Vanilla Cherry Cake

November 30th, 2012

The birthday of three of my most important people falls on the same day. It is my father’s birthday, my husband’s birthday and my oldest friend’s birthday. Over the course of the year, at every birthday my father said “you never made me a cake like that!”. With much guilt motivation I decided to make the perfect cake for my father – A cherry cake. He is mad about Cherries, so that cake should be the perfect one for him.

The only problem is that my husband hates baked cherries. So yesterday, while trying to be the best Mom that I can be, I made two different cakes. A chocolate cake and this one. You should’ve seen my kitchen when I put down my son to bed yesterday, it looked like a food fight tournament had been held there.

The batter is cherry vanilla, the filling is a cherry butter cream and the frosting is a vanilla bean Swiss butter cream.


Vanilla Cherry Cake


For the cake: 

  • 3 1/3 cups (370 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tbsp. (20 g) baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1¾ cups (415 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. (45 ml) cherry syrup (from the jar of cherries)
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups (450 g) vanilla sugar
  • ¾ cup (173 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (250 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) milk
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) cherry syrup (from the jar of cherries)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, finely chopped

For the frosting:

  • 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (225 g) granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1¾ cups (397 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. clear vanilla extract


  • Maraschino cherries



For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Grease and flour the edges of 3 8-inch round cake pans (I used two and made 24 mini cupcakes with the rest of the batter).  Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl whisk together the milk, egg whites, syrup and extracts.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.  In a small bowl, toss the chopped cherries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.  Use a silicone spatula to fold in the chopped cherries by hand.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pans to wire cooling racks.  Let cool at least 15-20 minutes in the pans, then carefully turn the layers out and let cool completely.

For the filling:


  1. Cream the butter and icing sugar together. Add the milk, syrup, vanilla and salt. Whip on medium-high speed for 5-6 minutes.  Fold-in the chopped cherries.

For the Swiss butter cream frosting:

  1. In a double-boiler, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt, vanilla seeds and pod. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160° F and the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Discard the vanilla pod.  Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 5-8 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, adding more once each addition has been incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract and mix just until incorporated.


Cherry Vanilla Layer Cake recipe from Annie’s Eats. Originally from Sweetapolita.

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