This cherry chip cake smothered in a fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream is an irresistible homemade version of the retro boxed cake mix favorite.

This cherry chip cake, smothered in a fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream, is a homemade version of a boxed cake mix favorite. It’s also the perfect celebration cake!

Growing up my mom let us choose what flavor of birthday cake we wanted. The bakery aisle at the grocery store had an endless selection of scrumptious looking cake mixes, and my choice was always cherry chip.

For those of you who have never had the pleasure, “cherry chip cake” is a pink cake filled with tiny bits of candied or maraschino cherries. It’s tender and light, with a subtle cherry flavor.

A homemade version of the retro favorite

Whether you’re looking for a from-scratch recipe, can’t find the boxed mix on the shelves (it’s hard to find these days), or want to try a fun new cake recipe— this cake is a must try! I know you’ll love it.

This homemade cherry chip cake covered in whipped buttercream is soft and flavorful, and so pretty! One bite and you’ll agree, homemade is better!

Ingredients you’ll need

Let’s get baking! Here’s everything you’ll need to make this homemade cherry chip cake (full recipe at the bottom):

  • Maraschino cherries
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg whites
  • Cake flour
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream

This cherry chip cake, smothered in a fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream, is a homemade version of a boxed cake mix favorite. It’s also the perfect celebration cake!

How to make homemade cherry chip cake

  1. Chop maraschino cherries. A food processor is the best tool to finely chop the maraschino cherries, but a knife will work too. Make sure they are very small, as larger pieces will sink to the bottom of the cake.
  2. Prepare cake batter. This cake is made using the creaming method, where you beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then add eggs and flavorings, and then alternate dry ingredients with remaining wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix once you start adding the dry ingredients.
  3. Bake. Divide the batter between cake pans and bake until cake appears set and the center bounces back when gently pressed. Let cake layers cool completely.
  4. Make frosting. Beat frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Assemble cake. Layer frosting between cake layers and use the rest of the frosting to cover cake and decorated as desired. Garnish cake with maraschino cherries.

Then, enjoy! And I know you will.

This cherry chip cake, smothered in a fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream, is a homemade version of a boxed cake mix favorite. It’s also the perfect celebration cake!

My best cake tips

  • If you’re new to baking layer cakes or need a little help, be sure to check out my complete guide for how to build a layer cake. It’s got everything you need to know!
  • This recipe uses cake flour to achieve a light and tender crumb. You should be able to find it in the baking aisle next to other specialty flours. If not, you can make your own.
  • You can use either 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. (These are the pans I have and love.) 8-inch pans will yield a taller cake, 9-inch will yield one that’s wider. I baked this cake in 3 8-inch pans.
  • Line the cake pans with parchment paper rounds to make sure there’s no sticking. Here’s all my tips for prepping cake pans before baking.
  • If you need a little help frosting your cake like a (semi) pro, see my full tutorial.
  • This cake can be made ahead several ways. The cake layers can be baked in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months (see my tutorial on how to store cake layers). The frosting can be stored at room temperature for several days, in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer for several months. For best results, beat frosting until smooth before using.

This cherry chip cake, smothered in a fluffy whipped vanilla buttercream, is a homemade version of a boxed cake mix favorite. It’s also the perfect celebration cake!

More lovely cakes to bake

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Note: this recipe was originally published February 2014.

Cherry Chip Cake with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

A homemade version of a favorite cake box classic - light and fluffy cherry chip cake frosted with whipped vanilla buttercream.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 10 ounce jar maraschino cherries (283 grams, about 30 cherries)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (113 grams)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups cake flour (226 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ⅓ cup buttermilk (315 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice

For the buttercream frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (226 grams)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar , sifted (900 grams)
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Instructions

To make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two or three 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Drain the maraschino cherries, reserving the juice. In a food processor or with a sharp knife, finely chop the cherries. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer, beat the butter and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg whites one at a time, mixing after each. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk and maraschino cherry juice. Add the flour mixture to the mixer in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Mix after each addition and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Stir in the chopped maraschino cherries.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 30-35 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting and assemble the cake:

  • Place the butter, sifted powdered sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and almond extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (alternately you can use a hand-held mixer). Mix on low speed until moistened, then increase speed to high and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Cover with ½ cup of the buttercream frosting. Place second cake layer on top and cover tops and sides with remaining buttercream. Let firm up for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.
  • Store cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Sodium: 195mg, Calcium: 85mg, Vitamin A: 837IU, Sugar: 75g, Fiber: 1g, Potassium: 154mg, Cholesterol: 71mg, Calories: 612kcal, Saturated Fat: 16g, Fat: 26g, Protein: 5g, Carbohydrates: 92g, Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a review below or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.