3/4 cup plus 1 tsp.all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp.unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp.baking powder
1/2 tsp.baking soda
1/2 tsp.ground cinnamon
1/3 cupun salted butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 recipe Cherry or Chocolate Frosting, recipe below
1 recipe Chocolate-Dipped Cherries, recipe below (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 6×2-inch round cake pans or springform pans. Mix 1 teaspoon each flour and cocoa powder; dust pans. Set pans aside.
2. In bowl combine 3/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
3. In large bowl with electric mixer beat butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Beat in sour cream and flour mixture. Pour batter in pans; spread evenly.
4. Bake 22 to 26 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on rack.
5. Use serrated knife to horizontally cut cakes in half to make 4 layers total. Place bottom layer on plate; spread with 2/3 cup frosting. Repeat with layers. Place top layer on cake. Heap remaining frosting, swirling in peaks. Refrigerate. To serve, top with Chocolate-Dipped Cherries. Serves 8.
6. Cherry Frosting: In chilled large mixing bowl combine one 8-ounce carton sour cream. 1 cup whipping cream (do not use ultra-pasteurized whipping cream), 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice. Beat with chilled beaters on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Chocolate Frosting: In a chilled large mixing bowl combine one 8-ounce carton sour cream, 1 cup whipping cream (do not use ultra-pasteurized whipping cream), 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder. Beat with chilled beaters on medium-high until fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
8. Chocolate-Dipped Cherries: Drain 16 maraschino cherries with stems; pat dry with paper towels. In small microwave-safe bowl combine 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces and 1 teaspoon shortening. Cook on 50 percent power (medium) 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Dip cherries in chocolate; place on waxed paper until set. Store, covered, up to 24 hours.
9. Alphabet Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare Chocolate-Cherry Stack Cake batter, above. Line sixteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. Fill each cup with two slightly rounded tablespoons of cake batter. Bake 18 minutes or until top springs back. Cool completely on wire rack. To assemble, top each cupcake with Cherry or Chocolate Frosting, above, (you will have some frosting left over). Top with Alphabet Cookies, recipe below.
10. Alphabet Cookies: On a lightly floured surface knead 1/3 cup all-purpose flour into 1/2 of a 16.5-ounce package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Roll dough 1/4-inch thick. Brush lightly with water; sprinkle with coarse red sugar. Cut 16 small cookies for cupcakes and cut remainder into desired shapes. Bake small cookies in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 6 minutes; bake larger cookies 7 to 8 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Use to decorate cupcakes.
More in Pastries