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!

I take my cake baking very seriously and work hard to give you recipes that deliver consistently delicious results. If you love making cake recipes from scratch, be sure not to miss my Best Red Velvet CakeYellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting, or Homemade German Chocolate Cake!

Vintage Cherry Chip Layer Cake topped with long stem cherries and a slice is slightly removed

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.

a closer view of the slice removed from the cherry chip cake

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.

cherry chip cake with cherries on top
a partially eaten slice of cherry chip cake on a white plate below a cake stand holding the remaining cake

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.

a removed slice of cherry cake on a white cake stand

Better cake decorators 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.

cherry chip cake on a white cake stand with pink frosting and cherries
a pink frosted cake with cherries

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.

a slice peeking out from this vintage cherry chip 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 ⅓ to ½ 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.

a vintage cherry chip cake on a white cake stand with a slice removed
a cherry chip cake on a cake stand with a slice removed and laid on a white plate in front

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.

a cherry chip cake slice on stacked white plates with a bite removed

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?! XOXO, Amy

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Vintage Cherry Chip Layer Cake

4.75 from 128 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 24 mins
Total Time 39 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
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!

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup salted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • ¾ cup chopped maraschino cherries

Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups shortening
  • 12 cups powdered sugar
  • 5-6 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • Additional maraschino cherries with stems for decorating

Instructions
 

Cake

  • 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 ⅓ of the dry ingredients, then adding half of the juice and milk, then repeating with another ⅓ of the dry ingredients, followed by the remaining juice and milk, and ending with the final ⅓ 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.

Frosting

  • 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.

Assembly

  • 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 ½ cups of the frosting over it in an even layer. Repeat with the second layer of cake and another 1 ½ 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!

Notes

Adapted from Life, Love, and Sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 949kcal | Carbohydrates: 131g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 90mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 113g | Vitamin A: 891IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Hi! I'm excited to make this but was hoping to make it Friday for a Monday occasion. Would it be ok in the fridge or better to try to wait?

  2. Thank you for sharing your recipe! I made this today for my husbands birthday when I couldn't find the cake mix I had. He says it ranks right up there with the favourite pineapple cake his grandma used to make him! The kids love it too so I'm going to have to print it and save it a milliin times to make sure I don't lose it!

    1. I don't think I would mess around with adjusting the ingredient measurements for the smaller sizes. Instead, I would just use any extra batter to make cupcakes that can easily be frozen for a treat another day.

    1. I have never beat the egg whites and then added them. I just add the egg whites with the one whole egg like just like with most other homemade cake recipes after the other wet ingredients.

  3. I tried and failed... Could you list measures in gms I tried converting cups into grams as per the standards.

  4. Hi, I am excited to try this recipe! I was wondering if you could substitute oil for the butter in the cake ingredients? If so, how much oil? 
    Thanks!!

  5. I made this today for my 40th birthday. Better than the Betty Crocker mix. I I'm highly impressed with this recipe!!!!!

    1. I know my comment is late as I have gotten really behind with homeschooling during the shelter-in-place, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I was born in 1980 too and will celebrate my 40th later this year! So glad you loved this recipe!

  6. I'm so sorry but I was not a fan at all. Did not have much of a cherry flavor. If I choose to make this again I would definitely use grenadine and more of it for a much stronger flavor. The texture was amazing.

  7. Fantastic recipe! After reading some of the comments we were nervous. But my daughter and I followed the directions and created the tastiest and most beautifully pink cupcakes! We baked them for 20 minutes. We did add some almond extract as well as vanilla to the frosting and left out the shortening. Perfection!

  8. Hello! I am looking to make this for my dads birthday, however I only have 9 inch pans. Would this change anything too much?

    1. You might want to just do two thicker layers with 9" pans, or three thinner layers. Either way, just watch your bake time. Two thicker layers will take a bit longer than stated, while three thinner layers will bake a few minutes faster.

  9. Will this make a small sheet cake or will i need to cut the recipe? I'm wanting to make it for my mom it's her absolute favorite cake! Thank you 🙂

    1. Hmm, I haven't tried this one as a sheet cake yet. I'm sure it will work but there might be extra batter. If so, I would just make a few cupcakes with whatever is leftover and throw them in the freezer to have on hand!

  10. Afraid the cake would be too dense without whipping the egg whites separately, I did whip and added the egg whites only at the very end (after alternating dry and wet ingredients) and the result is fantastic : a moist and flavorful (you are right the cherry flavor sets in as the cake cools) and not spongy at all. Made it as cupcakes for myself for mother's day (!) and your estimate of 18 minutes 350 degrees was spot on. Yielded 24. We froze the extra (with icing on for which I replaced shortening by cream cheese - incredible!) and I just had another tonight. Thank you!

  11. Loved it! Reminded me of a neighborhood bakery cake from when I was a kid. I made it as cupcakes to share. Good thing I did or I would have eaten the entire thing. This makes 30 standard cupcakes. Also I cut the frosting in half. So fun!

  12. I’m not sure if anyone else had this problem but mine tasted like it had too much baking powder.  

  13. This cake is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My husband LOVES cherry chip cake and asked that I make one for him. I made it for this past weekend (when I knew I’d see a lot of family who would also enjoy it) and they all raved how good it was. Thanks again! 

  14. Hi, I’m from the UK and would love make this cake. I have converted it to grams/oz but I find cups so confusing so I’m worried in case I haven’t converted it properly. Do you have this recipe converted at all. Thanks so much in advance. I cannot wait to make this cake. I’m making it for a 90th birthday party. Thanks Sam 

    1. I'm sorry but I haven't converted this one yet. It's something I know I need to work on as I have quite a few readers in the UK who have asked on other recipes as well. It's on my to-do list!

  15. I made this cake with a cherry buttercream frosting over the weekend for my mother in law’s surprise 60th birthday party. She has mentioned in the past that she loved Cherry chip cake growing up and would request it for her birthday. I made both the 3 layer cake and 24 cupcakes (350 for 19 minutes) it all turned out perfect!!! Everyone at the party LOVED it! Thank you for such a fun and nostalgic recipe!

  16. Can I convert this recipe to a sheet cake? Making this for my sons birthday this weekend can’t wait till he try’s it!!!

    1. I used 8-inch cake pans for these layers. You can use 9-inch or 6-inch pans, although you will need to adjust your baking time accordingly. And I'm working on converting some of my more popular recipes like this to include grams as well as cups!

  17. Imade this xake for my mther in law. She couldn't find the Betty Crocker box mix...why would she even TRY? I'm a baker...lol. I made this with cherry pie filling between the layers. Heaven! I bet she never buys the bix mix again!

  18. Made this for my son’s 4th birthday party, and it was a huge hit. I added almond extract to the cake batter, instead of vanilla, for an extra cherry flavored punch. Great recipe!

  19. I have a question:  do you beat the egg whites to stiff peaks, then add them -  or are you just adding them straight out of the egg?

  20. My 7 year old son wanted a cherry cake for his birthday. I found this recipe and made it. Very moist cake and very sweet! It is best in small slices, but definitely a treat!

  21. Thank you for this recipe. My daughter LOVES cherry chip cake with cherry icing but has developed an allergy to red dye.  I found cherries without red dye to make this recipe and she was so excited.  It tastes better the second day!

  22. Hi! I love cherry chip cakes! My mom made a box cherry chip every year for my birthday. I don’t do box cakes, as I enjoy making from scratch. I want to know how I could make this using three 6” pans instead of 8”. Thank you.

  23. I tried this recipe today, the cake part of it. I used natural maraschino cherries and for whatever reason it would not turn pink for me. So that was a little bit of a bummer but it did end up tasting good. 

  24. This looks absolutely delicious, and I can't wait to try it. A three tiered frosted cake is a work of art, but for those of us who don't have 3 cake pans, is it possible to bake this in a 9 x 13 pan? If so, can you recommend a baking time?

    1. Yes, you can make this in a 9x13 pan! I would probably start checking it around 25 minutes, but it might take up to 40?

  25. This was my favorite birthday cake request when I was a little girl.  So happy to have found what I remember as Mom's "Cherry Dream Cake."  It's been over 70 years and I can still picture it on the musical cake plate!  Thank you Amy!

  26. Is there anyway I can make this cake in a 9×9 cake pan. And would i have to cut down on the ingredients to do so .

  27. 4 stars
    Hello Amy ,
    I made this cake last night and it turned out beautifully. It was lovely texture and easy cake to mix . I only gave 4 stars not 5 simply because I was confused and did not follow the icing recipe as the sugar quantity was super high. I was scared also because of the shortening in the icing never have used before in icing . I was also thinking that ratio of fats in icing ( 3 cups total ) seems super high. Ok I am just saying it freaked me out. I made my own icing and it was still tasty. I love the cake it was delicious and everyone loved it perfect for my Moms 74th birthday party so thank you so much I will make this again and again.

  28. 5 stars
    I made this for a coworker's birthday after searching the shelves for a boxed cherry chip cake mix and finding none. It was a huge hit. I made a 9x13 cake and a deep dish 8x8 cake (family was happy there was one for them to eat). They were perfect after 32 minutes bake time. I don't like cherries, but everyone at worked raved about it. It was 3/4 of the way gone by lunchtime! I did cut the frosting recipe in half since I wasn't layering it. I also sprinkled some cherry Jell-o powder in the frosting which everyone said was good.

  29. 5 stars
    Hi,I made this cake today for my 40th birthday as a nostalgic reminder of the box mix cherry chip cake my mom always made for my birthday as a kid. It was delicious and so full of flavor. I am writing this recipe down because it's a keeper. I'm going to share it with my mom so she can have it too!