Sweet Cherry Vanilla Cake with Red, White, and Blue Swirl Frosting


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  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups dark-sweet cherries, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool
  • Red gel paste food coloring
  • Royal blue gel paste food coloring
  • Violet gel paste food coloring
  • Edible star-shaped glitter

This cherry vanilla cake is a moist vanilla butter cake, spiked with dark-sweet cherries and accented with a little almond extract. 

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  • Yield
    10-12 servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
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For the sweet cherry vanilla cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, and mist a 9x13-inch baking pan generously with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the butter and stir on medium speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (3 to 5 minutes).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
  5. Stir in the milk, sour cream, and extracts, then turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for about a minute and a half, to aerate the batter and build the cake's structure.
  6. Fold in the cherries, transfer to the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before decorating.

For the Red, White, & Blue Swirled Frosting:

  1. Place the egg whites and sugar in a large mixing bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until thin, translucent, and no longer gritty when rubbed between the thumb and forefinger.
  2. Whip on high speed until the meringue holds stiff peaks (about 5 minutes). Cool the meringue until there is no hint of warmth when you place your hand on the side of the bowl (you can place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes, if needed).
  3. Whip in the butter on medium-high speed, one tablespoon at a time. (If the frosting starts to look curdled, keep whipping. If the frosting looks runny, place the bowl and whisk attachment in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes, then re-whip.)
  4. Divide the frosting into three separate bowls, one large and two smaller.
  5. Tint one of the smaller bowls with red gel paste. Tint the other smaller bowl with royal blue and violet gel paste.
  6. Frost the cake with white frosting, then drop dollops of red and blue frosting on top and swirl together.
  7. Garnish with edible star glitter.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 978
  • Fat Content: 64.2g
  • Cholesterol Content: 341mg
  • Sodium Content: 839mg
  • Carbohydrate Content: 94g
  • Fiber Content: 1.4g
  • Sugar Content: 63.4g
  • Protein Content: 12.1g