It's a wonderfully rich cake with a very tight crumb, and pockets of juiciness from the cherries and savory notes from the pecans. I don't even like pecans, but they work really well in this cake.
Because it was a celebration, I made a bourbon whipped cream to go between and on top of two 9-inch rounds of cake, but for every day, I think I'll make this in a loaf pan, and just cut off slices for tea. I'm also already thinking of variations - blueberries and almonds, raspberries and hazelnuts. Really get into it for the summer.
Cherry Pecan Cake
makes one 9-inch cake
2 c. plus 2 T. cake flour
1 1/4 t. salt
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. sour cream
1/2 c. chopped, toasted pecans
1 c. pitted dark cherries, fresh or frozen
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees with a rack in the middle. Butter two 9-inch round cake tins, and line with parchment, on bottoms and sides. Butter the parchment.
2. Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl, then set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, cream the butter and sugar for a full 8 minutes on medium-high, scraping down the bowl and beater with a silicone spatula regularly. Knock the speed down to medium, and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the beater after each, and beating well. The batter may look to curdle, but it’ll be fine. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low, stir in the flour in two additions, alternating with the yogurt. Do not overmix. Fold in the nuts by hand, making sure to get all the way down to the bottom of the bowl. Dollop one-quarter of the batter between the prepared pans, then scatter with cherries. Continue to layer spoonfuls of batter with cherries until finished. Gently smooth the tops.
4. Bake the cakes in the hot oven, rotating halfway through, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 minutes or so. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes in their tins, then unmold. Place, right side up, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet to cool completely.