1.Preheat oven to 180°C 160°C fan forced). Grease a deep 22cm (9-inch) round cake pan, line base and side with baking paper.
2.Beat softened butter, sugar and extract in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in sifted flour and buttermilk, in two batches. Spread mixture into pan, top with cherries.
3.Bake teacake about 1 hour. Stand in pan 10 minutes, turn, top-side up, onto a wire rack.
4.Meanwhile, make vanilla sugar.
5.Brush warm teacake with melted butter, sprinkle with reserved vanilla sugar. Serve warm.
VANILLA SUGAR Split vanilla bean in half lengthways; scrape seeds into blender or processor. Add sugar; process until fine. Reserve 2 tablespoons for this recipe; store unused sugar in an airtight container for another use. This teacake is best eaten the day it is made.