3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (you can add more or less to taste)
FOR THE GANACHE:
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
MAKE THE CAKE:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease three 6” cake pans with shortening, then dust the pans with flour.
Start your cake batter by combining all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk to break up any lumps.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, milk, oil, cherry juice, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Add one cup of water into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle the water into the stand mixer while whisking on a low speed.
Gradually increase speed until you are at the highest speed and whisk for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is light and airy.
Divide the batter equally between the three pans (filling them about halfway full) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
After the cakes are baked all the way through, remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then release from the pan.
When the cakes are completely cool, start making your frosting.
MAKE THE FROSTING:
Place your room temperature butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together with a paddle attachment. This will take about 2-3 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.
Add in your sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Making sure each cup is incorporated before adding the next.
After all of the powdered sugar is combined, add in your heavy whipping cream and cherry juice. Whip on high speed for about 5 minutes. This will give you a “whipped” texture to your frosting. If you prefer a firm frosting, you will only need to mix 2-3 minutes.
Frost your cake with a generous layer of the cherry buttercream and decorate as you wish.
FOR THE GANACHE:
Make the ganache by combining the chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl.
Microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is mostly melted.
Stir the chocolate between each interval until all is melted.
Allow the ganache to sit until it thickens slightly. For best results, make sure the cake cooled. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
Pour the cooled ganache onto the chilled cake and push to the edges to allow the ganache to drip over. **If the ganache is too hot it will melt the buttercream. Chilling the cake and allowing the ganache to cool a bit will help this.**
After the cake is cut, keep in an airtight container, stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.