Cherry Almond Cupcake

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Sherry Cake

Decades ago, I looked for a good sherry cake from scratch, but wasn't able to find one. I finally decided to try to create my own.  I re-created Grandma's Sherry Cake using my Grandmother's Custard Glaze. 

This year, for my birthday, I revisited this cake recipe, doubled it, but instead of the glaze, I created a Sherry Cream Frosting starting with a custard base. I really liked the result. It's a little easier if the cake and the sherry custard are prepared the day before you make the buttercream and frost the cake.


8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup cream sherry
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3-1/3 cups cake flour
2/3 cup almond flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, almond flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside. With mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add sherry and incorporate into cream cheese, then cream in butter and add oil in a stream until emulsified.
Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add dry ingredients gradually until mixed in, then add vanilla.
Pour into 2  greased and floured  9" round cakes pans and bake for 40-45 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.
Place on cooling rack, and while warm drizzle sugar syrup over hot cake layers. Allow to cool completely before icing.

Sugar Syrup

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 c  cream sherry
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add sherry and vanilla.


Sherry Custard Buttercream Frosting

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk
1/4 cup cream sherry
2 T butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

4 oz cream cheese
2 T cream sherry
2 cups butter
4 cups powdered sugar

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.  Gradually add milk. Over Med-High heat, whisk constantly until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in cream sherry in small amounts, whisking until smooth. Add butter and vanilla, stirring until
butter is melted. Pour into a glass container. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until thoroughly cooled.

Bring butter and cream cheese to room temperature.
In a mixer bowl, using whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and cream sherry until smooth.
Add butter and beat until creamy. Switching to a flat paddle, add the cooled sherry custard, one tablespoon at a time, until fully creamed into mixture after each addition.
Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Spread the frosting on top of bottom layer. Top with second layer and spread frosting on sides and top of cake.
Makes 2 layer 9" round cake. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

St Paddy's Day Pistachio Candy

  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 3.5oz pkg pistachio pudding mix                            
  • 6 oz bag flaked coconut                                                         
  • 2T butter or margarine, melted (1 ounce)
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened  
  • 2 cups finely chopped pistachios
  • 5 ½ -6 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 drop leaf green coloring gel (opt)                                                   
  • Semisweet and/or White Chocolate chips, melted
  • Paramount Crystals
  • 1/2 cup Dark Green Confectioners Melts


Pour sweetened condensed milk into a bowl. Heat milk in microwave for 1 minute until warm. Pour pudding mix into milk and stir well.  Return to microwave and heat for 60- 90 seconds, checking after 60 seconds so as not to overcook. Stir again for 2 minutes until the pudding mix is well dissolved. Set aside.

Place coconut in blender and pulse a bit until the coconut is finely chopped. Mix with finely chopped pistachios.

Stir butter and cream cheese into pudding mixture, incorporating well. Add nuts and coconut and mix well.
I added a drop or two of leaf green coloring gel just because it's St Paddy's Day candy, but it's not necessary.

Add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time until too difficult to stir.  Sprinkle a board generously with confectioners’ sugar and turn the mix onto the board. 

Knead in sugar
until the dough is soft and not sticky.

Using a melon baller, scoop out a heaping teaspoon of dough. Shape into 1 inch balls, then chill in refrigerator until very firm.

When ready to dip in chocolate, melt dark and/or white chocolate .

I used Ghiradelli brand chocolate chips.  I also added some paramount crystals to
thin the chocolate.
 Too thick a layer of dark chocolate will overwhelm the flavor.

When melting white chocolate, melt carefully over hot water in a double boiler.

Do not allow the water the boil as the white chocolate burns easily.

Because this was for St Patrick's Day, I added 5-6 dark green Confectioner's melts at the last
making a pretty soft green.

 Dip chilled balls into melted dark or white chocolate using a fork.

Then carefully slide off the fork onto wax paper or a silicone mat using a small spatula, as shown.
Set aside to cool completely.
To decorate, melt about a 1/3 cup of green confectioner's melts.
Pour into a piping bag and clip just the tip off the bag.
Have fun decorating your candy.
I used stripes on the dark chocolate and swirls on the white chocolate.

Mmmmmmm -Chocolate on the outside,
gentle flavors of pistachio and coconut on the inside!

With this candy, there's plenty of Green on hand for St Paddy's Day!

May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!


Recipe, Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson 2011
All Rights Reserved.
Please note
This material may not be reproduced without permission from the author.

"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December." ~J M Barrie