Three things you need to know about this mouth-watering dessert:

  1. Speaking as someone who wasn’t sure about using tomatoes in a dessert recipe, I get the hesitation about using ground cherries. But let me say: these sweet tiny tomatoes are delicious. If you haven’t every had ground cherries, I recommend baking with a little faith and trying them out just this one time. However, any berry would be a suitable substitute in this recipe. (I personally am looking forward to making this again with blueberries!)
  2. This particular coffee cake recipe “allows” you to practice moderation. Clearly, coffee cake quite the treat, and by “treat,” I mean that it’s rare and enjoyed on special occasions. My recommend is to give yourself a little wiggle room and thoroughly enjoy a slice or two. As in, put down your fork down and sip on your favorite hot beverage between bites, tuck away distracting electronic devices, and savor it with someone you truly adore…. then pass on the goodness by sharing it with neighbors and friends. I brought this to a neighborhood gathering and it was a hit! (And then I had the leftover slice for breakfast the next morning. With coffee. It was divine.)
  3. My personal wellness philosophy is one of balance, awareness and self-compassion. It’s what I preach and it’s what keeps me feeling healthy and whole. That’s why I rarely look at calories, carbs or fat grams, and choose to instead look at ingredients and the broader scope of nutrients. However, because this particular recipe is a treat (and loaded with sugar, flour and butter) I thought that you might find it helpful to have the nutrition facts. Think of it as a useful awareness tool rather than a guilt-inducing list.

So that’s it! Adjust the recipe to fit your palate, share the goodness, and practice balance (moderation, in this case), awareness and self-compassion while enjoying your coffee cake!


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups ground cherries (or other berries or fruit), husks removed
  • 1 cup chopped pecan pieces (untoasted)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 9″ cake pan (the taller the sides the better) and set aside.
  2. Whisk together whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut into the butter with two table knives until the butter-flour mixture is combined into the size of small peas. Remove 1 cup of the butter-flour mixture into a second bowl. Set aside for your topping.
  3. Whisk in baking powder and baking soda to butter-flour flour mixture.
  4. Add buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, and stir until mixture is free of flour streaks (but lumps are okay). Pour mixture into your prepared pan.
  5. Scatter ground cherries (or berries) over the top. Then, add pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon to your small bowl of flour that is set aside. Stir and sprinkle over the top. It will be thick, that’s ok. It equals crunchy goodness.
  6. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until a knife comes out crumbly but clean. Remove from oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Leave a comment below and share how you made this recipe your own!

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