A few weeks ago was, my sweet boy, Jack's Heavenly birthday. He would have been 5 years old on February 21st. It's hard to imagine a 5 year old running amok around this house, especially after having Hayden. I've always wondered what I was missing out on by not having him here and now I know. Even though he and his older brother, Sam, are not here in person, I still make a point to make their birthdays special. This year, in his memory, I made him this cherry almond cake.
Cherries and almonds are a perfect pair, add a little amaretto in there and you have a match made in Heaven, no pun intended. This is not really a cake suited for a small child, but we surely enjoyed it. The bright red cherries add a nice pop of color against the spongy white cake, making it visually appealing. I basically followed the recipe but I opted to add a little vanilla and almond extracts to punch up the flavor. I also added a glaze and more maraschino cherries and whole almonds for garnish.
Hayden with his Poppa visiting Jack at the cemetery for the first time. Happy birthday Jack- we love you!
This cake was was really light and almost spongy but it was moist and tender at the same time. It was a nice contrast from a heavily frosted layer cake. It would be perfect at a luncheon, tea time with the ladies or for a light dessert after a leisurely brunch. You could certainly omit the Amaretto and replace it with milk or water, just be sure to add a little more almond extract. It's that sweet aromatic nuttiness that makes this cake so pleasing. If you make this cake, I hope you enjoy it and I sincerely hope that you'll spare a moment and think of Jack.
Cherry Almond Cake adapted from Bundt Classics
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- 1 box white or vanilla cake mix
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Amaretto (almond liqueur)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1- 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
- Maraschino cherries, patted dry and almonds, for garnish (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, mix all cake ingredients except cherries. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium high and mix for another 3 minutes. Stir in cherries by hand, spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
Once cool, drizzle with glaze (recipe below) and garnish with more cherries and almonds, if desired.
Vanilla-Almond Glaze from Monica h
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk, or more if needed