A delightful loaf cake studded with maraschino cherries and chocolate chips and topped with a maraschino cherry cream cheese frosting.
What is a maraschino cherry? For years, we actually thought that they were manufactured in a lab, made of sugar and maybe some plastic. Something so vibrantly red, so waxy and sweet couldn’t possibly originate as something natural. You would think that believing this we would be dissuaded from eating maraschino cherries, but that wasn’t the case. Although not something we enjoyed often, we included them in fruitcake, used them to top pina coladas, and ate them straight out of the jar.
Of course, we now know that maraschino cherries are actually light-coloured cherries which have been preserved and sweetened to the point where they resemble the bright red cherries that garnish the delightfully refreshing Shirley Temple. Aside from using them to make drinks just a little bit fancier, we love baking with maraschino cherries. This maraschino cherry cake with cream cheese frosting is one of our favourite cakes to make.
The combination of maraschino cherries and cream cheese is not a new one of course. One of us first tasted the lovely combination at her now husband’s grandmother’s home. A few months into dating, it was time to meet Grandma and Grandpa. We went by after lunch and before dinner but because Grandma wanted to offer us something to nibble on as we got acquainted she made her famous church sandwiches. She used white sliced bread and filled the sandwiches with a mixture of cream cheese (a lot of cream cheese!) and chopped up maraschino cherries. In all honesty, the Greek girl gagged, faced with a pile of sandwiches that she was sure would taste just awful. But, the Greek girl was also raised to be polite and so, one half of the sandwich, with the crusts cut off, was chosen and one bite later the verdict was in. Bizarre, yes. But not bad. Not bad at all.
How to make maraschino cherry cake with cream cheese frosting.
This is really an easy cake to make. You can bake it in a loaf pan, in 4 mini loaf pans as we have done here, or even as muffins. Just adjust your cooking times.
As long as you have a jar of maraschino cherries, the other ingredients are pretty straightforward and you probably already have them in your pantry and refrigerator.
What you need to make maraschino cherry cake with cream cheese frosting.
For the cake you will need:
- Maraschino cherries and the juice from the jar
- Chocolate chips or chunks
- Baking powder
For the frosting you will need:
- Cream cheese
- Icing sugar
- Liquid from the jar of maraschino cherries
Looking for other nostalgic dessert recipes? Check these out:
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Maraschino cherry cake with cream cheese frosting
For the cake
- 2 cups (300 grams) flour, all-purpose
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla powder or use 1 tsp vanilla extract - See Recipe Note
- 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
- ½ cup (125 mL) liquid from the jar of maraschino cherries
- 10 ounces chopped maraschino cherries
- ½ cup (87 grams) chocolate chips
- vegetable oil spray for greasing pan
For the frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese not low fat
- ¼ cup (60 grams) butter softened
- 1 cup (130 grams) icing sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid from the jar of maraschino cherries
- chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips for decorating optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare your loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper and then spraying it with vegetable oil. Set aside. See Recipe Notes.
- In a medium size bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and vanilla powder. Set aside.2 cups (300 grams) flour, all-purpose, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp vanilla powder
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachement beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed for 5 minutes.1 cup (200 grams) sugar, 2 large eggs
- Add the oil and maraschino cherry liquid and beat for an additional 3 minutes.½ cup (125 mL) liquid from the jar of maraschino cherries, ½ cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
- With the mixer speed on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Next add in the chopped maraschino cherries and the chocolate chips and mix until just combined. You can use a rubber spatula to do this, and to scrape down the sides of your bowl.10 ounces chopped maraschino cherries, ½ cup (87 grams) chocolate chips
- Spoon batter into your prepared loaf pan (the batter will be thick and sticky) and bake in middle rack of your oven for 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting your cake.
Cream cheese frosting
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter and the cream cheese. Mix well until combined.¼ cup (60 grams) butter, 4 ounces cream cheese
- Sift your powdered sugar in with the butter and cream cheese mixer; the sifter will remove any clumps from your icing sugar. Mix until well combined and then add in the maraschino cherry liquid.1 cup (130 grams) icing sugar, 1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid from the jar of maraschino cherries
- Frost your cake with the icing and top with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips if desired.