Baking,  Recipes

Manhattan Cocktail Cake

How many Manhattans can you drink while you make a Manhattan Cocktail Cake?  The answer is quite a few if you are Jessica Bierman.  Don’t worry, I was baking not driving!  I am Really Into any recipe that gives me the excuse to have some cocktails while I’m making it.


The next in the series from the King Arthur Flour blog – The Manhattan Cake.  Sarah and I may have fought a little trying to decide which cakes from this post we got to bake because they all looked so good (fine, fine Sarah you can have the Dark and Stormy – especially since your White Russian cake turned out so beautiful.), and I really wanted this one.  A classic Manhattan is one of my favorite cocktails because it is simple, delicious, and I love bourbon and cherries.

As always, the first step is gathering all of my ingredients.  I also had an assistant on this mission: my cousin’s fiance Nicole who was in town to look at wedding dresses!  This cake was complicated so it was nice to have the help.  It was also raining buckets outside so this was a nice alternative to wine tasting for the weekend.


Gotta use that King Arthur Flour!

I got my wet ingredients mixed, added my dry, and put them in the prepared cake pans.  This batter was a little thicker than I expected it to be, but the cakes baked beautifully!  I didn’t even have to shave any off the top to even it out!  I do wish I would have made three or four layers instead of two…


I got my soaking syrup ready and after the cakes cooled I poured it on.  I poked some small holes on top of the cake to let the soak really get in there.


Fortunately I undertook this endeavor after Sarah did, so I knew that if I needed to I could make a couple of adjustments……I don’t have meringue powder.  I don’t even know where to buy meringue powder.  I don’t know if I will ever be the type of girl that stores meringue powder in her cabinet.  But I can dream.  And this blog may get me there eventually.  But for now, a simple buttercream frosting will have to work (I have definitely memorized this recipe on All Recipes – it is just simple and perfect).  I added in all of the same ingredients I would have added in the recipe’s frosting, so I think it achieved the same effect.

The cake looked like a big, blond Oreo.


I also bought my first cake stand to display this cake.  I think this is what they call adulting.  After we frosted the cake, we decorated it with all of the maraschino cherries we could afford.  Okay, we probably could have bought a few more, but it was seriously a lot of cherries.


I would love to make this cake in the summer when all of the fresh cherries are available.  Next time.  There will definitely be a next time because I am Really Into this cake, but I will probably have Mark do the dishes.



I am a Texan living in California with my husband Mark, my best pup Ziggy, and our two cats Marilyn and Goldie. I love reading, cooking, binge-watching great tv shows and staying up too late talking to my friends.


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