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Named for Dolly Varden, a character known for her colorful costume in the novel Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, this cake is a riot of lively flavors. You might want to do the baking the day before and assemble later. When I made this cake, I found that four layers was almost too much and feel like a two-layer cake (one layer of each) is more practical for everyday. Wrapped tightly in aluminum foil, the extra layers freeze nicely for future use. Dried cherries would be an excellent sub for the maraschino cherries, if desired.
- 1 (18 1/4 ounce) box white cake mix
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg whites
- 2⁄3 cup butter (not spread or tub product) or 2⁄3 cup stick margarine, softened (not spread or tub product)
- 2 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup maraschino cherry, chopped
- 1 (18 1/4 ounce) box spice cake mix
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup currants (optional)
- 2 tablespoons citron, chopped
- coconut, toasted (for garnish)
- maraschino cherry (for garnish)
- white cake frosting (either your own recipe or store bought)
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour four 9-inch cake pans.
- Prepare the batter of the white cake mix, using 3 egg whites, 1/3 cup softened butter, and 1 cup water (if your cake mix calls for slightly different ingredients, please follow the directions for best success).
- Chop maraschino cherries and drain well on paper toweling.
- Fold into white cake batter.
- Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until done when tested with a toothpick.
- Let cool briefly in cake pans, then turn out onto cooling rack to complete cooling.
- Place contents of spice cake mix in bowl. Stir in nutmeg and cardamom.
- Add remaining eggs, butter, and water (if your cake mix calls for slightly different ingredients, please follow the directions for best success).
- Fold in walnuts, currants and citron; mix well.
- Pour prepared cake pans.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until done when tested.
- Let cool briefly in pans, then turn out onto cooling rack to complete cooling.
- When cakes are cool, prepare your favorite fluffy white frosting, making more than enough for just one cake.
- Put cake together, alternating white and spice layers, with frosting between layers and on top and sides.
- Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and garnish with whole maraschino cherries.