Washington Cherry Tree Cake

Washington Cherry Tree Cake

2 C. sifted Flour
1 1/4 C. Sugar
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Butter, softened
1 C. Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 Egg

1 can (1 lb.) Red Sour Pitted Cherries (water pack)
8 1/2 ounce can Crushed Pineapple
3/4 C. Cherry Juice
1/4 C. Pineapple Syrup
3/4 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Red Food Coloring
1 C. Whipping Cream
1/4 C. Sugar
2-3 drops Green Food Coloring

Generously butter bottoms of 2 8” cake pans and dust with flour. Into a large mixing bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter, 2/3 C. Milk and vanilla. Beat two minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Add egg and remaining 1/3 C. milk. Beat 2 minutes more on medium speed. Divide batter evenly into pans. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes, turn onto racks and cool completely. To prepare filling, drain cherries, reserving 3/4 C. juice; drain pineapple, reserving 1/4 C. syrup. In 2 quart saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add cherry juice and pineapple syrup. Add cherries, pineapple and food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook an additional two minutes. Set aside 1 1/2 C. cherry mixture for top of cake. Mash cherries slightly in remaining sauce, allow to partially cool. To form trunk, slice off semi-circle from bottom of each layer of cake, 1” thick at the widest point. From end of each piece, cut off 1”. Turn the pieces curved side to curved side, with the flat end butted against the flat side of cake, using the small pieces to fill in the trunk. Spread cherry filling between cake layers, and over top layer. Just before serving beat whipping cream in chilled bowl with chilled beaters until almost stiff. Whip in sugar and food coloring. Spread over sides of cake and trunk. Decorate trunk with chocolate sprinkles. Garnish with small lime leaves, if desired.

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