From Hometown Recipes for the Holidays
1 1/2 cups shortening or 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 cup margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups sifted flour
3/4 cup milk
One 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
One 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, optional
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan. Do not preheat the oven.
To prepare the cake, combine the shortening and sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat until well blended. Add the extracts and beat well. Add the flour alternatively with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Beat well after each addition. Fold in half of the cherries.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 300 for 90 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate.
To prepare the icing, combine the cream cheese, margarine, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until smooth. Spread the icing on the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle the remaining cherries and nuts and coconut if using on top.