So my life has been rather chaotic recently to say the least. I moved … to Florida … in a process that took up the entire second half of 2020 and has now stretched into 2021. But I’m finally getting settled and excited to share more and more of the details with you.
I’ve wanted to move out of the cold and snow of Michigan for a long time. The fact that it has finally happened and I’m here and I will probably never see snow again (although it has been shockingly chilly in Florida lately), is almost hard to believe. The fact that I did it all despite what is going on in the world, makes it even harder to believe.
I’m tired and grateful and maybe a little numb. I definitely know in my heart I made the right decision. I feel happy and at peace, more so than I have in a long time, maybe my entire life. That’s a big deal, and it gives me all the feels. It is really something to see your dream come true and love it as much as you thought you would.
Yes, I still have a lot of work to do on myself and my future, there are always more goals to strive for, and the world is still pretty yucky. But I need to take a few moments to step back and relish.
Also to eat cake. One of the first things I wanted to do was bake in my new kitchen with shiny new ovens (that seem very smart and like they could take over the house should they so choose). I made cookies (the salted maple almond or pecan cookies I’ve already posted) and bars (that I will post so super soon because I love them). For now, I share with you a super comforting cake that reminds me of childhood. One I shared with friends.
Cans of artificially flavored cherry buttercream were life as a kid. They celebrated every up and down slathered on top of cakes or cupcakes.
This is not from a can, nor is it artificially flavored, but it evokes all those memories. It’s a fluffy cake made with carob (or when you make it chocolate) and topped with buttercream made with amarena cherries. I made a sheet cake and also a couple tiny layer cakes from ramekins, adding the syrup from the cherries as a soaking syrup.
The cake is a well balanced delight, a not-too-sweet afternoon or evening treat that does take a classic cake to an adult level. It’s a cake, like any treat, that doesn’t have to be a reward for a long day of unpacking but especially now, just sitting down, taking a few deep breaths, and forgetting.Print
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup carob or cocoa powder
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, plus 2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup olive oil
¾ cup almond milk
1 cup brewed strong coffee
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup heavy cream, plus more if necessary
¼ cup amarena cherry syrup, plus more if desired
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup finely chopped amarena cherries
Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch pan. If you want to make a small 8 inch sheet cake and a couple large ramekins, that will also work. If you want to make both, you must double the recipe.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, carob or cocoa powder, sugars, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and olive oil. Once the batter begins to come together, whisk in the milk, followed by the coffee. Pour into the prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, until cake is risen and a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Allow cake to cool completely in pan.
Once cake is cool, make the frosting. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar, along with the cream. Once the frosting is smooth and fluffy, beat in the cherry syrup, vanilla, and finely chopped cherries.
If you want, drizzle some cherry syrup on the cake before spreading a thick layer of frosting over it. Additional cherry syrup and cherries may also be used as garnish. Serve immediately or store at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5.
Recipe adapted from Jessie Sheehan via Food52
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes