This homemade Vintage Cherry Chip Layer Cake made from scratch is bursting with sweet cherry flavor and tinted the perfect shade of pink from nothing other than the maraschino cherry juice from the jar!
Chopped up maraschino cherries are folded into the batter to make sure the cherry flavor really comes through in this super fun, moist Vintage Cherry Chip Layer Cake that is perfect for almost any celebration!
Today is House of Nash Eats blogiversary!! And what better way to celebrate than with a tall, beautiful, three-layer birthday cake? Specifically, this homemade Cherry Chip Layer Cake made from scratch and topped with bright, beautiful maraschino cherries! Is it retro-modern? Is it vintage? Idk, but it’s definitely delicious.
I can hardly believe it’s been a year since I posted a delicious Blackberry Nectarine Crumble as my first post here on House of Nash Eats. Over the past year I have posted 128 recipes! If you want to see them all, you can click on the “Recipes” tab at the top of this page, or just head to my recipe archives by clicking here. My three most popular posts by page views to date have been my Oven Roasted Asparagus with Garlic, Parmesan, & Lemon, my Dark Chocolate Halloween Chip Cookies, and my Bombay House Style Chicken Tikka Masala. If you haven’t tried them yet, definitely check them out!
But let’s talk more about this cake. This cake makes you time travel. There is just something about the pretty pink chiffon color and maraschino cherries that make me think of frothy 1950’s prom dresses or something. It fills me with nostalgia for times I don’t even remember.
And you just can’t eat a slice of this perfectly pink cake with lovely, fun cherry flavor and bits of maraschino cherry throughout and feel anything other than happy. It makes you feel like a kid again and like you don’t have a care in the world because you are eating cherry chip cake, of all things! It’s seriously bliss on a plate and I’m in love.
Better cake decoraters than myself would have perfectly smooth sides and a top, but honestly, I’m kind of loving my less than perfect approach to the frosting here because to me, this looks totally doable. Because it is. This is how I decorate most of my cakes, like my favorite Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Maybe one of these days I’ll get some equipment like a rotating cake stand and offset spatula to help me with improve my technique, but for now I just use a butter knife to frost the top and sides and a random cake tip that is floating around in a drawer in my kitchen to create the little rosettes/swirls/whatever they around the top edge of the cake. The gorgeous, bright maraschino cherries on top of the cake make up for a lot of my shortcoming when it comes to decorating anyway, I think.
I remember eating cherry chip cake from a Betty Crocker cake mix as a kid, although it seems like it was always overshadowed by the flashier Funfetti mix. But I have to say that a boxed cherry chip cake has got nothing on this from scratch version. Each bite of this homemade vintage cherry chip layer cake bursts with sweet cherry flavor and is tinted the perfect shade of pink from the maraschino cherry juice from the jar. Lots of chopped up maraschino cherries are folded into the batter to make sure the cherry flavor really comes through and I love the tiny bit of texture that they add to the super moist, perfect cake.
I made this vintage cherry chip layer cake for Clara’s 5th birthday after receiving multiple requests from her for a cherry cake with jarred maraschino cherries and not fresh cherries or pie cherries (like in my Aunt Becky’s Black Forest Cake). After singing her the happy birthday song, Clara promptly blew out her candles and started plucking off every cherry from the top of the cake and popping them in her little mouth before I could even get the cake sliced! Fortunately all our guests that year were older cousins, grandparents, and other family members who were cool with that.
Cake Baking Tip: Alternating Wet and Dry Ingredients
Lots of cake recipes (this one included) have you to add the wet ingredients like eggs and milk or water or buttermilk and oil (um, basically anything wet) and dry ingredients (typically just the flour and leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder and salt) to the creamed butter and sugar in alternating batches, usually 1/3 to 1/2 of each at a time. Then you mix well between each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. And there’s a good reason for this seemingly fussy extra task.
Adding all the wet ingredients at once can make the batter to separate because it overwhelms the butter and sugar that you just creamed together. And if you add all of the dry ingredients at once, your batter is likely going to be really thick and the chance that you will over mix the batter go way up, which ultimately results in a tougher cake without the moist, tender crumb that you want in a layer cake.
Instead of dumping all the wet and dry ingredients in at once, it’s best to add them alternately, in two or three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and stirring only until just combined each time.
To everyone who reads this blog of mine, I just want to say thank you for your support and encouragement during this first year of House of Nash Eats! I love hearing from you whenever you try a recipe I have posted or when you think of something I should post but haven’t yet! I read every blog comment and Facebook or Instagram message and try to incorporate the feedback I am getting from you.
I am excited about all the great recipes I plan to bring you in the next year of House of Nash Eats and hope you continue to follow along! Now who’s ready to make this vintage cherry chip layer cake?!
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 4 egg whites
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
- 3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups shortening
- 12 cups powdered sugar
- 5-6 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
- Additional maraschino cherries with stems for decorating
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8-inch round cake pans by lining the bottoms with circles of parchment paper and spraying the sides with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well to combine.
Add the egg and egg whites in two batches, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing well between each addition.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the maraschino cherry juice and milk, starting with 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then adding half of the juice and milk, then repeating with another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining juice and milk, and ending with the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Be sure to scrape the bowl between additions, and only mix just until everything is combined without overmixing.
Stir in the chopped maraschino cherries.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans, then bake for 24 to 26 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with only a few crumbs.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, combine the butter and shortening and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and beat well until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of the maraschino cherry juice and beat again to completely incorporate.
Repeat with another 4 cups of the powdered sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice, mixing well between additions.
Add remaining 4 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth, adding an additional tablespoon of cherry juice, if necessary, to make a thick frosting that is just slightly sticky to the touch.
Level each cooled cake round by slicing off any domed tops.
Place the bottom layer of cake on a cake plate and carefully spread 1 1/2 cups of the frosting over it in an even layer. Repeat with the second layer of cake and another 1 1/2 cups of frosting.
Top with the remaining cake layer and frost the top and sides of the cake with most of the remaining frosting, reserving about 1 cup for piping onto the top of the cake. Decorate with extra maraschino cherries with stems, then slice and serve!
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