07 November 2007

Chocolate Cherry Cakes with Almond Buttercream (and a bonus recipe!)

I rarely get cravings, but lately I've been craving chocolate-covered cherries. Which is not a huge surprise, as cherry and chocolate are two of my very favorite things. My parents usually get me a big ole box of them for Christmas every year, those things are so rich I can eat maybe one a week. And yet, when those cravings come on, they come on strong.

I bought a new mini-cake pan this weekend, and so of course the first thing that comes to mind to break it in is something with lots of cherry and chocolate. I went trolling around the Internet, found a good recipe at allrecipes.com, and forged ahead with a few modifications. Then I took my basic buttercream recipe and flavored it with almond, which I'm sure you agree always goes so very well with both cherries and chocolate.

This cake is very moist (thanks to the cherry pie filling), and all the flavors come together quite nicely. The almond buttercream brings out the subtle almond flavor in the cake. Best of all, these little cakes certainly tamed those cravings!

Chocolate Cherry Cakes with Almond Buttercream

1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. bakers sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 c. good unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 c. cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 (21-oz.) can cherry pie filling
For the buttercream:
1 1/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/3 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease and flour one 9x13 inch baking pan.

Cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and almond extract and beat well. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined.

By hand, stir the cake flour, baking soda and salt together. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the cherry pie filling. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cool.

For the buttercream: Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and almond extract to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined. Turn the speed to med-high until the buttercream is fluffy. Spread or pipe onto the cooled cake.

And a bonus recipe...

Since we're on a chocolate-cherry kick, here's a lovely little drinkie that the Hubs made for me a few weeks ago: one-half Lindenman’s cherry lambic, and one-half Young's double-chocolate stout. Layer the stout over the lambic in a pint. Cherry chocolate goodness in a glass! A must try, believe me.


Sarah said...

Oh your cakes are just too cute. I thought I might just eat my screen when they came up! Yummy!

Patricia Scarpin said...

They look so beautiful!
I love mini food - and chocolate and cherry are so delicious together!

Sarah said...

That drink sounds delicious! We've got the Lindeman's Pomme at work right now and I'm a big fan.

Brilynn said...

Chocolate and cherries are such a great combo!
And this drink sounds intriguing!

Anonymous said...

Your little cakes are beautiful! I love cherry and chocolate together.