Sweet Story Valentine Cake

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

This retro layer cake is dotted with Maraschino cherries and chopped almonds.

Note: The frosting can be whisked by hand or a mixer may be used.

About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.

Sweet Story Valentine Cake

About This Recipe

Yield:makes one 8-inch cake
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:3 hours
Special equipment:two 8-inch round cake pans, mixer (optional)
This recipe appears in: One Bowl Baking: Sweet Story Valentine Cake


  • For the Cake:
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed Maraschino cherries, chopped
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) cake flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) sliced almonds, finely chopped
  • Pink food coloring (optional)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 4 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons milk
  • Pink food coloring (optional)
  • Sliced almonds for garnish


  1. 1

    For the Cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease sides. Stir butter, sugar, and salt in large bowl until very creamy. Whisk in egg whites, a portion at a time, until completely combined. Whisk in vanilla and almond extracts.

  2. 2

    Whisk in milk and cherries, and a few dabs of food coloring (if desired). Add flour, baking powder, and almonds to the bowl, then whisk until just combined.

  3. 3

    Divide batter between pans and bake until center is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

  4. 4

    For the Frosting: Stir butter, sugar, small pinch salt, vanilla, almond extract, and 2 tablespoons milk in large bowl until moistened. Whisk until light and creamy, adding more milk as necessary (see note). Tint with a few dabs of food coloring if desired.

  5. 5

    Place one cake layer on serving plate. Spread with thin layer of frosting. Top with second layer and use remaining frosting to cover cake, swirling with a spoon or offset spatula. Garnish with sliced almonds.


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