By: Abigail Broderdorf

Happy Birthday, George Washington!

In honor of Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22, it is tradition to serve something with cherries. As the legend goes, a young Washington received a hatchet for his sixth birthday; he was very fond of this new “toy” and proceeded to whack at everything that came his way. In his excitement, he accidentally chopped down his family’s cherished cherry tree for kindling. When questioned by his furious father, the future president could not tell a lie and woefully admitted his mistake.

The good news is that cherries can be found year round: fresh in the summer, frozen in the winter and canned for all the simple times in between. This cherry torte comes together quickly with the ease of canned fruit and is finished with a crumbly topping of crisp oats, toasted coconut and sweet brown sugar.

Moral of the story: honesty is the best policy, and this cherry torte is honestly delicious.


  • 1/2 cup butter (plus extra for buttering pan)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oatmeal
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter an 8-by-8 pan.
  3. Mix butter, flour, brown sugar and oatmeal in a small bowl.
  4. Put half of oatmeal mixture into bottom of buttered pan.
  5. Pat oatmeal mixture with hands to reach the sides of the pan.
  6. Pour cherry pie filling into pan over oatmeal mixture.
  7. Mix pecans and coconut into the reserved oatmeal mixture in bowl.
  8. Sprinkle oatmeal mixture over cherries.
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbly.

Serves 8 to 9.

Source: Broderdorf family recipe

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