George Washington’s birthday used to be celebrated on February 22nd right up until 1968 when the government got involved with that third Monday of the month business. Well, my ‘fabulous’ sister was born on that day, so every year on her birthday, she would get a cake from Dudt’s Bakery on Brownsville Road in Pittsburgh. Even though my mother is an amazing baker, we all loved cakes from that bakery with their Italian Meringue buttercream.
Well, that cake had a cherry tree decoration on it every single year for as long as I can remember. You know the story – George Washington got a hatchet for his 6th birthday and cut down his father’s cherry tree. When he was confronted, he said – “I cannot tell a lie. I did cut down the cherry tree.” And now, I hear it’s all a myth. Oh well. Back to my sister’s birthday.
This cake is in my sister’s honor. Still cherries – just in a different way. Happy Birthday Diane!
This cake calls for 12 ounces of egg whites and I think it’s worth buying a container of egg whites rather than breaking all those eggs and possibly wasting the yolks. The cake structure is pretty good, so I didn’t add any gums in this cake. And, it’s completely aerated by the whites, so be sure to beat to stiff peaks and ‘gently’ fold in the flour/sugar mixture. Here’s a good picture of what stiff peaks look like.
Once you fold in the sifted flour/sugar mixture, spread the mixture evenly into a parchment-lined cookie sheet. While the cake is baking, heavily dust a clean T-Towel with powdered sugar. Once baked, turn the cake over onto the towel, remove the parchment and roll it up jelly roll fashion while it’s still warm. Don’t wait or the cake will crack.
Make the cherry pie filling and cool completely – or you can easily buy a can – fill the cake, roll it back up and dust it with powdered sugar. This cake comes together very quickly. and as long as you roll the cake up the first time in a powder sugared clean T-Towel while it’s still warm, you won’t have any issues.
You truly only have to dust it with powdered sugar to finish. I happened to have some buttercream in the house already made so I piped a few rosettes on top and placed a cherry in each one.