Maraschino Cherry Cake for Valentines Day


I wanted to bake a special treat for my Sweetie Pie for Valentines Day. This Maraschino Sweet Heart Cake is a cake that I have been baking for a very long time. What goes more with Valentines Day than a delicately tinted pink cake which is studded with maraschino cherries and toasted pecans!

It can be baked as a layer cake, or as I have done today, baked in two separate tins to create a Heart Shaped Cake.

I used both an 8 inch square and an 8 inch round cake tin. I had grandiose ideas in my mind. I thought to hang a garland between two poles with some sweetheart lovie dovie messages on the garland, using two (paper) straws for the poles and a bit of butcher's twine to stick the messages on.

I don't think that I can ever be accused of being overly proud. I am fully capable of laughing at myself, and I do have to chuckle when I see this. A cake decorator I am not! But thankfully my husband always enjoys what I create, so it's all good.

My motivation and sentiments were pure.

The cake ended up being far larger than anything I had in my china cabinet to use as a cake plate,, and so I had to botch one together using a large place mat which I covered with aluminium foil. When must needs . . .

I thought about putting sprinkles all over the cake, but instead opted to put just a few decorations at the base of the poles. A bit understated perhaps and I don't think anyone will be copying my idea, but I do hope people will be inspired to bake the cake.

Its a good solid, old fashioned cake recipe. Almost an all-in-one-batter in that you measure all of the dry ingredients, fats, and wets into a bowl and beat them all together before beating in stiffly beaten egg whites.

Easy peasy. You are supposed to stir the cherries and nuts in at the end, but I always stir the nuts and most of the cherries into the dry ingredients so that they don't sink and then just stir a few quartered cherries into the batter at the end.

That way you get lots of lovely bits of cherry throughout and just a few largeish bits.

Overall a very pretty effect I think. I opted to use a 7-minute Frosting this time rather than a buttercream.

Its kind of like marshmallow . . . you do it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Just mix all of the ingredients together and then beat for seven minutes . . .

Until you get a soft billowy, marshamallow type of frosting that is quite sticky and quite good!

Just look at the texture of the cake. I call that perfect. You can leave the nuts out if you wish.

Todd is really enjoying it and that is why I baked it . . . I wanted him to enjoy it.

We are not like young lovers who go all out with hearts and flowers and jewelry and stuff . . . instead we like to keep things simple.

Restaurants and such get so busy on days such as these . . . instead we opt to get a delicious takeaway, and I make us a dessert and we celebrate at home with a good film/movie and each other's company.

And that's just how we like it. What kinds of things to you do for Valentines day?

Yield: makes 16

Maraschino Cherry Cake

Maraschino Cherry Cake

A delicately pink tinted cake flecked with bits of red maraschino cherry and toasted pecans. What's not to like? I have included a recipe for a 7 minute frosting.


For the Cake:
  • 310g of plain flour ( 2 1/2 cups)
  • 190g caster sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60ml maraschino cherry juice from the jar (1/4 cup)
  • 180ml milk (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp pour almond essence
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter, softened
  • 55g white vegetable shortening (1/4 cup)
  • 4 large free range egg whites
  • 18 maraschino cherries, quartered and dried with some kitchen toweling
  • 45g of chopped toasted pecans (1/2 cup)
For the frosting:
  • 3 large free range egg whites
  • 250g (1 1/3 cup)
  • 60ml water (1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS golden syrup (corn syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


How to cook Maraschino Cherry Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter two 8 inch cake tins. Line the bottoms with baking parchment and butter the paper. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk together the milk, cherry juice and essences.
  3. Put the flour mixture into a bowl along with the butter, shortening, and milk mixture. Beat together until smooth. Add the egg whites and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed until light and fluffy. Fold in the quartered cherries and pecans.
  4. Divide the mixture equally amongst the cake tins. Smooth the tops over and give them a tap on the counter to settle out any air bubbles. Bake in the centre of the heated oven for 30 minutes until wthe tops spring back when lightly touched, and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes clean. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Peel off baking paper.
  5. Once completely cooled fill and frost with your favourite icing. Delicious and pretty!
  6. For the seven minute frosting: Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water about 1/3 and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. In the top of the boiler combine the water, egg whites, sugar, syrup and vanilla. Mix just to combine. Place on top of the simmering water making sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the pan. Beat everything together using an electric hand whisk until peaks form and the mixture is thick, white and glossy.


To make a sweetheart cake divide the batter between one 8-inch square baking tin and one 8-inch round baking tin. Bake as above. Once cold, cut the round layer in half and attach to two adjacent sides to form a heart shape.

Did you make this recipe?
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Of course when my children were small I would bake heart shaped cookies and we would make paper Valentines and I would decorate the house a bit, but those days are long gone now . . .

This is how long I have been baking this cake. All those kiddies are in their 40's now with my youngest daughter (on the end of the table) having turned 40 on her birthday this last December. Why do they have to grow up? Those were busy days, and I never knew whether I was coming or going most of the time, but I sure would give anything to just feel a pair of those little arms creeping around my neck to give me a hug just one more time.

Happy Valentines Day!

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