Updated Nov 24, 2014Chatelaine
unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups
eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups
maraschino cherries, drained well and chopped
FOR MARZIPAN ICING
- PREHEAT oven to 350F. Line 3 round 8-in. cake pans with parchment or spray with oil. Stir flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl until evenly mixed. Beat 1 cup butter in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, until creamy, 1 min. Gradually beat in sugar, then eggs one at a time. Don’t worry if mixture separates; it will come together when flour is added. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in 1/3 of flour mixture just until blended, then 1/2 of buttermilk, scraping down sides of bowl if needed. Repeat additions, ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended. Stir in cherries. Divide batter between pans, filling each no more than 3/4 full.
- BAKE in centre of oven until a cake tester inserted in centre of cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 min. Remove pans to a rack. Cool 15 min, then remove cakes to a rack to cool completely before icing.
- CRUMBLE marzipan into a food processor. Whirl until crumbly. Add butter and whirl until creamy. Add red food colouring. Add icing sugar, almond extract and milk. Whirl until smooth, creamy and easy to spread on cake.
- ASSEMBLE cake by placing one layer on a large plate or cake stand. Spread with 3/4 cup icing right to edge. Top with another cake layer and press down gently. Repeat icing and layering with remaining cake layer. Then spread remaining icing on top and around side of cake, smoothing or swirling surface. If you like, refrigerate at least 1 hour to firm icing before serving.
Tip: Cakes without icing will keep well, wrapped tightly in plastic, for 2 to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month.