Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake) Recipe

Tartouillat (Cherry and Rum Cake) Recipe

[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

This recipe jumped out at me from Jean Ferniot's French Regional Cooking, one of several French cookbooks my mother-in-law has given me. Tartouillat, a cherry and rum cake from the region of Burgundy, sounded right up my alley: ripe cherries and a generous pour of rum baked into a cake that is served warm. My mind drifted to a house in the French countryside, where I enjoyed the falling evening and chilly air while eating tartouillat...

But I landed back in my more prosaic kitchen with a thud when I bit into the actual cake. It was dense, drab, and chewy, like one of those putty-colored rubber erasers. Perhaps my palate isn't French enough. Perhaps the editors neglected to include butter in the recipe. Hesitant to re-test and waste more cherries—and rum—I made a few tweaks and made this cake, which, I think remains faithful to the original but won't try to choke you on its way down your hatch.

This is delicious served warm with a light dusting of powdered sugar, but can be served at room temperature. It's a grown-up, not-too-sweet, and just boozy enough cake.

  • Yield:8 to 10
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:2 hours


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 pound cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar


  1. 1.

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Line outside of springform pan with foil. Grease with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Arrange cherries in single layer in bottom of pan.

  2. 2.

    Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into large mixing bowl.

  3. 3.

    Whisk eggs and sugar in separate large mixing bowl until mixture is thick and pale in color, about 2 minutes. Whisk in rum, melted butter, milk, and vanilla.

  4. 4.

    Make well in center of flour mixture and pour in egg mixture. Stir together just until combined.

  5. 5.

    Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool in pan about 15 minutes. Release springform and cool about 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.