Cherry Chip Cake – a delicious, from-scratch version of the popular box cake mix, this from-scratch version is full of flavor and memories!
Thank you, Betty Crocker
There’s no way to start a post about Cherry Chip Cake without thanking the “first lady of food,” Betty Crocker, for this cake flavor. I think it’s also interesting to note, Betty Crocker is actually a fictional character, made up by General Mills for marketing purposes. In fact, when the Betty Crocker brand was first introduced in the 30’s, there was a “Betty Crocker” in many of the US markets answering baking and cooking questions on local radio station (think, Dear Abby, but food specific).
Some of the first Betty Crocker box cake mix flavors were classics like yellow cake and chocolate cake. Cherry Chip came a little later and truly is most well-known as a box cake mix. Unfortunately, it’s not a flavor you can find very often on shelves and it’s not a super popular from-scratch recipe either.
Cherry Chip Cake
To be honest, this wasn’t a flavor I had on my list until suggested to me by many of you over the last couple of years. As I’ve been working on my vintage cakes, the trend of diced fruit in cake layers was coming up a lot and I thought it was about time I tackle a Cherry Chip Cake because it fits so well with so many of these vintage cakes.
Cherry Chip Cake Layers
It took me a couple rounds of experimenting to get the flavor, texture and colors I was looking for.
To get the beautiful pink color and some cherry flavor in the cake layers, we’re adding the juice from the jar of maraschino cherries. However, I don’t think the juice alone provides enough cherry flavor (adding a ton more didn’t help either), so I’ve added a little cherry Jell-O (which amps up our color a bit, as well) and a good amount of chopped maraschino cherries. If you can’t find cherry Jell-O, don’t stress. You’ll see below where we add some other elements of cherry that help increase the flavor.
Similar to my Creamsicle Cake, I’ve made these layers to be extra thick (an extra .5x a normal batch of my cake recipe).
Before we move on to the fillings and buttercream, I wanted to give you a few tips about the cherries.
- Use a food processor or blender and pulse the cherries into small pieces.
- After you’ve chopped the cherries, spread them out over a paper towel and let them sit out for a few hours to dry up. If possible, chop the cherries and let them sit out overnight.
- Before adding the cherries to the cake batter, make sure to toss them in a little flour. This helps the cherries not sink to the bottom of the cake layers while baking.
Fillings and Buttercream
After my first round of cake layers and buttercream, I felt like the cake needed a little extra cherry flavor, so I tested it out with a small slather of cherry jam and fell in love.
I also polled Instagram about whether or not Cherry Chip Cake should have some chocolate in it. The majority vote was “YES!,” so I added just a drizzle of dark chocolate ganache between the layers, as well.
For the buttercream, I used my classic vanilla buttercream recipe as my base and added some more maraschino cherry juice for flavor. The juice alone won’t give you enough pink color, so I added Americolor Soft Pink food gel to most of my buttercream and reserved about a cup of buttercream for the red.