The Other Christmas Day Cake

For years I have been imagining a cake that would be just the thing for Christmas Day. Well, you, my devoted Cakeover legion, are in luck! This weekend I broke down and finally started tinkering with a recipe – and the outcome, I am happy to report, is pretty much right on. This cake tastes like what you’d get if you cake-ified Ben & Jerry’s “Cherries Garcia” ice cream. Now don’t be fooled by the photo – this is NOT a fruitcake (although I have nothing against fruitcake). But you should be forewarned: like fruitcake, which elicits a visceral glowing or violent reaction from most people, the star ingredient in my Christmas Day Cake is something that you will either love or be grossed out by (but ain’t that just the Christmas way?): chocolate covered cherries. Yikes! If you are fine with these perennial cordials, you should dig this cake. If they are not your thing, Run, precious, run!!!

For the Cake:
(Makes two, 5×8.5” loaf cakes)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of full-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1, 15-oz. can of cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips

For the Frosting:

  • 1 stick of room-temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted in a pat of butter in a skillet
  • 12 chocolate-covered cherry cordials

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two, 5-inch by 8.5-inch rectangle loaf pans.
  2. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium sized bowl; set aside. 
  3. In a larger bowl, using a hand mixer, cream sugar into melted butter until smooth. To that, add milk, then the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Gently blend in the vanilla. Don’t overmix.
  4. Using a fork, carefully fold in the cherry pie filling and chocolate chips.
  5. Combine with the dry ingredients until just mixed through.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans; fill each no more than halfway.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  8. Cool cakes completely.  
After the base of the frosting is complete, stir in the toasted nuts (walnuts or pecans), and then the chopped chocolate-covered cherries.
Then put a good pile of the frosting on top of your cooled loaf. before spreading over the top – skip the sides; this will be more than enough sugar in every bite to keep you buzzing for a month after Christmas. (Note the chocolate chips poking out of the cake – slurp!)

For the Frosting:

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with a hand or a stand mixer until smooth. 
  2. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
  3. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. 
  4. Beat on medium speed until smooth. 
  5. Break each chocolate-covered cherry and separate the sugar syrup from the chocolate and cherry parts, which will then be chopped. In testing, I found the frosting to be too sweet, so removing the sugar syrup helps reduce the sweetness. Discard the sugar syrup or freeze it to use as a sweetener elsewhere.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, carefully fold in the nuts and the chopped chocolate-covered cherries until fully integrated. Top each loaf cake with the frosting mixture.

C’est tout!M

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Morris Ardoin’s book, STONE MOTEL – MEMOIRS of a CAJUN BOY can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indibound, and other booksellers, and is also available as an audiobook on Audible.

2 thoughts on “The Other Christmas Day Cake

  1. You know, Baskin Robbins has a chocolate-covered cherry ice cream called Winter White Chocolate. It’s vanilla ice cream with CCCs inside. Only available between Thanksgiving and Presidents Day (or it used to be). It’s my favorite ice cream. So I might have to give this cake recipe a try. Sounds delish!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YES! I also love that concoction. I haven’t had it in years, but now I need to seek it out. I DID include white chocolate chips in this recipe at first – but removed them because it was just too sweet – but you could replace the regular choc. chips with white choc chips and that would be faboo.


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