Mom’s Cherry Nut Cake

June 2, 2011

My mom used to make this cake in heart-shaped pans every year for Valentine’s Day when I was a child. She got the recipe from my grandmother, but beyond that I am uncertain of its source. It has always been one of my favorites – I love maraschino cherries and almond extract, and the whipped cream frosting’s light texture goes perfectly with the crunchy walnuts in the cake! It is also super easy to make and turns out really moist every time. I made the cake this week as a going-away cake for one of my coworkers who is transferring to a different location, and it was a big hit!

One important note: Keep the assembled cake in the refrigerator until shortly before serving to preserve the whipped cream.

Mom's cherry nut cake

Makes one 2-layer round 8-inch cake



  • 3/4  cup milk
  • 1/4  cup maraschino cherry juice (from jar of maraschino cherries)
  • 2 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2  cups sugar
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup vegetable shortening
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1  teaspoon almond extract
  • 4  egg whites
  • 18  maraschino cherries, drained and chopped fine
  • 1/2  cup finely chopped walnuts


  • 2  cups heavy cream
  • 1/2  cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. For the cake: Place oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch round cake pans with circles of parchment paper and grease and flour the pans.
  2. Mix together milk and cherry juice and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add shortening and 3/4 cup of milk/juice mixture and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining milk/juice mixture, the extracts, and the egg whites, and continue to beat on low speed for 2 minutes more, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add chopped cherries and nuts and continue to mix until just combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the two cake pans and smooth the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely, about 2 hours, before frosting.
  5. For the whipped cream frosting: Whip all frosting ingredients together with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Makes enough to frost one 2-layer cake.


  1. yummy these sound lovely. gonna give this recipe a go. Thanks afor sharing.


  2. Unfortunately mine came out dry.

    • I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out well for you!

      This cake can go from moist to overbaked pretty quickly. I find that my oven sometimes runs hot in spots, so I tend to test all my baked goods for doneness starting about 5 minutes before the stated baking time to be on the safe side.

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