Cherry Almond Layer Cake

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This Cherry Almond Layer Cake is made with a light and fluffy almond cake, cherry frosting and little bits of maraschino cherries! It’s a totally under-rated flavor combo that you have to try!

Cherry Almond Layer CakeCherry Almond Layer Cake recipe

Cherry Almond Layer Cake

This cake just makes me think of spring. The flavors are so light and fresh, it’s like spring in every bite. And I am dying for a little more spring in my life! Our weather has been so crazy lately. I know it’s snowing like mad up North and we aren’t getting that crazy weather, but it’s been so warm that we have flowers blooming and now everything is freezing again. Nutty!

I’m just going to close my eyes, take a big bite of cherry almond cake and pretend like it’s actually spring.

This cake is so fun and has kind of a neat retro look to it that I love. It’s a look that’s easy to create too. All you need is an offset spatula. The 9 inch offset spatula is my fave. I feel like i have much more control with the smaller one.

How to Make a Cherry Almond Layer Cake

To get started, make the cake layers. The layers have the almond flavor, which is so wonderful in a cake. The batter is relatively straight forward to make, beginning with creaming the butter and sugar. The creaming adds air to the batter that helps make it light and fluffy, so be sure not to skimp on the creaming time.

Best Cherry Almond Layer CakeFavorite Cherry Almond Layer Cake recipe

Next you’ve got the almond extract and sour cream. I love sour cream in cakes – it adds so much moisture and flavor. Egg whites are added in two parts next and lend a light cake.

Finally, alternating the addition of the dry ingredients and wet ingredients finishes off the batter. I like to use three 8 inch cake pans for baking because then I get more frosting between each cake layer, but feel free to use a different sized pan if you prefer. You’ll just need to adjust the baking time.

Once the cake is baked, put everything together and frost it. Feel free to use my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake. Once you’ve got a relatively smooth frosting, use your offset spatula to drag from the bottom of the cake to the top to create a stripe. Continue around the outside of the cake until it’s striped all the way around. So fun!

Topped with some swirls and cherries, it makes me feel like I should be in an old-school ice cream shop. I love it! And not only is it adorable, it’s so delicious!

Decorated Cherry Almond Layer CakeImage of Cherry Almond Layer Cake slice


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slice of Cherry Almond Layer Cake
Recipe

Cherry Almond Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 57 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Cherry Almond Layer Cake is made with a light and fluffy almond cake, cherry frosting and little bits of maraschino cherries! It’s a totally under-rated flavor combo that you have to try!


Scale

Ingredients

ALMOND CAKE LAYERS

  • 3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (173g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (10ml) almond extract
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (325g) all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp (15g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water, room temperature

CHERRY BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 1/4 cups (280g) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (237g) shortening
  • 10 cups (1150g) powdered sugar
  • 56 tbsp (75-90ml) maraschino cherry juice
  • Pink icing color, optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherries

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

  • 1/4 cup (56g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (48h) shortening
  • 2 cups (230g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tbsp (15-30ml) water or milk
  • Additional cherries, for decoration
  • Pearl sprinkles

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CAKE LAYERS:

1. Prepare three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper circles in the bottom and grease the sides. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C) .
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light in color and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time.
3. Add sour cream and almond extract and mix until well combined.
4. Add egg whites in two batches, mixing until well combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
5. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then combine the milk and water in a small measuring cup.
6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until well combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until well combined. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pans and bake for about 21-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for about 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

TO MAKE THE BUTTERCREAMS:

9. To make the cherry buttercream: In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
10. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
11. Add 4-5 tablespoons of cherry juice and mix until smooth.
12. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional cherry juice, as needed.
13. Color the frosting with some additional pink icing color, if you like.
14. To make the vanilla buttercream: In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
15. Slowly add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
16. Add vanilla extract and one tablespoon of water or milk and mix until smooth.
17. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add additional water or milk as needed, as needed.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:

18. To put the cake together, use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the top of the cakes so that they’re flat. Place the first cake on a serving plate or a cardboard cake round.
19. Spread about 1 cup of cherry frosting evenly on top of the cake.
20. Top the frosting with 1/4 cup of chopped cherries and press them into the frosting. Smooth out the icing and cherries with an offset spatula.
21. Add the second layer of cake and another cup of cherry frosting and 1/4 cup of chopped cherries.
22. Top the cake with the remaining layer and frost the outside of the cake. Refer to my tutorial for frosting a smooth cake, if needed, or watch the video above.
23. Use an offset spatula to create the stripes on the side of the cake. Watch the video above for guidance.
24. Use the vanilla buttercream to pipe swirls around the top of the cake. I used Ateco tip 844, but Wilton 1M or 2D would work as well.
25. Top the swirls with cherries and sprinkle the cake with some white pearl sprinkles, if desired.

Keywords: cherry cake, cherry cake recipe, almond cake, almond cake recipe, layer cake, layer cake recipe, best cake recipe, easy cake recipe

Enjoy!

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Cherry Almond Layer Cake slice

Cherry Almond Layer Cake - a light almond cake, cherry frosting and bits of cherry between the cake layers! So good!

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Recipe rating

29 Comments
  1. Lauren

    First off, I just discovered that you have a blog! I am so excited. I am obsessed with your book and it has been my go to for cake making the past few years. I am anxious to try this cake base… assuming it is similar to the cherry almond cupcakes in your book? Those cupcakes have been my go to “vanilla” cupcake base the last few years (I make it with a cookie dough frosting though). My family is obsessed! But I’m wondering if these cake layers would be sturdy enough for a piñata cake (to cut out a portion from two of the layers and fill with sprinkles and M&Ms). If not, which vanilla cake would be sturdy enough for this? Looking forward to your response. Thank you. 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you finally found the blog and that you’ve been enjoying the cookbook! This cake should pretty much be the same base as the one in the book. And I do think it’d be sturdy enough for a pinata cake, but I haven’t tried it before to say for sure. This is probably the one I would recommend trying over my other vanilla cake, which might be a little more tender.

      1. Lauren

        I used this cake base for the piñata cake and it was perfect in sturdiness. 😃 I did find that the almond extract was too strong without the sweetness of the cherry frosting. I tried again and did 2 tsp of almond extract and 1 tsp of almond extract and everyone said it was the best cake they had ever had in their lives.  

        I wanted to point out a typo on the cherry almond cupcakes recipe in your Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes book and clarify that my interpretation is correct. On the ingredients list it says 2 tsp baking powder. In the actual instructions it says “combine the flour, baking soda, and salt…” Based on your cake recipe and the fact that it’s combining with sour cream, I’m assuming baking powder is the correct ingredient? Thanks in advance for clarifying. 

  2. Sarah

    I just made this cake last night and it was AMAZING!
    My husband is allergic to nuts so I had to leave out the almond extract and substituted vanilla instead. Still delicious! Everyone was raving about how moist it was.
    For some reason, following this recipe I only had enough batter to make 2 cakes, but it still looked and tasted great. The buttercream is very sweet but the cake itself isn’t very sweet so it ends up being a very balanced bite (as long as you don’t get too much frosting!). I added rainbow sprinkles on top to make it even more festive, as we were celebrating a birthday. The maraschino cherries are a nice touch – the “cherry on top” if you will. 🙂
    I will definitely be making this cake again for the next special occasion.
    Thank you!

  3. Terese

    How can I make this a chocolate cherry cake? Going to make it for my 6yr old daughters birthday on May 26!.

  4. Lucy Bennett

    I made a gluten free version of this cake for a friend’s birthday – with a few slight alterations, such as adding marzipan between the layers and cherry juice in the cake batter – and it was great! However, to echo a few of the comments above, I was dubious about the 10 cups of powdered sugar for the frosting and ultimately only ended up using 5 cups, and it was still cloyingly sweet, plus I had enough frosting left over to frost an entire other cake. If I make this again, I will try 3 – 4 cups and see how that goes, but 10 is just insanity.

  5. Lisa F

    I made the cake and part of the frosting yesterday for a Cherry Blossom-themed party.  The cake batter came out beautifully and tasted terrific!  I loved the easy of this cake, it’s denseness, and stark white color.   I did over-bake mine just a tad — found the baking time off in the recipe, but my oven does run cool.  I will make the cake again!

     The frodting, however, was another story!  I found it very cloying & greasy due to the amount of shortening in it.  I questioned why both butter and shortening were used.  The combo does help the structure, but not the taste.

    Additionally, the amount of confectioner’s sugar called for in the pink/cherry frosting alone was verging on shocking at 10 cups!!!  I made a pink batch, but ended up making a cherry cream cheese frosting to use on the cake instead.  True, it was too loose to decorate with, but the taste was superior.  I did use the pink frosting for some flower decorations.

  6. Danielle

    Are these layers supposed to be so flat?  They barely raised at all.  It smells amazing, but I’m thinking I’ll have to whip up some more layers of another cake to add in here because it’s gonna be such a short cake and is def not enough for the birthday party I’m bringing it to.  Did I do something wrong or is this just how the cake is supposed to be?  Most recipes I use have baking soda to help it rise. 

    1. Lindsay

      No, they shouldn’t be flat and should definitely rise in the oven. Sounds like something wasn’t quite right. Are you sure you added the baking powder, and that it was still good? I’ve been known to forget things before. 🙂 The other possibility is the creaming of the butter and sugar. You really do need to beat them together for the full 3-4 minutes. It adds air to the batter that aids in the rise and fluffiness.

      1. Paula

        I made this cake this morning, and I had the same issue. 3 very flat, approx. 1″ tall, or just under, layers. I made sure to use the baking powder, which is a fairly new can. I creamed the butter and sugar for 4 minutes. My batter was thick and divided equally among the 3 8″ pans. Great flavor, texture and color, but I always look for layers that are at least 1 1/4-1 1/2″ tall, as I like to make taller cakes.. ??

      2. Gi

        Hi Lindsay! I just started baking and your recipes are AMAZING every single time! Buying your book! ❤️ Stay safe! Good vibes from Costa Rica 🇨🇷

  7. Joe

    Just tried this cake. I’m a novice at cake baking but this looked easy and delicious. The cake turned out great but not so with the icing. Not sure why but 10 cups I’d powerdered sugar seemed way too much. My mixer couldn’t handle it even with only half the sugar added. I stopped after about 5 cups of sugar and hoping it’s ok. Even at that, it seemed like there was enough icing for about 3 cakes. Wondering if I did something wrong

  8. Jessica

    Hi! Just curious about using egg whites only…what would the difference be if used whole eggs instead? How does this effect texture of cake? BTW I just made your moist chocolate cupcakes….to DIE FOR!!! Absolutely amazing …I may have sighed after my first bite.

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the chocolate cupcakes. 🙂 Yes, the egg whites do make a difference in the texture of the cake. This recipe doesn’t turn out the same with whole eggs.

  9. Destiny

    My husband asked me to bake something for his dispatcher as a way to show appreciation. So I am baking his cake for him and it smells heavenly!  Thankfully I will bake this cake a second time tomorrow as a pre Mother’s Day present for my mom.  She is going to love it!  Then I can finally taste a piece of this cake. Until then I can get free smells.

      1. Stephanie

        Can you substitute the regular milk in the cake for almond milk to add more almond flavor? Thanks

      2. Lindsay

        I really don’t think that will add more almond flavor and the lack of fat in almond milk will alter the final texture of the cake. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  10. Destiny

    This cake represents my mom’s favorite flavor combo.  I will travel to see her this weekend.  She will be so surprised when I make this creation just for her!  Thanks for sharing your recipe.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12