Here in Minnesota we’ve been piled high with snow, while spending weeks bundled in layers, hibernating from the extreme cold. But the last two days brought a little bit of warmth; just enough to melt a couple of inches of snow and give everyone in our state spring fever. I decided a celebration was in order, in the form of mini cakes. Pale pink sour cherry frosting reminded me of warm summer days, and my kids and I enjoyed each and every bite. Tomorrow, when the snow comes again, we’ll savor the last little cake and dream of spring.
You can try any cake recipe you like; I used this recipe for yellow cupcakes. I simply doubled the recipe, then poured it into a half sheet pan. I baked the cake at 350 degrees for 15–20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center came out clean. (You can also bake the batter in rounds if you do not have a half sheet pan, just note that your cake layers will be thicker; you will have to cut the rounds in half, or just keep it as one thick layer.)
Ingredients: Sour Cherry Vanilla Bean Frosting
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Again, you can use any frosting you want here; I wanted something pink for a spring feel. I used frozen cherries, and let them thaw before puréeing them. Raspberries can be substituted for the cherries. This frosting is on the fluffier/softer side, so it’s not ideal for piping.
- 1 cup sour cherries
- 16 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- Good pinch of fine salt
In a food processor or blender, purée the cherries until very smooth. Put the purée through a fine mesh strainer and discard the skins. You should have a scant ½ cup of purée. Set aside. Beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla, vanilla bean seeds, and a pinch of salt, and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Add a 1/4 cup of the cherry purée, and mix well. Add a bit more if you’d like a darker color. (I thought 1/3 cup was a great amount.) Beat until combined and the frosting is fluffy.
After baking the cake, use a large biscuit cutter to stamp out the rounds, which will be your cake layers.
Frost the layers, and place one layer on top of another, making a mini cake. (I used 3 layers per cake.)
Frost the outside of the cake, and decorate with sprinkles!