My husband originally found this recipe in our local paper in 1997 and I have been making it every year since for our anniversary-which is the midst of cherry season! It's very pretty, very rich and absolutely delicious. Perfect for a celebration! My notes say it came from a book by Carol Field called IN NONNA'S KITCHEN.
Preheat oven to 350. Butter & flour 9 1/2" spring-form pan.(I use a 9" removable-bottom pan,lined with parchment)
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 mins.Add egg yolks one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Stir in milk and vanilla.Mix together flour and baking powder. Sift directly into bowl.
Beat egg whites separately with pinch of salt until they stand in soft peaks.Stir 1/4 of whites into butter/sugar mixture, then carefully fold in the rest.
Spread dough into prepared pan. Combine cherries with sugar and sprinkle over top. (They will sink into cake as it bakes)
Bake 50-60 minutes until top is golden and knife inserted into cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan 15-30 minutes. Unmold onto rack and cool completely.
I like to sprinkle the cake with a bit of powdered sugar just before serving. And we always have it with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.