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Cherry Chip Cake with Fluffy Frosting | www.tasteandtellblog.com

A few weeks back at a baby shower, the conversation turned to foods that reminded us of our childhoods. Ever since that conversation, so many foods have come back to me, reminding me of home. Everything from my mom’s chile rellenos (recipe coming soon!) to popcorn cake to stacked enchiladas. And of course, cherry chip cake.

Every birthday, we would get to choose what we wanted for dinner, and what kind of cake we wanted. I always chose homemade chicken nuggets for dinner. And for the cake – it was always cherry chip cake with fluffy frosting. With red sugar sprinkles on top. They always had red sugar sprinkles on top. I know that when I was really young, my mom decorated some really fun cakes, but looking back now, the cherry chip cakes with fluffy frosting are the ones I loved the most.

Cherry Chip Cake with Fluffy Frosting | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Of course, my mom’s cherry chip cakes always came from a boxed mix. But several weeks ago, I got this idea in my head that I wanted to try to re-create this childhood favorite – but from scratch. So I went online to see how others had done it. I was surprised to find that there aren’t that many recipes out there. Lots of chocolate cherry cakes, but not really any for from-scratch cherry chip cakes.

So, I decided to just wing it. And I’m going to call this cake version 1. Because while I really liked it, there are a few things I’d change for next time. But since this was my birthday cake from yesterday, I really wanted to share it with you!!

Cherry Chip Cake with Fluffy Frosting | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Things I’d change – First, I would chop the cherries smaller than I did. I cut them into 8 pieces each, but they all sunk to the bottom of the cake. So I think they were still too heavy. I’d chop them really fine next time. You can’t even see them in the pictures because they were all hidden by the frosting. :) Second, I’d use a recipe that didn’t call for cake flour. This could totally just be me – my husband thinks I’m crazy – but I think that cake flour has sort of a strange aftertaste. I can usually always tell if something is made with it. And for me, that taste kind of masked the light cherry flavor a bit. (But like I said, my husband didn’t taste it, and thinks I’m kinda crazy…) Third, I thought it could use just a tad more cherry flavor. Again, my husband disagreed with me on this one. But I would up it just a tiny bit. This frosting is my mom’s version of a 7 minute frosting. I grew up knowing it as fluffy frosting. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I learned that the rest of the world knew it as 7 minute frosting. But this version is super easy, and as long as you beat it long enough, I think it’s pretty fail-proof!

But really, this whole cake was pretty much a success, especially considering it was a first try. And although nothing could really replace those little bits of artificial cherries, this still brought me back to my childhood!!

Cherry Chip Cake with Fluffy Frosting | www.tasteandtellblog.com

Cherry Chip Cake with Fluffy Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
cake recipe adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours
Serves: 12-14 servings
For the Cake
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cherry extract
  • 1 tablespoons marachino cherry juice (from the jar that the cherries come in)
  • 1 10-ounce jar marachino cherries, chopped
For the Fluffy Frosting (this makes enough to frost a 2 layer cake.)
  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray 2 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment or waxed paper and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until very light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Beat in the cherry extract and cherry juice. Add one third of the flour mixture, beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the egg-milk mixture, then half of the remaining dry ingredients. Beat until incorporated. Beat in the rest of the milk mixture, then add the remaining flour mixture. Beat the mixture for 2 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated and aerated. Fold in the cherries, then divide the mixture between the two pans.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and release the cakes from the pans. Cool completely on the cooling racks.
For the fluffy frosting:
  1. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Heat until it comes to a full boil, then remove from the heat.
  3. Once the egg whites are stiff, slowly pour in the hot sugar mixture. Do not scrape the sides of the bowl, or you will have sugar crystals in the frosting. Beat the frosting until it forms a shiny, fluffy marshmallow frosting, 5-7 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Frost the cake and sprinkle red sugar sprinkles on top! :)
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75 Responses to Cherry Chip Cake with Fluffy Frosting

  1. Karly says:

    I’ve never had cherry chip cake before! Must try! Also, your photos are absolutely GORGEOUS.

  2. Katrina says:

    Ooooo! I love this! So cute.

  3. Rosa says:

    A dreamlike cake!



  4. Katie says:

    Wow this looks awsome! I love chocolate and cherries together but have never had a cherry choc chip cake – why!!? Longing to try this and you’ve gotta love those shiny red cherries. The frosting looks so smooth and fluffy, I like how its not full of butter. Gorgeous!

  5. Delishhh says:

    WOW – looks so good and fluffy – just want to dive into it :)

  6. kellypea says:

    This is so very pretty! I love the delicate pink interior. I’ve had trouble with bits and pieces sinking in baked goods as well, and found it’s about the thickness of the batter. Curious — have you tried this with fresh cherries? If you slice them and allow them to soak in milk, they’d color the milk and flavor would be more delicate — less of the almond flavoring that makes a marachino a marachino. Loving your gorgeous photos!

    • C Milne says:

      I find coating fruit in some of the flour for the recipe helps them to mix in better and not sink to bottom in baking.

  7. Kristy says:

    What a gorgeous cake! I love the photos – they just say yummy, birthday fun! :)

  8. kat says:

    Oh yeah, that totally takes me back!

  9. Nell says:

    This was my favorite cake as well! Yum! Happy day late birthday! Glad you were able to recreate the goodness of cherry chip!

  10. The cake looks great but I am in love with that fluffy frosting!!!!!

  11. Looks great, especially the fluffy frosting!

  12. Emily says:

    Looks sooooo good. I’m totally making this for my mom’s b-day coming up she loves cherries. Anyway as you were saying you don’t like cake flour here’s a solution for you make your own. I live in a small town so finding cake flour is not easy, instead I just googled “how to make cake flour” and pouff. It’s easy, for every cup of flour needed remove 2 tablespoons of flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, just sift that together 3 or 4 times and voila cake flour.

  13. Raina says:

    This is such a pretty cake! I have never cherry chip cake. It sounds really delicious:)

  14. Lisa says:

    Happy birthday!
    once upon a time I saw cherry chips in the baking aisle…wonder if those would be like the original? although pretty fake.
    must try the frosting, yum.

  15. Oh my. When I was younger my favorite cake and birthday request was always Cherry Chip Cake with Vanilla frosting. I’m not even completely sure that you can find it anymore so when I saw this I got so excited! I am sure this is way better than the box mix and that frosting sounds wonderful. It is kind of like a seven minute frosting except the egg whites don’t go into a double boiler….I’m not kidding, this might be my next cake…I am hoping my husband might request it for his birthday next month:-).

  16. Joanne says:

    I’m so sad that I never got to experience this when I was a kid! I really need to make up for some lost birthdays.

  17. Ooooh my BFF LOVES cherry chip cake!! I’ll have to try this!

  18. Erin says:

    That is a beautiful looking cake!

  19. Katie says:

    This looks like complete bliss.

    Amen to the cake floud comment! I can tell you about the cake flour after-taste- it’s because of the baking powder that’s in it.

    You can mix your own cake flour up and use non-aluminum containing baking powder you don’t get the after taste. I’ve found that switching to non-aluminum baking powder has made a lot of my quick breads and other things taste better.

  20. Lynne says:

    A beautiful birthday cake-just dreamy!

  21. I love this, Deborah! Cherry Chip is one of my favourites as well, and anything with the word “fluffy frosting,” calls my name. :) I think we share a connection to all things nostalgic, especially when it comes to baking. I’ve been wanting to try a cherry chip cake recipe, but have only done cupcakes so far. Thanks so much for sharing–this is really gorgeous. xo

  22. Looks yummy! Try tossing the chopped cherries in a little bit of flour before you add them to the batter to prevent sinking. Try reducing the cherry syrup for a more concentrated flavor. Good luck and many more happy memories.

  23. grace says:

    terrific! this is something i rarely, rarely see, and it’s so exciting and delicious! great post (and happy belated birthday!). :)

  24. corina says:

    Looks sooooooo delicious! Yummy!

  25. Geralyn says:

    I searched high and low for a boxed mix or a suitable recipe for cherry chip cake for my cake hating but maraschino cherry loving 5 year old’s birthday and came up short. Now I have this for next year! Thanks for the recipe and beautiful photos!

  26. I’m so glad you shared your thoughts on cake flour. I just made my first few batches of cake using it instead of all-purpose flour and thought it tasted a little off but decided I must have used too much food coloring or something when dying the batters. Glad I’m not the only one!

  27. Raquel Mendes says:

    Made this cake for my mom’s birthday party today, it was amazing! Everyone loved it… I did cut the cherry pieces really small so they were all over the cake, thanks for the warning 😉

    Thank you for the recipe!*

  28. AKAlicious says:

    I’m dying to make this cake! I’ve been having a hard time finding cherry extract, though. Did you use the real stuff or the imitation for this recipe?

  29. Laura says:

    Hi! How would you make these into cupcakes?

    • Deborah says:

      @Laura, I haven’t tried these as cupcakes, so I’m not sure how well the recipe would do as cupcakes. I find that it’s hit or miss when cake recipes work as cupcakes. If you do try them, let me know how they work!

  30. katie says:

    LOVED this cake. Made it for my daddy for his birthday…EVERYONE, even my brother who claims he doesn’t like cake loved it!

    Do you know if you can make the frosting chocoalte for other treats?

  31. Mallory says:

    I am trying to use your frosting recipe for my banana cake (and adding honey to the mix). Problem is… I’m not serving it until tomorrow. What do you suggest about storing the cake? Should I frost it tonight? I don’t think I’ll have time tomorrow morning.

    • Deborah says:

      @Mallory, this frosting really is best when it’s frosted right before serving. If it sits too long, it gets a little hard and sticky on the outside. It still tastes ok, but definitely not as good as when it is fresh. If you do frost it ahead of time, I would make sure to cover it. I don’t think I’ve ever stored this frosting in the fridge, but that might help – I’m not sure, though!

      • Mallory says:

        @Deborah, Thanks for the reply. I am going to frost it tonight, cover it, and put it in my cold basement… Hopefully that should work. If it’s a little hard, it’s okay. Thanks for the recipe and the reply!

  32. Carissa says:

    I’m so thankful I found your blog! A girlfriend requested that I make her a childhood favorite, her beloved Cherry Chip Cake, for her birthday. I’ve never seen one – let alone tasted one – but your recipe blows doors off the few other offerings on-line, so this is the one I’ll be making…But i need help, pretty please?!? Quick couple of questions: should I use the same measured amount of King Arthur AP flour as cake flour? Would a combo of maraschino and dried cherries (whizzed in the cuisinart into tiny bits) amp up the cherry flavor enough? Is the 7 Minute frosting ok if the cake gets frosted 2-3 hours in advance? Thank you so, so much!!!

  33. Kim says:

    Thank you so very much for your recipe. I chopped the cherries up very very fine and they floated through the cake beautifully. I had a young woman who wanted a cherry chip wedding cake, I didn;t think it was going to be possible as I had only seen recipes for chocolate cherry and all the other were more dense and better suited for bunt pans. Hats off to you.

  34. Jessica says:

    I just poured the last drop of pretty pink batter into my cupcake pans, so I will see very soon if this recipe works for cpupcakes….fingers crossed! (It will be a dirty rotten shame if they don’t work!)

  35. Jessica says:

    I am happy to report this recipe DOES work for cupcakes! It’s WONDERFUL! My bake time was approximately 19 minutes for two full pans. Can’t wait to try the frosting…

  36. Sil says:

    Just got a request for a wedding cake…cherry chip! So here I am! I do need to make it gluten and lactose free. Any suggestions?

    • Deborah says:

      @Sil, I don’t think I’m qualified to help you with that – I don’t do gluten or lactose free. I’m sure there are lots of resources online, though. Good luck!

  37. Sil says:

    No worries – was taking a chance. I will have to do some research and some tests….I hope the folks at work like cherry chip! LOL!!

  38. Vanessa says:

    Hi, do I have to refrigerate this cake after it is made???

    • Deborah says:

      @Vanessa, I haven’t worried about refrigerating it, but I don’t think it would hurt it if you did.

      • Vanessa says:

        @Deborah, Thank you for the quick reply. I did end up putting it in the refrigerator because I used a cream cheese frosting. It was delicious and everyone loved it!!! My 6 yr old loved it and was so happy that I made it for her birthday. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe:)

  39. Joe says:

    I’m looking for a cherry chip cake using little cherry chips (as opposed to chocoloate chips). And advice as to how that would work?

  40. Shirley says:

    I am making this for a very special someone’s birthday next week. He talked about his mom making it for him when he was younger. I can’t wait till he sees it. He will love it.

  41. Karen says:

    This cake is just beautiful! What is the texture like? It appears to be very ‘light’ which makes me wonder how moist it is, being that moist cakes always seem to have a heavy appearance. Also (very important), unfortunately when I make cakes, they always come out browner than I would like, which is very visible when you slice it. I don’t see that at all in your photos. How did you manage that? Or can you offer any tips to avoid browning it so much in the oven? I am definitely going to try this recipe! :)

    • Deborah says:

      @Karen, it is a light cake, but it’s not dry. And I’m not sure on the browning of the cake. Maybe try covering the top with foil if it starts to brown?

  42. Linda Owens says:

    Happy Birthday!!!……if you coat your cherries with flour before adding them they won’t sink to the bottom…

  43. Liz says:

    I made this cake…LOVED it. I don’t have cherry extract, so I used Almond. Also I read how you need to finely chopped the cherries, I put my in the food processors. The cherries did not fall to the bottom, and were throughout the batter. YUMMY…tons of request for this one. Did you used your frosting made it with white chocolate butter cream frosting :) Thank you for posting this!!

  44. Diana says:

    Oh, this brought back memories!!! This was my Dad’s favorite cake! He always had it for his birthday, on December 1st!! … Sadly, I wish I had this back in 2005 when he had been diagnosed with cancer and my mom was gone taking care of her elderly mom at the time, and me and my sisters were trying to find a cherry cake mix .. to no avail.. I think we concocted something, but not the same as she had always made with the fluffy icing, which we callled marshmellow icing!! LOL… That was his last birthday and it was a great one, just wish we had been able to recreate the cake for him.. I think I will bake one in his memory this year!! Thank you for the recipe !!!

  45. Tina says:

    A lifesaver, thank you! My hubby wanted a cherry chip cake, I went to two stores for a mix and I guess they don’t really sell it anymore!!! Google search revealed that it’s very difficult to find in stores now.

  46. Erynne says:

    So I made this for my dad’s birthday this is his favorite kind of cake. I don’t really care for cherries, but it was actually really good.I used regular flour I’m not sure what the difference of cake flour is but I’m sure it’s a better quality flour.After making it I did have the smallest hint of flour taste but once I put the frosting on covered it right up. I used a thin layer or store frosting because it was missing that wow factor and plus I didn’t have any cherry extract maybe some things to think about next time I make it.Great recipe tho thank you

  47. Diane says:

    This was wonderful. I did add some almond extract. Other than that my family loved it. Even the frosting was fantastic. Thanks, I will definitely make it again.

  48. Megan says:

    Happy Blog Birthday!! That cake looks amazing.

  49. Stephanie Burbank says:

    I call this fluffy frosting too! It’s my all time favorite. When do you add in vanilla?

    • Deborah says:

      I can’t believe that I missed that!! I have added it into the instructions. Thanks!

      • Stephanie Burbank says:

        I try to tell everyone that this is the best frosting in the world… and to not be too intimidated by it. It’s is SO yummy and easy too. It is THEE bomb on devils food cake. We call it “The Birthday Cake”. It’s always the same… Devils Food and Fluffy Frosting. I think I need to make this now :)

  50. Mimi says:

    “I think that cake flour has sort of a strange aftertaste” This web site addresses this issue: http://baking911.com/learn/ingredients/flour-and-grains/wheat-flour . It says “Bleached vs unbleached: one main difference between unbleached and bleached flour is the color; one is off-white and the other is pure white. Technically speaking, the carotenoid (yellow) pigments in the flour are oxidized to produce white flour. Flours treated with these bleaching agents must be labeled as bleached. If a recipe doesn’t specify, you can use either one, but where a whiter color is desired, use the bleached one. For those looking for untreated flour, note that unbleached flour can still contain maturing agents and chemical dough improvers (listed on the label).

    Potassium bromate, a potentially carcinogenic chemical, has been used extensively as both an oxidizer and a conditioner. (In California, any food containing potassium bromate must carry a warning label.) Common maturing agents include potassium bromate (used mainly in the Midwest and the east) and ascorbic acid (used mainly in the west).

    There are other permissible chemical additives used to whiten and oxidize flour: such as chlorine dioxide, benzoyl peroxide, and chlorine gas. Breads treated with these agents will generally exhibit increased loaf volume, finer grain and an improved look. People with especially sensitive palates can detect a bitter aftertaste from flours treated with these chemicals.”

  51. ferg says:

    Oh my. Sharing with my niece. I agree with your cake flour aftertaste comment. It is why I don’t like mixes. I can always tell by the strange aftertaste. Thanks for the recipe.

  52. Glenda says:

    I love cherry ice cream, so this sounds like a great companion cake! I wouldn’t use cake flour either. I have experienced that “aftertaste” which I believe is the aluminum in the baking powder. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos and tips. I’m eager to try the recipe!

  53. Gloria says:

    This looks yummy

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