’s making my mouthwater!

  2. This looks lovely! I just made yoghurt cake too:

    http://saltedspoon.blogspot.com/2012/07/pina-colada-upside-down-yoghurt-cake.html

    I love the idea of the cherry vanilla! Sounds like it’s time to make another one already!

  3. Cherry and almond are one of my favourite flavour combinations. Your bunt cake looks terrific!

  4. What a lovely and summery cake! I love the combination of cherries and almonds. I must ask, how do you get your bundt cakes to come out of the pan so beautifully?! I always seem to run into problems with bundt pans…

    • Hi just wanted to let you in on a secret I came across for ensuring a non-stick removal from all cake pans! 1 tablespoon butter melted, mix in 1 tablespoon flour. When fully incorporated, brush pan with mixture. I use this all the time now and no sticking or hard to remove cakes. I find this amount does cover my bundt pan completely but if you were making a bigger cake you could double the amount. Happy baking!! 😊

  5. Exactly! Cherries = cool weather will be here soon! The cake looks moist and delicious!

  6. This looks delicious – I’ve only ever tried yoghurt cake once but loved it. So light and fluffy. What a perfect recipe to use up the mass of cherries we have at home, pity that a lot of them are spoiling though 🙁
    >> livefoodlove.blogspot.co.uk <<

  7. I just made these as cupcakes and they are AMAZING. Baked them for about 30 minutes – super moist, super sweet (but not too sweet – the almond and plain yogurt cut that). I used whipping cream instead of milk in the glaze so it could be a little thicker / go on sooner. My boyfriend just said I was a good baker. This recipe officially made my night.

  8. Pairing vanilla with cherries is an irresistible combination! Such a marvelous summer cake!

  9. I just love these kind of cakes and the flavours of this one are perfect… this is cake heaven for me!

  10. Amanda, my only trick is very generous greasing of the pan. I like to use a cooking spray with flour, like Baker’s Joy.

  11. Looks tasty! Can you make this in a different shape of pan? I’ve got 9×13 or loaf pans, but no bundt pan.

  12. Anne, this would likely work in 2 loaf pans with a similar baking time. You could also use a 9″x 13″ pan, but I think it will bake more quickly. I’d evaluate after about 40-45 minutes of baking. Also, I’d put the almond mixture on top of the cake before baking it in a 9″x 13″. If it starts getting too brown, you can cover the cake loosely with foil. Let me know how it works!

  13. I made this last night….fantastic! I have never baked with cherries before. My new favorite fruit to bake with! Even froze some of the extra cherries for this morning’s protein shake…yum! Only things I changed: used white whole wheat flour (all I had on hand) and increased baking soda to 1 tsp. I baked it at 350 degrees for 1 hr 10 mins. I sifted powdered sugar over the top instead of the glaze. The recipe called for slivered almonds but the picture looks like sliced almonds so I used sliced 😉 Thanks for a great recipe. I will definitely make this one again!

  14. Just wanted to add to the nice comments…..this is a fantastic cake Jennifer! Thanks so much for sharing it with us; I plan on making another one tonight. Then I must try that Lemon Poke cake.
    Have a great weekend!

  15. Looks wonderful! I don’t have a kitchen scale. Could you tell me about how many cups of cherries to use in the recipe? Thank you! I’m about to make your pecan chocolate chip cookie bites!

  16. Michelle, if you’re buying your cherries by the pound, then you can likely guess 10-12 ounces. I would guess you’ll need about 2 cups (pre-chopped!) for this cake.

  17. Thank you – very helpful! I had just bought some cherries at the store and then saw the recipe so I didn’t know the weight. I appreciate the help for both current and future making of the cake,

  18. Not a big cook but trying to get into it more. Made this last night for my family then it brought it into work this morning. It was a rave and my coworkers said I have permission to bring food anytime I want. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  19. Just wanted to let you know that I did try this in a 9×13 pan and it worked just fine! I checked it starting at 40 mins, but it ended up going the full 60.

  20. Thanks for the update, Anne! That’s good to know!

  21. Hello Jennifer ….do you think you could use frozen unsweetened cherries in this recipe?

    Thanks.

  22. Hi, Teresa! I’ve never tried this with frozen cherries, but I think they’ll work just fine.

  23. Did you make this cake with sweet cherries or tart Montmorency cherries?

  24. Just made this cake yesterday. Didn’t even make the topping or glaze and everyone loved it. So moist and tender. Thanks for the great recipe.

  25. I made this cake for my dad visiting from Venezuela, using half defrosted Cherries and it was the most delicious! My dad, hubby and my two boys loved it.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  26. This cake looks so good! Do you think I could use fresh pears instead of cherries? Have some in the fridge to use up. Thank you!

  27. Jen . . . For your cherry recipes, are you using the bright red sour cherries or the darker sweet cherries (or can you use either one)? Thank you for the clarification!!

  28. I made the recipe without being sure how it would come out, I had never made a fruit cake because it is not something traditional in Hispanic cuisine. I made this cake with a with few tweaks, using almond extract instead of vanilla, dried cherries, 1 cup of pecans and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder. OMG it was the most delicious! It came out with a beautiful golden color, neither too dry nor too moist, just perfect! Now we have a new recipe for the holidays : Cherry-Pecan Yogurt Cake. Thanks!

  29. Terrific recipe. The cake is really good.

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