The Ultimate Cherry Cake

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My Mom’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day. When I was little I used to love it because we would celebrate all day at school and then come home and have a birthday party for her. The day has always felt more like Mom’s birthday and a family occasion rather than a romantic day to me.

 My Mom is a great lady. She is a hard worker and has always cared for others in some way in every job she’s had. By the time she was my age, she had three kids, which totally blows my mind. She also went back to college while working, with four small kids at home, something that I really admire. Looking back, she must have been swamped. She is also very kind hearted and always discouraged us from speaking negatively of others. Mom is a bit of a goofball who laughs at her own jokes. She also passed on her “nervous laugh” to me. If someone gets hurt, or a situation is dire, or it is seriously not the time to be laughing, both of us idiots will be covering our mouths in the corner, snickering inappropriately. My accident prone father will be happy to confirm this.

 When deciding what kind of cake to make for her birthday, I remembered how much she loves cherry chip and wanted to make a really amped up version from scratch. I gave this recipe a try and it is seriously delicious. The cake is super sweet, so I kept the frosting light although I did add a cherry buttercream filling that tastes like the inside of a chocolate covered cherry.  I also garnished it with a ton of them to make it look extra fancy. This cake seems to get moister as the days go on and it looks beautiful. My paternal grandma, a lifelong dieter and TOPS member, who never even eats her OWN birthday cake, saw this one and actually took a slice saying that she was going to cheat with it. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.

 I hope you had a great birthday, Mom! I love you.

 

 The Ultimate Cherry Cake

 Makes one two layer 9 inch cake

 Ingredients:

 Cherry Chip Cake

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup milk ( I used 1%)
  • ½ maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 10 oz. bottle maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

 Cherry Cordial Buttercream Filling

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-2 drops cherry flavoring oil (optional)

 Whipped Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 drops red food coloring

Garnish:

  •  Chocolate Covered Cherries ( I used 18)

 

 For Cake:

Preheat oven to 340 degrees.  Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line with parchment.

Beat the egg whites in a cold stand mixer bowl on high with your whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Sprinkle 2 tbsp. flour over chopped cherries until flour absorbs (there may be excess juice on them) and set aside.

Add butter and sugar to stand mixer bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Whisk dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine milk, vanilla and cherry juice in a small bowl. Take turns adding the flour mixture and the juice mixture to the sugar mixture, mixing after each addition. Stir cherries into the batter. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 22-26 minutes, depending on your oven.

Let cool completely before filling and frosting.

For Cherry Cordial Buttercream Filling:

 Whip butter on high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. Add cherry juice, vanilla, corn syrup and flavoring and beat on high 2 minutes until creamy.

 For Whipped Vanilla Frosting:

 In a small saucepan, add milk and flour. Whisk mixture together over medium heat until it is very thick. Remove from heat and cool completely (I put it in the fridge to speed things up). When cooled, stir in vanilla extract and set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together on high speed until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add cooled flour mixture and beat on high for another 2-3 minutes until smooth and mixture looks like thick whipped cream. Do not overbeat or mixture could separate. I added food coloring at this point and blended it well.

 To assemble the cake:

Place one cake layer down and spread cordial filling evenly on it. Place second cake layer down and do a very thin coat of whipped frosting. Place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to harden the crumb coat, the pull back out and finish frosting. Use chocolate covered cherries to garnish. I placed them all around the edge of the cake. Keep cool and take out about an hour before serving. This cake stays moist for days.

Frosting from: http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2010/10/thats-the-best-frosting-ive-ever-had-again/

Cake adapted from: http://foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.ca/2012/08/cherry-vanilla-cake-with-swiss.html

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