Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cherry Vanilla Layer Cake


This cake is completely wonderful and completely homemade. I have never been a fan of boxed cake mixes. So I was excited to come across this cake and find out it was made from scratch.


I really like the color contrast between the cake and frosting and how the cake layers are nice and tall. Such a pretty cake.

Cherry Vanilla Layer Cake
Ingredients:

Cherry Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup maraschino cherry juice
4 teaspoons almond extract
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
2- 10 ounce bottle maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
4 egg whites, beaten to a stiff peak

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting:
5 egg whites
1 cup sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
3 teaspoons clear vanilla extract

Directions:

Cherry Cake
Preheat oven to 340ยบ F.  Grease two 9 inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and well mixed.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.

In a glass measuring cup combine the milk, cherry juice and almond extract.

With the mixer on, add some of the flour mixture followed by some of the milk mixture. Continue to alternatively add the flour and milk mixtures until all incorporated.

Sprinkle the 4 tablespoons flour over the diced cherries and mix until the flour has been completely incorporated and you can no longer see it.

Stir the cherries into the batter.

Fold the stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter.

Divide between the two prepared cake pans and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan on cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Using a pot and a heat proof bowl, add some water to the pot but not too much that it will reach the bowl when placed on top, and bring the water to a simmer. Whisk the egg whites and sugar in the heat proof bowl and place on top of pot with simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees and the sugar has completely dissolved. Test to make sure the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a small amount between your fingers. If it is completely smooth, it is done. If it feels gritty continue cooking and whisking (will take about 5 minutes).

Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and using a whisk attachment, whip on high speed until room temperature and the mixture creates stiff peaks and is nice and glossy (will take about 10 to 15 minutes).

Turn the mixer down to medium-high speed, add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure it is completely incorporated before add more butter. After adding all of the butter turn the mixer back to high speed until the mixture comes together (will take about 5 minutes). If the mixture does not come together at this point put it in the fridge for 5 to 7 minutes and then whip again on high until mixture comes together. Now add the vanilla extract and food coloring and beat just to incorporate.

Assemble:
Place one cake on a plate and spread some frosting on top. Top with other cake. Crumb coat entire cake and refrigerate to let frosting set up a bit. Spread final coat of frosting on cake.

Enjoy!!!

Notes:
If you do not want to make a layer cake you can halve the recipe and make a single 9 inch layer cake

If you do not like the tall cake layers, you could cut the two 9 inch layers in half and make a four layer cake instead of two layer cake.

You can leave some of the frosting un-tinted and use it to add some decorations around the top and bottom of the cake. I meant to do this and forgot. If you choose to do this, mix in the vanilla extract and take some frosting out before tinting.

*Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.

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