Fizzy cola works great in a cake to give extra lift and here it adds flavour too. The end product is a very moist, rich cake that looks and tastes terrific.
Makes: 10 – 12 quite large slices
Time: Hands on/prep: 40 – 45 min. Baking 30 – 36 min. then cooling. Filling/topping 20 min + chilling
Level: reasonably easy
Need: 2 x 20xm/8” round cake tins
- 300g/10oz butter
- 150g/5½oz frozen cherries, thawed and drained
- 300ml/10fl oz cherry cola drink
- 300g/10oz self-raising flour
- 45g/1½oz cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 375g/11oz caster sugar
- 100ml/3½fl oz buttermilk (or use milk)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Some cherry flavouring (or use 1 or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
NB I chose to use frozen cherries because we had two bags in the freezer that needed using. Tinned cherries would probably work well too; I’m not so sure about fresh, but probably OK.
1. Heat the oven to 180C / fan 160C / 350F / Gas4. Butter and line the tins, ensuring that the sides are raised about 25mm/1” above the rims as the mixture should rise well. (see pictures below)
2. Cut the defrosted frozen cherries into small pieces (scissors recommended) then drain again.
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium/low heat then add in the cherry cola and cherry pieces. Set aside.
4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl then stir in the sugar.
5. Add the liquids (butter, cola etc) into the dry ingredients, together with the buttermilk, eggs and cherry or vanilla flavouring. Stir until all dry ingredients are mixed in. (It will be a very wet mixture – don’t worry)
6. Pour equally into the two tins.
7. Bake for about 30 – 36 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for about 15 minutes while you make the topping.
Ingredients for the topping/filling
- 100g/3½ oz white chocolate (optional, but very nice, use more if you like it)
- 200g – 250g (7oz – 9oz) softened butter
- 200g – 250g (7oz – 9oz) cream cheese or mascarpone
- Some Cherry extract/flavouring (or use 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 250g – 350g (9oz – 12oz) icing sugar
8. If you intend using white chocolate melt it now, using a bain marie or carefully in the micro wave, stirring often.
9. Beat the butter and cream cheese/mascarpone together until well mixed and smooth. Stir in any chosen flavourings. Beat in the melted white chocolate.
10. Sift in the icing sugar and mix gently before beating more vigorously.
11. Use up to half the mixture to join the two cakes then pipe or pour the rest on top. Decorate as you choose; I used cherries dipped in melted chocolate. Alternatively – if you have enough mixture – you could apply a crumb coat, put the cake in the fridge for a while then completely cover it with the remaining mixture. In the one shown here I went for a semi-naked look on the sides. (Mainly because I was in a bit of a rush and making a “pig’s ear” of covering it smoothly.)
Gallery 3 – other versions, most for birthdays
Gallery 4 – and even more versions, birthdays again
Below are a few that I’d love you to try: