Today I’m going to show you how to make a delicious maraschino cherry cake topped with a cherry-flavored buttercream frosting. This moist cake is bursting with cherry flavor!
What type of cherries should I use? Maraschino cherries work best since they have the iconic bright cherry flavor. If you can’t find them, you can substitute frozen cherries or jarred cherries packed in juice.
Can I use cherry pie filling instead of maraschino cherry juice? You can, but the flavor won’t be as pronounced. Stick to maraschino cherry juice for the most authentic cherry taste.
Is almond extract necessary in the frosting? No, it’s optional. You can substitute 2 tsp vanilla extract or omit it entirely.
Can I make this cake gluten-free? Yes! Substitute the cake flour for your favorite gluten-free flour blend and it will still work well.
For the Cake:
- 3 cups (375g) cake flour, sifted
- 2 1/2 tsp (12g) baking powder
- 1 tsp (6g) salt
- 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup (67g) vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup (177ml) milk
- 1/4 cup (60ml) maraschino cherry juice
- 1/2 cup (60g) chopped walnuts
- 16 maraschino cherries, chopped
- 4 egg whites
For the Frosting:
- 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- 4-6 cups (480-720g) powdered sugar
- Remaining maraschino cherry juice (about 4 Tbsp/60ml)
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter, shortening, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- In a measuring cup, combine the milk and 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice.
- Alternating between the flour mixture and milk mixture, beat in the dry and wet ingredients in batches until just incorporated. Don’t overmix.
- In a small bowl, toss together the chopped walnuts and maraschino cherries. Fold them into the cake batter.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter in two batches.
- Evenly divide the cake batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar 1-2 cups at a time until desired consistency is reached. Beat in the remaining maraschino cherry juice and almond extract if using.
- Once cakes are cooled, spread the cherry buttercream frosting evenly over the top and sides. Decorate the top edge with any leftover chopped cherries if desired.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- You can substitute 2 teaspoons almond extract for the maraschino cherry juice in the frosting if desired.
- For a three layer cake, divide the batter between 3 cake pans instead of 2.
- Store leftover cake tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Let me know if you try this maraschino cherry cake recipe! I hope you love the sweet cherry flavors as much as I do.
- Be sure to buy maraschino cherries that are packed in juice, not high-fructose corn syrup for better flavor.
- Fold the egg whites gently when combining to avoid deflating them too much.
- Use an offset spatula to frost the cake for the smoothest results.
- Refrigerate the assembled cake for at least 30 minutes before slicing for neat, clean cuts.
- Store leftovers tightly wrapped at room temperature up to 3 days or in the fridge up to 5 days.
- Garnish with extra maraschino cherries or chocolate shavings if desired.
- Try using cherry jam or cherry pie filling between the layers for extra fruity flavor!