Cherry Chocolate Coffee Cake
Like many of you, we like to commemorate special days — like Presidents’ Day — with special dishes here at Yankee. We keep an eye on the calendar and plan our recipes accordingly.
While there aren’t any greeting cards or gifts specifically tied to the Presidents’ Day (unless you include offerings from your local auto dealership or department store), we were determined to find something and make it stick.
This moist and delicious Cherry Chocolate Coffee Cake fit the bill perfectly.
American school children learn at an early age how our first President, the larger-than-life George Washington, came to represent all that is honest and good when, as a small boy, he confessed to his father that “I cannot tell a lie” when asked if he had chopped down the family’s cherry tree.
Though we can’t be 100% certain, the tale was almost certainly invented by Washington biographer Mason Weems shortly after the President’s death as a way of illustrating his honesty. A bit backwards, but without the tale we wouldn’t have an association with cherries and Washington, and thus, we wouldn’t have had an excuse to make Cherry Chocolate Coffee Cake.
And this is a cake worth making.
Fresh, ripe cherries are months away, but this recipe makes great use of dried tart cherries that plump up when baked between layers of sour cream coffee cake. The cake emerges from the oven buttery and fragrant, thanks to the cherries, cocoa, and a generous sprinkling of slivered almonds on top.