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Wife, Mother, Mimi, lover of all things creative... sewing, embroidery, painting, collage... God and family are the most important things in my life.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valentine's Almond Cherry Pound Cake

If you are looking for a pretty, pink, homemade treat for Valentine's Day look no further. This is a simple homemade pound cake that is sure to hit the spot with your Valentine. The frosting is very rich so I choose to warm just a little in a cup and drizzle it instead of frosting the whole cake with it, but you decide which way you like it best. If you are making it for a shower or a birthday frosting it might make the decorating a little more versatile.

This cake pairs very nicely with vanilla or cherry vanilla ice cream and homemade hot fudge!

Almond Cherry Pound Cake:

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup shortening

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

1 (6-ounce) jar red maraschino cherries, drained and chopped (save 4 tbl. cherry juice to add to cake batter)

1 tsp. almond extract

3 3/4 cup cake flour

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup half and half

Cherry cream cheese glaze/frosting

Beat butter and shortening at med. speed with an electric mixer about 2 min. or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at med. speed 5 to 7 min. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Stir in cherries, cherry juice and flavoring. Combine flour and salt; add to the butter mixture alternately with half-n-half, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 45 min. to 2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 min. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack. Frost top and sides of cake with cream cheese frosting.

Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 tbls. chopped cherries, with juice

4-ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. almond extract

Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until creamy. Add sugar and almond; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in cherries and juice. Yield: 1 1/2 cups. You may use this as a frosting (you might want to double it if you like a lot of frosting.) I heat this a little in the microwave and drizzle over the cake instead.

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