Cherry Vanilla Cake
I have a new favorite cake. I know I say that all the time - but it's true. If I could have any cake right now - it would be this one - a Cherry Vanilla Cake with Fluffy White Frosting.
I found this recipe on Sweetapolita.com. (She's fabulous by the way.) It reminded me of the cherry chip cakes that my mom used to make for my brother and I when we were kids. It was basically a box of white cake mix with tiny "chips" of what I'm fairly certain were artificially flavored cherry candy pieces, mixed into the batter. I can remember being so excited when my mom made this cake - it was sooo good.
You can imagine how excited I was to stumble upon a website that had a very similar version of my childhood favorite. The only difference is that this cake is not made from a box and it has real cherries and real cherry juice.
Cherry Vanilla Cake
For the Cake Layers:
3-1/3 cups (370 g) sifted cake flour
1-1/2 tablespoons (20 g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (7 g) salt
1-3/4 cups (415 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
6 egg whites, at room temperature
3 tablespoons (45 ml) cherry juice/syrup (from the jar of cherries)
1/4 teaspoon (1.75 ml) almond extract
2-1/4 cups (450 g) vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
1-1/2 sticks (173 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (178 ml) finely chopped maraschino cherries
For the Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling:
1 cup (2 sticks)(227 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
2 cups (250 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) maraschino cherry juice/syrup (from the jar of cherries)
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
a handful of finely chopped maraschino cherries
For Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting:
3 egg whites
1 cup (200 grams) of vanilla sugar (you can substitute regular sugar)
1/4 cup (59 ml) light corn syrup
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract (optional)
Fold in finely chopped cherries.
Place all ingredients except the vanilla (if using) into a large heatproof bowl that fits snugly atop a medium saucepan of simmering water on the stove (about one inch of water). Heat until warm to the touch.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe the bottom of the bowl dry, and place on the counter. Continue to beat until the frosting is cool (or at least just slightly warm) and beat in the vanilla extract, if using.
Trim any doming or top crust from cake layers using a very sharp serrated knife.
Use a cake turntable, if possible, for filling, frosting and decorating. Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake plate or 8″ round thin foil-covered cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top, top side up (face-up).
Place ~1 cup of Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling on top of the cake layer, and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife.
Gently place 2nd cake layer, face up, on top. Repeat, then place your third layer face down.
Put a generous scoop of Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting on top, spreading evenly from the top down to the sides until you have smothered the entire cake in the frosting. Use the back of a spoon or small offset palette knife to create the swirly texture.
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