With each move we have made (and we have made many!), I always discover new and unexpected perks of living in different parts of the country. In Charlotte, I worked on a farm, where I was able to eat some of the most delicious organic produce straight out of the ground. Tomatoes have truly never tasted better.
In Virginia, there were beautiful cherry blossoms and unparalleled views of some of the most impressive landmarks in the country.
And now here in Seattle, there are gorgeous snow-capped mountains, evergreens and blooming flowers everywhere you look, and last but not least – there are cherries. Ohhh the cherries!
I had no idea a cherry could taste so good until I got to the Pacific Northwest. And there are so many TYPES of cherries! My personal favorites are the Rainier cherries (above), but there is definitely an option for everyone.
This latest creation came from an afternoon where my sister was absolutely insistent that we needed some sort of baked good in the house. It didn’t take much convincing for me to agree. While most cherry baked goods utilize dried cherries, I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous fresh cherries we had in abundance in our refrigerator.
Sweet Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake
Ingredients: (makes 9-12 squares)
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp ground flax (+ 6 tbsp water)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions: This recipe is super simple and comes together quickly. Start by combining the flax and water in a small bowl, and setting aside to thicken for a few minutes into a “flax egg.”
Next add the brown sugar, vanilla, apple sauce, and flax egg to a mixer and beat to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking powder, and salt, and then slowly add to the mixture until you have a sticky cake batter.
I used a mixture of Rainier and Cabernet sweet cherries, but you can use whatever type works best for you.
Carefully pit and slice the cherries.
Warning: fingers may turn purple.
Add cherries and chocolate chips to your mixing bowl, and stir until combined.
Spread evenly in a greased 8 inch square baking pan.
Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees, or until golden brown on top. Cool for at least 10 minutes, and then slice into servings.
If I thought there was nothing more delicious than fresh Pacific cherries, I was wrong. Fresh Pacific cherries baked into cake with chocolate chips is really what it’s all about.
Baked at a low temperature, the chocolate chips get just the right amount of melty while still holding their shape. Gooey and perfect.
I ate one piece right away, and another piece after dinner with vanilla almond milk ice cream. I would highly recommend it.
While I have never been a fan of cherry-flavored things (cough medicine!), using the real fruit itself is an entirely different story. Here’s hoping cherry season lasts longer than this cake did.