Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lovely Cherry Layer Cake

1 package white cake mix

Cannoli Filling: 2 package (8 oz) each cream cheese, softened, 1 carton (15 oz) ricotta cheese, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 t. vanilla extract, 1/2 t. almond extract, 1 jar (16 oz) maraschino cherries, 1 cup miniature chocolate chips.

Frosting: 1 cup shortening, 1 cup butter, softened, 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar, 3 t. vanilla extract, 4 to 5 T. water, pink and green gel food coloring.

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using two greased and floured 9" round baking pans. Cool for 10 minutes; remove cakes from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta until combined. Add confectioners' sugar and extracts. Drain cherries well, reserving 1 T. cherry juice. Chop cherries. Stir chopped cherries, chocolate chips and reserved cherry juice into ricotta mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until spreadable.

In another mixing bowl, cream shortening and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Add enough water to achieve a spreadable consistency. Tint 3/4 cup frosting pink. Tint 1/2 cup frosting green. Set aside 1 1/2 cups white frosting.

To assemble, split each cake in half horizontally. Place one layer on a serving plate; spread with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost cake top and sides with remaining white frosting.

To decorate, place round tip #5 and reserved white frosting in a pastry bag; pipe vines on cake. Change to shell tip #21 pipe shell border along bottom and top edges. Use petal tip #103 and pink frosting to pipe the rosebuds. Use leaf tip #67 and green frosting to pipe the leaves. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Note: the use of a coupler will allow you to change tips easily for different designs.

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