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Confession: I substituted a 12 oz. jar of cherry preserves in place of maraschino cherries and their juice. To do so, I first emptied the jar into a small bowl and added 1/2 cup (more or less) of VitaCoco coconut water (acai & pomegranate flavor) to thin it out enough to strain it thru a colander. Used the strained cherries and 1/4 cup of the liquid in the cake recipe, but neglected to reduce the sugar accordingly. Baking took only 30 minutes (I had to turn the pan halfway round halfway thru, since my oven cooks unevenly). The cake came out fine, but a little too dense/chewy, and not tasting as strongly of cherry as I would have liked; maybe my substitutions are to blame. Used whipped cream frosting (http://www.food.com/recipe/whipped-cream-frosting-39013), adding the remaining cherry/cocowater liquid from the above-described straining process to flavor it up a bit; it paired nicely with the cake.
Made for PAC Spring-09 Made this for a treat for DGSs who are visiting and they loved it - who wouldn't love cherries!! I loved it because it was so simple, a boxed cake wouldn't have been any easier. The taste is certainly as good or better than the boxed too and nice and light. I used cake flour and left out the nuts (I love them but one DG does not) and frosted with a cream cheese frosting. I would watch the cooking time - I should have taking mine out at about 30 minutes, but YUMMY!!! I think next time I'll make it in round pans and layer it as the pretty pink color would really stand out that way. Thanks Rianita, for a lovely spring treat.