D is for Dinner: Cherry Kool-Aid cake (and shake!)

This week on CBC Radio's D is for Dinner, pastry chef Michael Holland shares his recipe for cherry Kool-Aid cake (which can then be whipped up into a delicious shake if you're into that).
The cherry Kool-Aid cake on the left can be whipped up into the delicious shake pictured on the right. Cake or shake? D is for Dinner has got you covered with recipes for each. (Michael Holland/CBC)

This week on All in a Day's D is for Dinner, pastry chef Michael Holland shares his recipe for cherry Kool-Aid cake (which can then be whipped up into a delicious shake, if you're into that).

Holland, the former pastry chef at Ottawa's acclaimed Atelier restaurant, now runs his own shop in Hintonburg: Holland's Cake And Shake.

If you're not a big fan of milkshakes, don't worry. We've got you covered with separate recipes for the cake, the icing and the shake.

Cherry Kool-Aid cake


  • 1⁄4 cup butter
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 maraschino cherries, chopped fine
  • 1 1⁄4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • One 6 g package of cherry Kool-Aid mix
  • 1⁄4 cup milk
  • 1⁄4 cup sour cream


  1. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and chopped maraschino cherries for 4-5 minutes until light and airy.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Kool-aid powder in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together milk and sour cream.
  3. Alternately add dry mixture and wet mixture in thirds, ending with wet.
  4. Makes 8 individual 3" cakes, or 1 large 10" cake. 
  5. Bake in a standard electric oven at 350 F. Every oven varies but individual cakes will take approximately 20 minutes and a large one can take 25-40 minutes. 

Cherry licorice icing


  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 lb butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup Cherry Nibs gel (made with a 200 g package of Cherry Nibs and 300 ml of water)


  1. In a sauce pot, combine cherry nibs and water. Over medium low heat, constantly stir until licorice slowly melts. Be careful it does not burn on the bottom of the pot. To speed up the process, you can use a hand blender to smooth out the mixture if any small pieces of licorice have not melted. 
  2. Set gel mixture aside in the fridge and let cool.
  3. In mixer with paddle attachment, combine icing sugar, butter and cherry nib gel until smooth.
  4. Decorate cherry Kool-Aid cake as desired.

The cake shake


  • 1 cup of ice cream
  • 1 slice of decorated Cherry Kool-Aid cake
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Place ice cream, cake and milk in a tall plastic container. With an immersion blender, blend everything together until smooth, adjusting thickness of milkshake if necessary with more milk.