We celebrated a birthday around here this weekend. Happy Birthday, Timmy! Don’t mind the fact that the cake is pink. He likes it!
Cherry chip cake was the order of the day. It was delicious. I’m pretty sure that by now all of it is gone. It was 3 layers and easily fed about 10 of us with a full 1/4 of the cake left. It went home with the birthday boy.
This cake is from scratch. I do occasionally branch off and skip doctoring a cake mix in favor of fully homemade cake. This is one of those times. There are a few flavors of cake mix that I am not a big fan of. . .like cherry chip, for instance.
I figured it couldn’t be too hard to create my own cherry chip cake, right? Right! Easy!
I made a basic white cake recipe and then added minced maraschino cherries.
I love those artificially colored little bad boys. I could sit with a fork and eat an entire jar. . ok, I HAVE sat with a fork and eaten an entire jar. Sometimes I have to fight Tim for them. He enjoys the maraschino cherry as much as I do. We’ve been known to polish off an economy size jar in record time. We sometimes get them as christmas stocking stuffers from family. (Along with green olives which be both also love. They aren’t as good in cake, though.)
Cherries in general are a favorite fruit of mine. I can’t wait for them to be in season and cheap again! Last year I ate so many cherries I almost turned into one just like Violet Beauregard turns into a blueberry in the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (I love that movie. . the original, not the remake, which sucked!)
These cake layers baked so evenly. No huge dome on top to cut off before icing them. They were perfect to ice as is.
After letting them cool COMLETELY (important when using a butter cream icing) I lay strips of wax paper around the edges of the cake stand I plan to serve the cake on and center the first layer on top. This keeps the edges of the cake stand clean and pretty. After you finish icing it, you just gently pull the strips of wax paper out from under the edges of the cake. Then I go around the bottom edge and pipe on a few little stars to make the cake look a little more finished.
I doubled the recipe below and made three 9″ round layers and 12 cupcakes out of it. There is another birthday this week that required a few cupcakes. Happy Birthday, L!
I spread icing between each layer and after all 3 layers are stacked, I do a thin coat of icing on the entire cake and then refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. The is called the crumb coat. It ensures all the crumbs are stuck down and won’t dirty up the final icing layer. After that layer chills I do a final thick coat of icing before decorating it.
Given the maraschino cherry flavor of the cake I felt it was appropriate to use almond milk instead of regular milk in the batter. It worked perfect. The cake was very moist and cherry-rific!
And maybe I was out of regular milk. And maybe I didn’t realize until I had already started mixing the batter. And maybe I was too darn lazy to run to the store and get regular milk. And maybe I NEVER have regular milk in the house cause we don’t drink it but I ALWAYS forget that before I start to bake.
Fortunately, I do always have almond milk and half and half (for my coffee). They have always worked in a pinch. Almond milk is a miracle ingredient as far as I am concerned. I LOVE IT.
The cake was a hit with everyone. The kiddies and us oldies. ;) As a matter of fact I think it is so yummy that I can see this becoming a go to cake for me. Who doesn’t like cherries? Blasphemers, maybe!
I used the same cherry buttercream that I made a month or so ago for my SIL’s bday cupcakes. It’s fantastic. Easy, too.
Cherry Chip Cake
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups AP flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk (I used unflavored almond milk)
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice (from the jar with the cherries)
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, very well drained and finely minced
Grease and line 2 9″ round cake pans with parchment. (Or you could make a 9×13 or 24 cupcakes.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer add butter and sugar. Whip until the mixture is very light and fluffy. (This is very important. . it will take about 5-6 minutes of mixing on high speed.)
While the sugar and butter mix, measure the flour, baking powder and salt int to a large bowl and stir together. Set aside.
In a large measuring cup, measure out the egg whites and milk. Mix the extract and cherry juice into the egg and milk mixture. Set aside.
Once the butter/sugar mix is fluffy, turn the mixer down to low and carefully add the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mix a little at a time. Start and end with the dry ingredients.
Stir in the minced cherries.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before icing.