Here's the recipe for Carol Anne's favorite birthday cake-minus that secret "optional" ingredient, of course.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1-1/3 cups sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 16 maraschino cherries, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional maraschino cherries, optional
- In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg whites and cherry juice. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in cherries and nuts.
- Place the batter in two greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- For frosting, combine the sugar, egg whites, water, corn syrup and cream of tartar in a heavy saucepan over low heat or double boiler over simmering water. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 8-10 minutes.
- Pour into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; add vanilla. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Spread between the layers and over the top and sides of cake. Garnish with cherries if desired. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Maraschino Party Cake in Reminisce January/February 2004, p27
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