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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Homemade Cherry Chip Cake and Happy Valentine's Day!


Cherry Chip Cake is a favourite with children.  I think it's the bright red bits of "cherry" that are sprinkled throughout the cake mix batter.  The "cherries" aren't the real thing, but simulated red candy pieces that trick the taste buds into believing "Ah, cherries".   But nevertheless, children and adults do like this cake.   I like cake mixes but I like homemade cakes much better.  Cake mixes are just too soft for my liking, although I've been known to overlook that flaw and consume more than my fair share of a cake mix cake.  

I never intentionally set out to imitate the famous cake mix.  I just happened to have this recipe in my files.  It's a very old recipe from away back in the 1950s or 60s or even older and it was called "Birthday Cake".  I copied the recipe from a corn syrup recipe pamphlet that I probably lifted from Mom's recipes--I don't remember. I seem to remember something about substituting corn syrup for sugar because of sugar rationing.  Of course, I threw out the pamphlet after I copied what I wanted.  I wish I'd kept it but you know what they say, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."  Too late to wish that one back.  

I was always intrigued with the recipe because of the amount of corn syrup included.   I'd never made a cake with corn syrup as a main ingredient.  But now I have.  The recipe languished in my files for years but the other day I took it in my head to try it out. I've renamed it because it's actually full of little bits of maraschino cherries and it looks just like a Cherry Chip Cake.   

Because Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I baked the cake in two heart-shaped pans.  So, you may say this is my Valentine to you!


Cherry Chip Cake

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups sifted cake flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
½ cup milk
⅓ cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
4 egg whites stiffly beaten (about ½ cup liquid egg whites)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line with parchment paper two 8 or 9-inch cake pans. Or you may line a cupcake pan with papers.

If you don't have an extra bowl for your mixer, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks in the clean bowl and transfer to a small bowl and lay aside.  You may then proceed to the next step without cleaning the bowl.  

Beat butter and sugar.  Add corn syrup gradually, blending well after each addition. Beat until nice and fluffy.

Sift the flour and measure out 2 cups.  Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Combine cherry juice, milk, vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl.  

Alternately add dry and wet ingredients to the creamed mixture beginning and ending with flour.  

Fold in cherries and egg whites very carefully.  

Bake cakes 30-40 minutes.  Bake cupcakes 18-20 minutes.  

Makes 1 layer cake or 12-18 cupcakes.

Frost with whipped cream, whipped topping or white fluffy frosting.



I whipped the egg whites before I started the cake.  I transferred them to a smaller bowl and laid them aside until needed.  When a cake calls for only egg whites I use liquid egg whites that come in a carton.  That way I don't have to try to find something to do with the yolks. 


Gather the ingredients needed for the cake.  Sift the flour and then measure. 

 
Mix the milk with the cherry juice, vanilla and almond extracts.

 Cream the butter and sugar; add the corn syrup and beat until fluffy and light.


When the butter, sugar and corn syrup are light and fluffy add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and cherry juice mixture.

Add the flour in three additions alternately with the cherry juice beginning and ending with the flour.

 You will have a nice pink cake batter.  But you're not finished yet.

Fold in the finely chopped cherries and the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Fold and mix until there are no streaks of egg white visible.  Do this gently so as not to deflate the air in the beaten egg whites.  And there you have it: Homemade Cherry Chip Cake batter.

You may bake the cake in cupcake pans or in two 8 or 9-inch pans.  As it's nearly Valentine's Day I used heart-shaped pans.  I lined them with parchment paper for easy removal.

I filled the heart cake with a mixture of whipped cream, grated dark chocolate and chopped maraschino cherries.  Then I covered the cake with sweetened whipped cream.  You may also use a whipped topping or a fluffy white frosting or anything your little heart desires.☺ 

I coloured some of the cream a pale pink and decorated the cake using a star tip.  I filled the centre heart with a little chopped dark chocolate and garnished with a few cherry hearts.  

You can see the cherry hearts in this picture.  I decorated the cake platter with paper doilies and hearts cut from a dinner napkin.  Now we're ready for Valentine's Day (if the cake lasts that long in the freezer!).

The cut cake gives proof to its name: "Homemade Cherry Chip Cake".  

Moist Homemade Cherry Chip Cake.

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