It is a bit of work, but not so much that it's difficult. It looks fancier than it is hard to make.
I found this recipe on Food.com and did change a few things. Their recipe called for Kirsch, I used maraschino cherry juice in its place to make it kid friendly. I also could not find canned cherries, so I did use the cherry pie filling, which I like, but purists would take offense to :)
- 1 2/3 cups cake flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup kirsch
- 1 cup butter
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon very strong coffee
- 2 (14 ounce) cans sweet cherries in heavy syrup, drained
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon kirsch
- 1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of two 8-inch round pans with parchment paper circles. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoons salt. Set aside.
- Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat into flour mixture, alternating with 1 cup buttermilk, until combined. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove paper from the cakes. Using a thin but sturdy string (dental floss works well), wrap the string around one of the cakes at the halfway mark, horizontally. Tie the string once and pull slowly, cutting through the cake forming two layers. Repeat on other cake. Sprinkle cut side of each layer with kirsch.
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee, beat adding buttermilk as needed for consistency. Place first layer of cake on plate(cut side down works best for frosting). Spread with 1/3 of the filling. Top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with remaining layers.
- In a seperate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks. Beat in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 TBS kirsch. Frost top and sides of cake. Decorate with chocolate shavings made with a vegetable peeler on chocolate. (I grated mine which worked just as well)