In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Combine egg yolks and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Fill greased and floured muffin cups two-thirds full. Cover muffin tin tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Bake at 275° for 1 hour. Uncover; top with cherries. Bake 5 minutes longer or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of each cup; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.