Cherry Almond Cake

Thursday, March 8, 2012

 I think I mentioned before that I had a little dinner party back in February.  It was so nice, perfect company, wonderful conversation at dinner and lots of wine and games after!  Well, since I was hosting I had a lot of things on my plate (ha get it) but I wanted to make a special yet easy dessert.  This cake fit the bill.  

It is a quick and easy way to make it look like you slaved away baking but really it only took a little time with minimal effort.  I do have to say that I was trying to find maraschino cherries since I was going to put those in the batter as well--no luck.  Can anyone tell me where to find those little guys in the grocery store?  Please leave a comment if you know! 

Even without the cherries, this cake came out moist, fluffy and delicious.  Give it a try next time you want to make a dessert on the fly.  

Also, if you haven't already I would REALLY appreciate your vote for the Simply Potatoes recipe contest.  To check out my submission click here

Musical Selection: Big Yellow Taxi by: Counting Crows.  Just seems to fit the cake and my mood today.
Okay, start with a white (or I'm sure yellow would work too) cake mix.  Add the oil and eggs (I did the egg white only option) and instead of adding water, I used Grenadine.  I found it in the beverage isle at the grocery store.  Right where I thought the maraschino cherries would be.
Anyway, stir it up and pour it into your pans, bake as directed.
Next, the frosting.  I do have to say I can make a mean frosting but when you are making everything else, sometimes frosting takes a back burner.  So here is my little tip: go to the bakery counter and ask to buy some by the pound!  This could not be easier.  You tell the bakery attendant how big your cake is (they will just ask what pans you are using and how many layers) and they will give you enough frosting.  I mean you have to buy it but then it's done! LOVE this and I have used it a few times.  For this cake I actually sent Mr. Schwartz in for it.  If he can get frosting from the bakery counter, so can you.
Now that I had the frosting, I wanted to flavor it a bit.  I added some almond extract, tasted it and added a bit more.  It is hard for me to tell you how much to add since I'm not sure what your frosting will be like.  You might not even want to add additional flavor.  Just keep tasting it and adding a little at a time if you do.
I also wanted to make it pretty so I added a little blue color gel.  This stuff is awesome!  I found it at Michaels and it is really cheap and SUPER concentrated.  It beats those little dropper things any day.
Mix it to your desired hue.
Then get to frosting.  Okay, so I put the cake on the cake stand/plate that I want to serve it on.  then I lift each side up and place either waxed or parchment paper under it so I don't mess up the plate.  Like so.
A dollop of frosting in the middle.
Frost it up. Sorry for the blurry picture, I had things on my mind.  Like these scalloped potatoes.
Place the second layer on.
And frost it up. I'm sorry it was far too hard to take a picture of me frosting it.  By no means is this perfect but I put a good amount of frosting on the top then push it down the sides.  I like using this huge off set spatula, it helps a lot.
Just in case you were wondering what Mr. Schwartz was doing while I was frosting the cake.  Well, here it is.  Cutting up and packaging meat.  He is so weird.
Gently remove the parchment/wax paper.  Oh, I forgot, I reserved some white frosting so I could do a little bit of piping.  I just popped it in a resealable bag and cut the corner off.  I didn't feel like washing frosting tips and such.  I just made little dots around the bottom.  This covers any imperfections too.
Next, I made a circle to follow since I wanted to make a well of sprinkles.  I just used a large-sized biscuit cutter.
And piped little circles around it.
Sprinkle well. It didn't turn out exactly like I wanted but hey, I'm just new at this baking thing.  It tasted better than it looked.
Oh and here was our little dinner table set up.  A little early Valentine's Day dinner. Oh I love a theme.
Cake.  Oh man, I have got to get better at taking pictures while I'm entertaining. This is horrible.
Forgive me. But like I said, tastes better than it looks!  
Cherry Almond Cake 
1 box white (or yellow) cake mix + the ingredients (oil/eggs) as directed on the box
Cherry grenadine (the amount of water called for in the recipe) 
2 pounds (or so) white frosting
Food coloring, if you wish
1 teaspoon (or so) almond extract
Sprinkles, if you desire. 

Combine the cake mix, oil, eggs (or egg whites if you wish) and grenadine (for the amount of water).  Pour into sprayed baking pans and bake as directed on the box.  After the cake is baked, take it out and let it cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Once the cake has cooled in the pan for 10 minutes, flip it onto the wire rack and let it cool completely.  

While the cake cools, combine the frosting and extract if you wish.  If you are using almond extract, add 1/4 of a teaspoon, taste it and add additional if you wish.  I added about a teaspoon for almost two pounds of frosting.  

When the cake is completely cooled frost and decorate as you wish.

Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz inspiration from: here.  Clearly an experienced and better practiced baker.  I love her website.


  1. Seriously?? I had NO idea that the grocery store would give you frosting?! YOU ARE A GENIUS! No seriously....I'm telling everyone I know....including Pinterest! :)

    1. You are too funny! Yes, they sure will! Our hometown bakery will sell frosting by the pound as well! I encourage you to tell everyone you know, such a time and energy saver!

  2. I've found maraschino cherries at SuperTarget by the ice cream toppings, in the freezer section. Looks like another good recipe! Yum!!

    1. Kieren, you are awesome! Thank you SO much! You never know when you need a marachino cherry! :)

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one to have trouble finding marachino cherries. They are by the olives. Seriously? Who would think to look there? My boyfriend is the one who told me where to find them. And he NEVER goes to the grocery store. I'm still not sure how he knew. But I will never forget where they are.

    1. That is too funny! Putting maraschino cherries by the olives makes NO sense what-so-ever! Too funny that your boyfriend knew where they are and never goes to the grocery store! Who knows how guys know the weird things they know! Thanks for the tip, I will check it out next time I go grocery shopping!


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