This post was sponsored by Metro Ontario. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s late spring early summer here in southern Ontario. When the sun stays up and shines longer, the days are warm but not too hot and the evenings are just cool enough for an outdoor fire without those pesky mosquitoes. June is definitely my favourite month of the year.
Asides from June’s fantastic weather is the incredible local produce that starts to hit the Metro stores across Ontario. Asparagus, strawberries, radishes and cucumbers are just a few items that are available locally from the fields of Ontario farmers. Not to mention the handful of other goodies coming from indoor greenhouses like bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes.
But hands down my favourite produce for the month of June is rhubarb and cherries. It’s as though these two were made for each other. The tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the cherries are indeed a match made in heaven in this sheet cake. And the cream cheese frosting elevates this sweet and tangy cake.
-The recipe has cherries for additional sweetness in the cream cheese icing but was added to achieve the beautiful pink hue. Feel free to omit this step if you are strapped for time.
– I’ve also suggested pouring some of the batter in the pan first before sprinkling the rhubarb and cherries down, then pour the rest of the batter on top. This was to avoid too many cherries or rhubarb from sinking to the bottom. I’ve tested this recipe three times. The first round is doing the old trick of dusting the cherries/rhubarb with flour. Most sank to the bottom. The second bake I cut the cherries/rhubarb into small blueberry size pieces and dusted with flour…this seemed to work well in terms of keeping the small pieces well distributed throughout the cake but lost the effect of biting into a moist chunk of tart rhubarb and sweet cherry. Thus the method of pouring some batter down first, then the cut cherries/rhubarb and then the remaining mixture. Most did sink but it was the compromise that made the most sense!
Whichever way you like to cut your cherries and rhubarb, make sure the cherries are pitted inside the cake…and definitely add the cherries on top of the icing. It really is the ‘cherry on top’.
To find all you’ll need to bake this cake, visit your local Metro Ontario. Or shop online for delivery or free pick-up.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (for greasing pan)
- 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar (to dust pan)
- 390 g or 3 Cups or all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 227 g or 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 400 grams or 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 3/4 cup milk room temperature
- 1 table spoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 225 g or 1 cup fresh pitted cherries cut in half
- 100 g or 1 cup fresh rhubarb chopped into thin slices about 1/8 inch thickness
- 225 g or 1 cup cream cheese room temperature
- 113 g or 8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 220 g or 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 225 g or 1 cup fresh pitted cherries (Optional: adds lovely colour and subtle cherry flavour to icing)
- Fistful of cherries to garnish cake.
- Wash, dry cherries. Cut in half and remove pits. Set aside
- Wash, dry rhubarb and cut into thin slices about 1/8 inch thickness. Mix with cherries and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 F, with rack placed in middle of oven.
- Butter a 9x 13 inch baking sheet pan and dust with the turbinado sugar, set aside.
- Mix together the milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract and set aside
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
- In stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer with bowl, cream the 1 cup butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 minutes on medium speed.
- Add the eggs in one at a time, making sure each egg is beaten well before adding the next egg.
- Scrape the bowl at bottom and sides as required.
- On low speed, alternate between the flour mix and the milk mixture in three additions, starting with the flour and ending with the flour.
- Pour a third of the batter into the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle the cherries and rhubarb. Then pour over the remaining batter and smooth out with an off set spatula.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester pick inserted in centre of cake comes out clean and the cake has started to pull away from the sides of the pan.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire cake rack to completely cool.
- Make the icing while the cake is baking.
- (Bypass this step if you are omitting cherry juice in your icing) Take your cup of pitted cherries and zip through a juicer or blender for about 30 seconds.
- Run the cherries through a sieve into a bowl. Discard the skin in the sieve and keep the cherry juice.
- In a bowl with hand mixer or stand mixer bowl with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar slowly in two or three additions on slow speed.
- Add the cherry juice and beat until well incorporated.
- Finally add the soft cream cheese in about three additions, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowls in between additions.
- Frost the top of the completely cooled sheet cake with an offset spatula and garnish with some more cherries.
- Bon app!