Maraschino Cherry Cake

Looking for a delightful dessert that’s as charming as it is delicious? Look no further than this Maraschino Cherry Cake recipe. Whether it’s a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration or simply a craving for something sweet, this cake is sure to impress with its burst of cherry flavor and tender crumb. Let’s dive into the details of crafting this delectable treat.


For the Cake:

  • 2-½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1-½ cups sugar
  • 3-½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¾ cup whole milk (evaporated or buttermilk for enhanced richness)
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • ½ cup chopped maraschino cherries (blotted dry)
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 8 tablespoons cherry juice (or milk)
  • Optional: Red food coloring

For the 7-Minute Cooked Frosting Alternative:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: Red food coloring


  1. Preparation: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour two 9-inch heart-shaped pans (or any other preferred shape).
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the sifted cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add vegetable shortening and set aside.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, mix together the whole milk, cherry juice, and extracts.
  4. Blend Ingredients: Pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and shortening. Using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes until well combined.
  5. Incorporate Egg Whites: Add unbeaten egg whites to the mixture and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Fold in Cherries: Gently fold in the chopped maraschino cherries (and nuts if desired).
  7. Bake: Divide the batter evenly into the prepared heart-shaped pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Frosting: While the cake is baking, prepare your preferred frosting. For the buttercream frosting, beat together powdered sugar, butter, cherry juice (or milk), and almond extract until light and fluffy. Add food coloring if desired.
  9. Alternative Frosting: For the 7-minute cooked frosting, combine sugar, salt, cream of tartar, egg whites, and water in a heavy-duty pot. Cook over low heat, beating constantly, for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and food coloring if desired.
  10. Decorate: Once the cake has cooled, frost it generously with your chosen frosting. Garnish with additional maraschino cherries for a beautiful finishing touch.


Serving and Storage Tips:

1. Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve slices of Maraschino Cherry Cake on elegant dessert plates for a visually stunning presentation.
  • Pair each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.
  • For a touch of elegance, garnish each slice with a fresh cherry on top before serving.

2. Storage Recommendations:

  • Store any leftover Maraschino Cherry Cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • To extend the cake’s freshness, refrigerate it for up to 4-5 days, ensuring it is well-covered to prevent drying out.
  • Alternatively, you can freeze the cake for longer-term storage. Wrap individual slices or the whole cake tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Frozen Maraschino Cherry Cake can last for up to 2-3 months.
  • When ready to enjoy frozen cake slices, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for a few hours. For a quick thaw, you can also microwave individual slices on a low setting until defrosted.

3. Reheating Instructions:

  • To restore the cake’s soft texture and revive its flavors, gently reheat individual slices in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or in a preheated oven at 325°F (160°C) for 5-7 minutes.
  • Be cautious not to overheat the cake, as this can cause it to become dry. Check periodically to ensure it reaches the desired temperature without overheating.

4. Freshness Tips:

  • For optimal freshness, wait to frost the cake until just before serving. This helps to maintain the moisture of the cake layers.
  • If you’ve frosted the entire cake but only plan to serve a portion of it, cover the remaining cake with plastic wrap or a cake dome to prevent the frosting from drying out.
  • When slicing the cake, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry between cuts for clean, neat slices.

With these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that every slice of Maraschino Cherry Cake remains irresistibly delicious from the first bite to the last. Whether served fresh or enjoyed after storage, this delightful dessert is sure to delight your taste buds with its sweet cherry flavor and moist texture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

1. Can I use fresh cherries instead of maraschino cherries in this recipe?

  • While maraschino cherries are traditionally used in this recipe for their vibrant color and sweet flavor, you can certainly experiment with fresh cherries. Keep in mind that fresh cherries may alter the texture and flavor slightly, so adjust the quantity according to your preference. Remove the pits and chop the fresh cherries before incorporating them into the batter.

2. How can I prevent my cake from sticking to the pan?

  • To prevent your Maraschino Cherry Cake from sticking to the pan, it’s essential to properly grease and flour the baking pans before pouring in the batter. Additionally, consider using parchment paper liners for extra insurance against sticking. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes before gently running a knife along the edges to loosen it from the pan.

3. Can I make this cake in advance for a special occasion?

  • Yes, you can prepare Maraschino Cherry Cake in advance for special occasions. Simply follow the storage recommendations provided earlier. Store the unfrosted cake layers at room temperature or in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped to preserve freshness. Frost the cake just before serving to ensure the frosting stays creamy and the cake retains its moisture.

4. How do I adjust the recipe for different pan sizes?

  • If you prefer to use different pan sizes for your Maraschino Cherry Cake, you can adjust the baking time accordingly. For smaller pans, such as 8-inch rounds or a Bundt pan, you may need to increase the baking time slightly to ensure the cake cooks through evenly. Conversely, for larger pans, reduce the baking time to prevent the cake from overcooking. Always use the toothpick method to check for doneness. Adjustments may also be needed for frosting quantities based on the size of the cake.

Indulge in each moist, cherry-infused bite of this Maraschino Cherry Cake, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself to a delightful dessert. Enjoy the sweet bliss it brings with every mouthful!