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Lovely Cherry Layer Cake

 Lovely Cherry Layer Cake
"This delicious eye-catching cake is a variation of an Italian dessert recipe that's been in my family for years," says Jennifer Ciccia of Hamburg, New York.
14 ServingsPrep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling

Ingredients

  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size)
  • CANNOLI FILLING:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • Pink and green gel food coloring

Directions

  • Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two
  • greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes
  • before removing cakes from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta until fluffy. Add
  • confectioners' sugar and extracts; beat until smooth.
  • Drain cherries well, reserving 1 teaspoon cherry juice. Chop

2 of 2

Lovely Cherry Layer Cake (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • cherries. Stir chopped cherries, chocolate chips and reserved cherry
  • juice into ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until
  • spreadable.
  • In another large bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and
  • fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until
  • smooth. Add enough water to achieve a spreadable consistency. Tint
  • 3/4 cup frosting pink. Tint 1/4 cup frosting green. Set aside 1-1/2
  • cups white frosting.
  • Cut each cake horizontally into two layers. Place one layer on a
  • serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers
  • twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining white
  • frosting over the top and sides of cake
  • To decorate, cut a small hole in the corner of pastry or plastic bag;
  • insert tip #5. Fill the bag with reserved white frosting; pipe vines
  • on cake. Change to shell tip #21; pipe shell border along bottom and
  • top edges. Use petal tip #103 and pink frosting to pipe the
  • rosebuds. Use leaf tip #67 and green frosting to pipe the leaves.
  • Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 14 servings.