More than 25 years ago, to remind my two young children of the real meaning of the season, I decided our Christmas dinner should include a birthday cake. This rich lovely dessert has served that purpose ever since.
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2-1/4 cups cake flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 jar (8 ounces) maraschino cherries, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Birthday candles, optional
- In a bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour and baking powder; gradually add 2 cups to batter. Set aside five to six cherries for garnish. Chop the remaining cherries; add to remaining flour mixture with pecans. Fold into batter.
- Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- For glaze, combine sugar and milk in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake. Decorate with reserved cherries and candles if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Holiday Gift Cake in Country Woman Christmas Annual 1998, p29
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Reviewed May. 31, 2012
"I would make this cake again in a heart beat.I have been making it for at least 39 years and always used Philly cream cheese, well I decided to use a off brand for the cake the last time I made it and in didn't work it rose and then fell and looked like it wasn't cooked but it was. Off brands have stabilizers and I guess that was the problem. Oh forgot to say I used the off brand 2 x's same problem. This AM I made the cake with the Philly, it turn out prefect!"