Cherry-Vanilla Layer Cake

Serves 8-10                                                                                                   

Maraschino Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 tablespoons flour for sprinkling over diced cherries
10 oz bottle maraschino cherries, finely chopped
Drop or two of red food coloring, or Americolor Deep Pink food coloring gel *optional
4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees.  Grease two 7” spring-form pans (or one 9”) and line with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.   In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder .  Combine milk,cherry juice and almond extract, and add alternately to the butter and sugar with the flour mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of flour over the diced cherries and stir until the flour has been completely absorbed.  Note: It’s okay if the cherries still have a little juice on them after this.
  4. Stir cherries into the batter.  Stir in food coloring if desired
  5. Fold stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter.  Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 50-60 minutes.   Remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.


Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting:
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
3 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  1. Set a saucepan filled one-third full of water over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.
  2. Whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a large heatproof bowl. Set over the simmering water and whisk until the mixture is hot to the touch and the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  4. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase to medium-high until stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Continue beating at medium-high speed until the mixture is fluffy and has cooled (the mixing bowl should feel cool to the touch).
  6. Turn the mixer off and switch from the whisk attachment to the paddle. Turn the mixer on medium-low and add the butter, a few cubes at a time, beating until well incorporated before the next addition.
  7. Add the vanilla extract.  Divide batter and tint with food coloring, if desired.  I kept a little un-tinted frosting out to pipe around the edges of the cake. To achieve my favoriteblue/green tint, I used a dot each of Sky Blue and Kelly Green Wilton gel food colorings.
  8. Beat until the frosting is thick and completely smooth.
  9. Store in an airtight container until ready for use.

Note: The heart topper is a piece of gum paste with a piece of clean, unused floral wire inserted through the center. The surface was brushed with corn syrup and dipped in multicolored sprinkles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.