Cherry-Vanilla Delight Cake
Ingredients
For the Cake Layers:
  • 3-1/3 cups 370 g sifted cake flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons 20 g baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon 7 g salt
  • 1-3/4 cups 415 ml whole milk, at room temperature
  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml cherry juice/syrup (from the jar of cherries)
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1.75 ml almond extract
  • 1-2 drops cherry flavour *optional
  • 2-1/4 cups 450 g vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 1-1/2 sticks 173 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 178 ml finely chopped maraschino cherries
For the Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling:
  • 1 cup 2 sticks(227 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 2 cups 250 g confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon 15 ml maraschino cherry juice/syrup (from the jar of cherries)
  • 2 teaspoons 10 ml pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • a handful of finely chopped maraschino cherries
For Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting:
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup 200 grams of vanilla sugar (you can substitute regular sugar)
  • 1/4 cup 59 ml light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons 45 ml water
  • 1/4 teaspoon 1.25 ml cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 2.5 ml pure vanilla extract (optional)
Instructions
For the Cake Layers:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and center the oven rack. Grease, line with parchment and flour three round 8-inch pans. (I use Parchment Paper Circles for ease.) Put two of the pans on a baking sheet (you will bake two layers then the third layer afterwards).
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, cherry juice/syrup, almond extract and cherry flavor oil (if using) in a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup.
  3. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment (I used the whisk), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer still on medium speed, alternate additions of the flour mixture and milk-egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (3 dry additions, 2 wet), beating after each addition until incorporated. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in finely chopped cherries.
  5. Divide batter evenly among 3 cake pans, smoothing the surface with a small offset spatula or rubber spatula. Use a digital kitchen scale for accuracy (mine were 560 grams per pan + one 60 gram cupcake tester), if possible. Bake until a skewer comes out with a few crumbs only, about 30 minutes. Cakes should be well-risen and springy to the touch.
  6. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for 5 minutes, then loosen the edges by running a knife around the sides. Gently turn out the cakes, peel of parchment paper bottom, then cool right side up. Bake the third cake and repeat.
For the Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except the cherries, and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Filling will be very light, creamy, and fluffy. Fold in cherries.
  3. Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).
For Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting:
  1. Place all ingredients except the vanilla (if using) into a large heatproof bowl that fits snugly atop a medium saucepan of simmering water on the stove (about one inch of water). Place the bowl tightly on top of the saucepan and beat the ingredients with a hand mixer until thick and glossy, about 5-7 minutes. Be sure that the bottom of your bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe the bottom of the bowl dry, and place on the counter. Continue to beat until the frosting is cool (or at least just slightly warm) and beat in the vanilla extract, if using.
  3. Best used right away.
Assembly of the Cherry-Vanilla Delight Cake:
  1. Trim any doming or top crust from cake layers using a very sharp serrated knife.
  2. Use a cake turntable, if possible, for filling, frosting and decorating. Place a small dollop of frosting in the center of a cake plate or 8″ round thin foil-covered cake board, and place the bottom cake layer on top, top side up (face-up).
  3. Place ~1 cup of Whipped Vanilla-Cherry Filling on top of the cake layer, and spread evenly with a small offset palette knife. Gently place 2nd cake layer, face up, on top. Repeat, then place your third layer face down.
  4. Put a generous scoop of Nanny's Old-Fashioned Frosting on top, spreading evenly from the top down to the sides until you have smothered the entire cake in the frosting. Use the back of a spoon or small offset palette knife to create the swirly texture. If you are creating the ombre effect, tint one third of your frosting with the gel colour of your choice and apply to the lower third of your cake, taking care to not over blend.
Sweetapolita's Notes

[cake layer recipe adapted from Taste and Tell]