Cherry Torte with Cardamom and Black Pepper

Cherries, cardamom, and black pepper are a match made in heaven in this buttery, not-too-sweet cake.

Cherry Torte with Cardamom and Black Pepper

This cake would work well with just about any stone fruit, but the combination of cherries, cardamom, and black pepper really stands out. This cake is spiced, but not heavily -- there's just a hint of the spice in each bite, serving to make the flavor of the fruit pop rather than covering it up. This torte is made up primarily of ingredients you probably have in your pantry, so it's a great go-to recipe to have on hand if you're in need of a last-minute dessert. And since this cake isn't overly sweet, it makes a great breakfast alongside a cup of coffee or tea.

Spices used in this recipe

Cardamom, Green Ground
Peppercorns, Black, Grinder
Salt, Kosher


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ tsp. Vanns Ground Cardamom
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • 24 fresh or frozen cherries, halved and pitted


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan and dust with flour, tapping out excess. 
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer. Scrape down sides and add eggs, mixing until combined. Add flour, cornmeal, cardamom and black pepper, baking powder, and kosher salt and mix on low speed until just combined.
  3. Use a silicone spatula to scrape the thick batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange cherries, cut side down, on the surface of the batter, pressing them gently down. Sprinkle the top of the cake with about 1 Tbs. sugar and a few grinds of black pepper.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, until cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before removing the cake from the pan. Serve or wrap in two layers of tin foil and freeze, reheating in a 300°F oven until heated through.

Makes 1 cake. Adapted from The New York Times.


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