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Holiday Gift Cake

 Holiday Gift Cake
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.
12 ServingsPrep: 25 min. Bake: 1 hour 20 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure 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
  • GLAZE:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Birthday candles, optional

Directions

  • 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.

2 of 2

Holiday Gift Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • Drizzle over cake. Decorate with reserved cherries and candles if
  • desired. Yield: 12 servings.
Editor's Note: Green maraschino cherries may also be used for garnish.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 533 calories, 27 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 133 mg cholesterol, 283 mg sodium, 69 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.