Last time I gave you a super simple recipe. Today I am posting my longest recipe yet!
When I think of birthdays, this cake immediately springs to mind. It is a birthday tradition in my father’s family. It is made every birthday, whether the celebrant is present or not. Even though it might seem like a cake for grown-ups, I loved it as a kid and my 7 year old son loves it too!
Making this cake is a project: It’s not difficult to make, but it does take planning and time. Refrigerated, it lasts well, so even if it isn’t possible to eat it all in one sitting, you can be sure of having a delicious treat for several days.
A word of warning, sometimes the pitted cherries aren’t all pitted, so you may get a pit in your bite of cake. In our family we consider getting a pit a prize and an indication of good luck to come.
3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 pints whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsps instant coffee
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 bottles sour cherries, drained (reserve the liquid if you want to make a cherry reduction to baste the cake layers for additional flavour and moistness – see below)
3/4 cup large flake oatmeal
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
Optional, but recommended
Liqueur of your choice such as Kahlua, brandy, a cherry liqueur or a reduction of the juice from the drained cherries.
Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare three round cake pans. I use non-stick pans and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add to the shortening mixture alternating with the buttermilk.
Pour the batter into the three cake pans pushing the batter from the centre slightly up the sides of the pans.
Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of the pans. Remove the parchment. Allow to cool completely.
Combine the sugar, coffee and salt. Mix with the cream.
Chill for 3/4 hour in freezer, stirring occasionally.
Remove from freezer and beat until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and beat until stiff. This is going to be the “icing” so it does need to be stiff.
Combine ingredients in saucepan. Roast on a low-medium heat on the cooktop until brown stirring continuously. Be careful not to burn. Allow to cool before assembly.
Slice the cake into 6 layers – you will only need 5. If the cakes are too domed, keep the dome on one of the halves, but even out the others. The filling will deal with any moderate unevenness so a perfectly flat layer is not required. The domed layer will be the top (5th layer) of the cake.
Reserve the domed layer until the last. Begin with a flat layer taken from the bottom of one of the cakes. Sprinkle a little of the liquor of choice or reduced cherry juice across the cake. Spread a layer of the cream mixture across the cake. Sprinkle with about 1/3 of the drained cherries.(The cherries are added only to the lower layers of the cake to make it easier to cut). Add another cake layer, press it down into place firmly but gently and repeat. Then add a third layer and repeat. Add the fourth layer repeating except with no cherries. Add the top domed layer and ice the outside of the whole cake.