Marascino Cherry Layer Cake

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My daughter Julia (she is 3 & 1/2 years old) likes to occasionally surf Pinterest food pictures with me. The week before Easter, she eyed the cherry cake pin from Eat at Home. She immediately asked to make a cherry cake for Easter, and we were both very excited to see how it turned out.

Since it was Easter, we decorated the cake accordingly. We sprinkled the top with Wilton micro spring mix sprinkles. To garnish the sides, I used a peeps paper template beneath waxed paper to squeeze melted white candy melts to the correct bunny shape. I then sprinkled the tops with Wilton rainbow sparkling sugar. To paste the sixteen white chocolate bunnies to the sides of the cake, I used some leftover cherry frosting.

This cake was one of the best layer cakes I have ever made. It was extremely moist and fluffy. The cherry essence was perfect; it enhanced the white cake mix without giving an artificial cherry flavor. Crisco and butter gave the frosting that wonderful bakery style taste without overwhelming the palette with an oily texture. The cherry juice, once again, was the perfect amount for a unique cherry flavor without tasting medicinal. The pink coloring of the cake and icing was soft and beautiful, and would be perfect for other occasions like Valentine’s Day or a baby shower.

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Above is a picture of the template I used to make my white chocolate bunnies. I taped the template to a large cookie sheet, then taped waxed paper on top of the template. The melted white chocolate firmed up quickly over the cooled cookie sheet.

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Here you can see the final product: a beautiful pink cake with pretty sprinkles and delicious white chocolate decorated bunnies.

 

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Marascino Cherry Layer Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) white cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, softened well
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 2 (10 oz.) jars marascino cherries, juice reserved
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 (2 lb.) bag powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
  • ½ cup Crisco
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup reserved marascino cherry juice
  • 3+ Tablespoons whole milk, to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. Cut the marascino cherries into fourths. Reserve juice and set aside for cake batter and frosting.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cake mix, softened butter, vanilla extract, eggs, whole milk, and ½ cup reserved marascino cherry juice. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Switch to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes, adding the quartered cherries during the last 30 seconds.
  3. Split batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the centers come out with just a few crumbs attached. Let cakes cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then remove cake from pans and cool on wire racks at least 2 hours before frosting.
  4. To make frosting, in a large bowl, add the powdered sugar, crisco, butter, vanilla, almond, and reserved cherry juice. Beat on low power to incorporate, moving to medium power as powdered sugar disappears. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until frosting is of desired thickness. Continue beating on medium speed, at least two minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy.
  5. To frost, spread a generous cup of frosting on top of the bottom layer. Top with the second cake. Frost with a crumb coat. (This means to thinly frost the entire surface of the cakes). Refrigerate 30 minutes to set the crumb coat. Next frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate as desired. Keep cake tightly sealed with plastic wrap and refrigerated for optimum quality.

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