Monday, March 26, 2012

A Heavenly Cake for A Heavenly Birthday



A few weeks ago was, my sweet boy, Jack's Heavenly birthday. He would have been 5 years old on February 21st. It's hard to imagine a 5 year old running amok around this house, especially after having Hayden. I've always wondered what I was missing out on by not having him here and now I know. Even though he and his older brother, Sam, are not here in person, I still make a point to make their birthdays special. This year, in his memory, I made him this cherry almond cake.



Cherries and almonds are a perfect pair, add a little amaretto in there and you have a match made in Heaven, no pun intended. This is not really a cake suited for a small child, but we surely enjoyed it. The bright red cherries add a nice pop of color against the spongy white cake, making it visually appealing. I basically followed the recipe but I opted to add a little vanilla and almond extracts to punch up the flavor. I also added a glaze and more maraschino cherries and whole almonds for garnish.

Hayden with his Poppa visiting Jack at the cemetery for the first time. Happy birthday Jack- we love you!

This cake was was really light and almost spongy but it was moist and tender at the same time. It was a nice contrast from a heavily frosted layer cake. It would be perfect at a luncheon, tea time with the ladies or for a light dessert after a leisurely brunch. You could certainly omit the Amaretto and replace it with milk or water, just be sure to add a little more almond extract. It's that sweet aromatic nuttiness that makes this cake so pleasing. If you make this cake, I hope you enjoy it and I sincerely hope that you'll spare a moment and think of Jack.



Cherry Almond Cake adapted from Bundt Classics
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  • 1 box white or vanilla cake mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto (almond liqueur)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1- 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • Maraschino cherries, patted dry and almonds, for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all cake ingredients except cherries. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium high and mix for another 3 minutes. Stir in cherries by hand, spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, drizzle with glaze (recipe below) and garnish with more cherries and almonds, if desired.

Vanilla-Almond Glaze from Monica h
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk, or more if needed
In a medium bowl, add sugar, vanilla and almond extracts. Stir or whisk until smooth. Gradually add milk until desired consistency is achieved. Drizzle over cooled cake.

21 comments:

courtney - larking. said...

I've been following along quietly for a little while now and love your recipes (and yummy photos). This cake looks amazing! But I also wanted to say how sorry I am about your loss(es). I had no idea -- and as a new mom my heart feels so heavy for you. Thanks for sharing something wonderful with us out of something so difficult.

Abby said...

Beautiful cake. Thinking about you guys!

Auna Kay said...

Saying a prayer for your family today. What a heartbreaking loss. It's beautiful that you continue to make the boys alive in your hearts and memories.

Cassie said...

Happy belated birthday to your sweet angel boy, Monica.

Keeley said...

Beautiful celebration for your angel... thinking of you!

From the Kitchen said...

I thought that, as you watch sweet Hayden grow, you'd realize what it would have been like to have both of his older brothers growing up. All of you are fortunate to have those precious boys as a part of your family. I feel that they are watching over their baby brother and will always be doing so. Happy birthday to Jack!

Best,
Bonnie

vanillasugarblog said...

you are such a good mom!

Heather of Kitchen Concoctions said...

What a beautiful cake to honor your son Jack. I am keeping all your sweet boys in my thoughts today.

Pink Little Cake said...

I think is wonderful that you honor your sons every year. Wonderful cake and recipe as everything here in your blog.
Hugs

Mini Baker said...

what a great mom you are! AND a great baker. this looks delicious!

Memória said...

My heart is so full after reading this post. I, too, am glad that you honor all of your sons on their special days. Happy birthday, little Jack! I'm thinking of you!

Lynda said...

So very sorry for your great loss.
Your cake is beautiful, perfect for a heavenly birthday.

Debbie said...

A beautiful cake Monica. It is so special and wonderful that you honor your little boys every year...

Maria_NJ said...

Monica your Jack shares a birthday with my Michael...Mike turned 21 this year and he meet a lovely young lady online and he is threatening leaving me!! LOL OK the really bad part is that she lives in England, yes I said England...

the cake looks and sounds lovely, I love almond anything...

I'll tell ya that Haydon of yours is just too stinkin cute, what a beautiful baby...

Becca said...

I can't imagine having to go through what you go through twice a year. I probably couldn't handle it, but it looks like you handle it in the most spectacular way. The cake looks grogeous

A Feast for the Eyes said...

How bittersweet to see Hayden visiting his heavenly brother for the first time. This is a very sweet tribute of a cake. You hit all of my favorite sweet spots... almond, almond, almond and cherry.

Anna said...

Happy birthday to Jack. Holding you all in my thoughts. Much love.

Momx6 said...

He is a beautiful baby boy - I am so happy for you!

Michele said...

As a mom, I am so sorry to hear about the losses of your sons; I couldn't imagine that heartbreak. Celebrating your babies birthdays each year with a cake is such a great way to honor them and their memories. Your cake looks delicious, and your other little guy is such a doll!

Anonymous said...

For any bundt cake using a cake mix as one of the ingredients, grease the bundt pan and dust it with part of the cake mix instead of flour. No more white blotches.

Maranda said...

Gorgeous! Happy birthday Jack!

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