One Bowl Baking: Sweet Story Valentine Cake
One of the reasons I got into baking was because of my great grandmother. No birthday or holiday went without one of her fabulous cake creations, including this awesomely pink cake that she made on Valentine's Day. Listed in her worn out, handwritten recipe book as "Sweet Story Cake," this sweet and tender cake was a delightful combination of maraschino cherries, almond flavoring, and crunchy nuts. I have no idea of its origin, but given the maraschino cherries, crisco, and lots of pink, it totally screams 1950s housewife.
Though she always used a mixer, I often skip it and simply whisk the cake up in a single bowl. As long as the butter is soft enough and the milk is room temperature, mixing up the batter is a breeze. My grandmother always used chopped walnuts in her cake, but I opted for almonds—a perfect match for the almond flavoring and juicy Maraschino cherries. The sweet almond frosting is a quick buttercream made from confectioners' sugar, butter, and milk. To keep this recipe "one bowl," you should (and can) simply whisk it all up in a bowl until light and creamy. If you feel it's too much elbow grease, go ahead and drag out the mixer (I won't tell).
Though the chopped cherries tint the cake, a few drops of coloring rev up the pink color. Decorating the cake is easy: just spoon on the frosting and swirl. Sweet to look at and even sweeter to taste, this delightful retro cake is begging to "Be Mine".
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and One Bowl Baking columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.