Holiday Gift Cake

In my life, I’ve never had eleven empty tomato sauce cans at once.

ksu_folder A family recipe provided by Jennifer Kiel of Washington, DC, from her mother-in-law’s collection, started in Kent, Ohio.


Holiday Gift Cake

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup margarine
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup (8 oz. jar) well-drained chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Confectioners’ Sugar Glaze
Red or green maraschino cherries
Pecan halves

Thoroughly blend softened cream chess,e margarine, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add two cups flour sifted with baking powder. Combine remaining flour with cherries and 1/2 cup nuts; fold into batter.

Grease a 10″ bunt or tube pan; sprinkle with 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts. Pour batter into pan; bake at 325 degrees one hour and 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Glaze and decorate with pecans and cherries.

Confectioners’ sugar glaze: combine 1-1/2 cups of sifted confectioners sugar with 2 Tbsp. milk. Drizzle over top and sides of cake.


For Christmas gifts or other occasions, bake the cakes in cans or various containers and omit the 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts for lining pans.

  1. Pour 2 cups of batter into each of three greased 1 lb. coffee cans. Bake at 325 degrees for 6 minutes.
  2. Pour 1-1/2 cups of batter into each of four greased 1 lb. shortening cans. Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup batter into each of eleven greased 9 oz. tomato sauce cans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes.
  4. Pour 1 cup batter into each of five greased 6 x 3-1/2″ loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.

This made three nice little3 cakes and a couple of cupcakes in my small loaf pans.

Yesterdish suggestion: Shortening generally doesn’t come in metal cans anymore (and never came in pans, so I’m guessing that’s a typo). Don’t bake anything in the cardboard or plastic cans. More generally I’d suggest a visit to your fine local housewares store; I assure you they have pans that’ll do the job.

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