This cake was baked by my grandmother, a"h when she came back from the hospital when I was born. She had a lot of friends and knew that people ill be stopping by to ask about my mom's and my conditions and to wish MAZAL TOV to the new grandmother. Since then, this cake is baked every single year for my birthday. No matter how small/large, simple/elaborate the celebration, this cake is always there.
It is best to use ripe fresh tart cherries, but unfortunately, except for maybe Michigan and Washington, good tart cherries are not easy to find. So, we've been using frozen/canned.
- flour (all purpose, whole wheat or mixed - 3 cups
- butter, unsalted (room temperature) - 1/2 pound (2 sticks)
- sugar, - 1 1/2 - 2 cups, divided
- eggs, separated - 5
- thick yogurt - 1 1/2 cups
- baking soda - 1/4 teaspoon
- salt - 1/4 teaaspoon
- sour/tart cherries, pitted - 1 1/2 pounds
If using fresh cherries, mix them with 1/2 cup of sugar and place in a colander, set over a bowl. If using frozen/canned cherries, DO NOT ADD sugar. Just place them in a colander set over a bowl. Let the cherries drain overnight You need them to loose most of the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 9*13 baking dish (I use the wrappers from the sticks of butter).
Whisk the yogurt with the baking soda and the salt; set aside.
Separate the eggs and refrigerate the whites.
Cream the butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar until very light and fluffy.
Beat in the yolks, 1 at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.
Once all the yolks are in, gradually add the yogurt mixture alternating with the flour. Make sure to allow each addition to fully incorporate.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread the well drained cherries evenly over the top and place in the oven.
Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until the batter looks done.
Beat the egg whites with 3/4 C sugar until stiff and spread over the cake.
Bake 15 - 25 minutes longer or until the top is golden. Let cool and enjoy!