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Holiday Gift Cake Recipe

Holiday Gift Cake Recipe

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.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1 hour 20 min. YIELD:12 servings


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


  • 1. In a mixing 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.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: Green maraschino cherries may also be used for garnish.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 533 calories, 27g fat (14g saturated fat), 133mg cholesterol, 283mg sodium, 69g carbohydrate (47g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

Reviews for Holiday Gift Cake

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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!"

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