Cherries Jubilee With Old-Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Yields: 6 Servings


When it comes to choosing the best cherries for making the classic cherries jubilee dessert, I always begin with the hand-picked cherries from Mount Rainier, Washington. Not only are they beautiful with their multi-colors, but they are wonderfully sweet and adapt well to any liquor. The bing cherries found in most stores are also a great substitute. This dish is generally credited to Georges Auguste Escoffier, who prepared the dish for Queen Victoria's Jubilee in the 1880s. The most famous variation since Escoffier's time is bananas foster.


1 pound Mount Rainier cherries, rinsed and pitted

1 lemon pound cake, (¼-inch) diced (see recipe below)

1½ cups orange juice

1 tbsp grated orange zest

¾ cup white sugar

2 tbsps corn starch

¼ cup water

¾ cup cherry brandy or liquor

6 scoops French vanilla or cherry vanilla ice cream

whipped cream, for garnish

6 fresh cherries with stems, for garnish


In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, combine cherries, orange juice, orange zest and white sugar. Bring to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. Cook until juice has reduced by half volume and cherries have softened slightly, stirring occasionally. In a small mixing bowl, combine corn starch and water, stirring to dissolve thoroughly. Set aside. Once liquid is reduced, remove pan from heat then add cherry brandy or liquor and return pan to heat. Note: Use caution when returning the pan to heat as liquor may ignite. If this happens, simply swirl the pan on the burner until the alcohol burns off and the flame is extinguished. Return contents to a low boil and add corn starch mixture, stirring constantly. Simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When ready to serve, place ¼ cup diced pound cake, 1 scoop of ice cream in each fluted glass then top with an equal portion of jubilee sauce. You may also wish to garnish each with a dollop of whipped cream and 1 fresh cherry.


Prep Time: 1½ Hours

Yields: 6–8 Servings


2 tbsps grated lemon zest

juice of 2 lemons

1 tbsp melted butter for greasing

1 tbsp cake flour for dusting

1¼ cups sugar

4 large eggs

1½ tsps pure vanilla extract

½ pound unsalted butter, melted

1½ cups cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter then dust with 1 tablespoon of cake flour and tap out excess. In a food processor, combine sugar and lemon zest. Pulse 4–5 times in 1 second intervals. With machine off, add lemon juice, eggs and vanilla. Process approximately 5 seconds. With machine on, add ½ pound melted butter through feed tube in a steady stream. This should take no more than 20–25 seconds. Do not over mix. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine 1½ cups cake flour, baking powder and salt. Sift mixed flour into egg mixture, gently whisking until just combined. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake 45–55 minutes or until deep golden brown. Rotate pan halfway through baking time. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and cool 10 minutes before serving.