Don't have fresh cherries? You can use frozen ones!
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ITALIAN CHERRY POUND CAKE
Credit: Giadzy

Giada De Laurentiis, our favorite celebrity chef for all things Italian cooking, recently shared a recipe for Italian Cherry Pound Cake that not only gives fresh (or frozen) cherries center stage but also celebrates the inspirational power of family and home.

This recipe was posted on De Laurentiis' blog Giadzy and her Instagram. It was inspired by a conversation she had with her Aunt Raffy, an Italian film producer who has made multiple appearances on De Laurentiis' show Giada at Home. She wrote in her Instagram post, "@auntraffy has been telling me about a cherry pound cake her nonna made & that her mother really loved. I tried my hand at recreating it... Raffy, how'd I do??"

The result is a combination of cherries, vanilla and almonds that makes this simple cake perfect for any occasion. Since this recipe needs just under half an hour of prep time, it's perfect for beginners or a weekend afternoon baking project!

To make the pound cake, De Laurentiis first beats together cream, butter and sugar in a stand mixer (like this KitchenAid mixer, $349 at Williams Sonoma), but notes that you can also use a handheld mixer (like this Cuisinart one from Williams Sonoma, $59.99). Then she incorporates a key ingredient, sour cream, into the mixture. Next, she adds the eggs slowly, one at a time, followed by vanilla and almond extracts. Lastly, she adds the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) are mixes everything until combined.

Giada recommends reserving 1/3 cup of cherries for the top of the cake and adding the remaining 2/3 cup of the cherries to a bowl with a little bit of flour so they get distributed evenly throughout the cake. Then she alternates the batter and floured cherry mixture in layers and tops it off with the fresh cherries. Lastly, the cake is baked until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (between 65-80 minutes). Giada recommends dusting your pound cake once it's cooled with some powdered sugar before serving.

If you want to use fresh cherries for this recipe, but don't have a cherry pitter, De Laurentiis has you covered. She says, "I like to take the stem off of the cherry and place it on top of a small glass bottle—a 10-12 ounce one you'd get something like beer in—and use a chopstick or metal straw and press down on the center of the cherry until the pit pops off the bottom." Genius!

While Giada uses fresh cherries in her recipe, those looking to make this pound cake outside of cherry season have options. One Instagram user shares that they used frozen cherries with success. EatingWell's Test Kitchen Associate Laura Kanya agrees that frozen cherries are A-OK, but adds, "I would thaw and drain them, since they will be wetter when frozen. You may even want to pat them dry with a paper towel."

This recipe has earned five-star reviews, and one reviewer says, "I enjoyed the lower sugar content [because it allows] the cherries to be the sweet stars!" Another reviewer swapped out the sour cream for full-fat Greek yogurt and topped it with some sliced almonds. It's also a fan-favorite on Instagram. One commenter says, "I made this three days ago and my husband said it was the best pound cake he ever ate!!!" With glowing reviews like these, we don't need much more convincing to make this recipe.

Not a fan of cherries? Try our Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake, Cranberry-Smothered White Chocolate Pound Cake or Lemon-Raspberry Ricotta Pound Cake for a different twist on Giada's recipe.