Happiness is a Bowl Full of Cherries {Recipe: Cherry Cream Coffee Cake}

I am happy.

It feels so good to say that. I am happy and that makes me happy.

After a year of ups and downs, worrying, frets and stress it feels so good to be able to say that I really am happy.

Our summer, so far,  has been one of intentional happiness. I purposely didn’t sign my kids up for camps, activities, VBS, etc. this year because I wanted everything we were doing to be exactly what we wanted to do. I didn’t want to be running around, car pooling, feeling regrets because we didn’t have time to do what we wanted to do. We wake up each morning and everything on our agenda is things we want to do, not have to do. I feel kind of selfish, having a carefree summer, but it has been so nice.

I need to start doing my Happiness Reports again, because there are so many things making me happy right now. So many little things I’m taking notice of that bring me joy.

A hot cup of coffee, made for me by my husband…a thoughtful gesture not unnoticed.

A string of white lights, hung in the trees.

Taking pictures, even if it’s of nothing “special”… just getting out my camera and capturing what my life is full of.

Summer breeze, time to read, lazy mornings.

All of these things, and so much more, bring a smile to my face.  Just like a bowl of cherries.

Turning those cherries into a favorite coffee cake for my husband makes me happy too. He’s never been a quick bread or coffee cake kind of guy, until I made this recipe from Cheryl’s blog a few months back. He took it to work to share and came back raving about how delicious it was. For Father’s Day, I wanted to make it again, but this time using some of the fresh cherries of summer. You can certainly used canned pie filling, but when cherries are abundant it’s hard to justify not taking advantage of the summer harvest.

What’s making you happy these days? Whether it is a new haircut, a summer vacation, success at work… I hope you’ll share your recent moments of joy in the comments section.

Life is good… like a bowl full of cherries!

Cherry Cream Coffee Cake
A delicious Cherry Cream Coffee Cake that makes the most of the bounty of seasonal fresh cherries available. Please note, Canned Cherry Pie Filling can be used in place of fresh cherry pie filling.
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups pitted red cherries
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 3-5 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut softened butter into the flour mixture (will be crumbly). Reserve one cup of this mixture to save for topping.
  4. Mix eggs and cream. Slowly add to the flour mixture and blend until well incorporated. Add salt and baking powder and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into greased springform pan.
  6. Meanwhile, place cherries and lemon juice into a saucepan over medium heat. Cover and heat cherries until they release their juice and come to a simmer, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk granulated sugar with cornstarch; pour the mixture into the hot cherries and juice, and thoroughly combine. Return to low heat, bring to a simmer, and cook until the filling is thick and bubbly, about 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  8. Pour cherry pie filling over batter in the springform pan.
  9. Top pie filling with the 1 cup of reserved flour mixture, spreading evenly to cover.
  10. Bake for 55 minutes or until brown and toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then remove cake from the springform.
  12. *For the Icing:*Mix together melted butter and vanilla. Slowly stir in powdered sugar and cinnamon.
  13. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Stir until creamy and smooth.
  14. Add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency.
  15. Drizzle over coffee cake and serve. Enjoy!

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  1. says

    Looks beautiful, Kristen! My true, true friends make me happy. And I recently got this really cool spray-in conditioner in my birch box that makes me happy. Oh to be home, so happy to be home from traveling for BHF & for work. The pups & the hubs – keep me grounded and remind me of what’s important!

  2. says

    Looks delicious! Loving the slight release of super-scheduled school days. Summer is still sort of slightly busy, but has a hint of laid-back and carefree, and I am loving that.

    • says

      It’s going to make back to school really hard, but I’m not thinking about that right now! Have to be in the moment…not worry about what’s happening next 😉

  3. msfood says

    And how long would it take you to get here with a sample? :o) Beautiful pictures!! So glad you are happy and enjoying the summer, my friend!!


      • msfood says

        How sweet!! You are defeating the purpose of the friendship tea! :o) That is a morning I can give to you of just coming and enjoying a relaxing time with a great group of ladies!! :o) But thanks for the offer.

        But…you will have to be the only one to work…since you take such beautiful pictures!! :o)

  4. says

    I am envying your laid-back summer. We are on the other side of the spectrum, and I’m definitely feeling it these days. I know I need to enjoy the lazy days when I can get them. The cherries look gorgeous. I finally picked some up this weekend to enjoy, and coffee cake sounds like a glorious breakfast treat.

  5. says

    Now I’m definitely in the mood for some cherries! Glad you’re enjoying the summer and approaching it the way you have. I think sometimes we get so caught up in “doing” that we forget to just “be”. And I love that you said you’re having an “intentional” summer …. I’m going to hold onto that gem :)

  6. says

    Just this morning I remarked to my husband how addictive the lazy days of summer can be. Rather than feeling guilty about planning days around nothing more than our whims and the weather, I’m going to embrace it, like you! Just maybe, that will be the balance I’ve been looking for all this time! Lovely post and photos, as always.


  7. says

    Love this post! Lazy stress free summers are the best! I love that you made it intentional, so happy! This cherry coffee cake sounds amazing. I love summer fresh cherries.
    What am I loving right now? The hot sun, a cold pool, and the screaming giggles of my kids!!

  8. says

    I am happy right now too and reading this makes me even more happy. You are an inspiration. So glad to hear that your summer is going so great so far. I am loving following along on IG!

  9. Terri Hendricks says

    Now I know what to do with those cherries in my fridge (besides just eating them, that is!) It’s great to see you so happy and I love how you are creating so many memories this summer.

  10. Pat Wogan says

    I love that you are having an intentionally happy summer. I’m sure the kids can do without the stress of “having to” do activities. This sounds like my growing up, make your own fun, life. I am now thinking of the girls’ secret hide-out and wondering if they are visiting it at all this year.

  11. says

    Gorgeous photos! And I am the same way. I sometimes feel like a bad mom cause I don’t have my kids all signed up for loads of activities, because it gets so stressful (and I become a taxi). We have just been hanging out all summer, and lovin it! This cake looks dangerously good! 😉

  12. says

    cherries are my all time favorite fruit (and with such a short season…boo hoo). this coffee cake could put me right into the coma I am needing right at this very moment!! looks perfectly, perfect Kristen!


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