1 cup butter, softened
1¾ cups sugar
2 Tbsp maraschino cherry juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour
2½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup whole buttermilk
5 egg whites, beaten until stiff
1 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries
Cream Cheese-Cherry Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: maraschino cherries
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray three 9-inch baking pans with nonstick baking spray with flour.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add cherry juice and vanilla, beating until combined.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; sift. Gradually add to butter mixture, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating until combined after each addition. Gently fold in beaten egg whites until mixture is smooth. Gently stir in maraschino cherries.
3. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese-Cherry Frosting evenly in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.
Makes one 9-inch cake
CREAM CHEESE-CHERRY FROSTING
• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• ¾ cup butter, softened
• ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
• 6 cups confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly beat in cherry juice until mixture is smooth. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.
Makes about 4½ cups.
In my opinion: This was a fabulous cake. I think it will become a Valentine's Day tradition.