12 oz (1 ½ c) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3 c granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 (10-oz) jars maraschino cherries, drained, stems removed and quartered
2 c walnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan; set aside. (Note #1: The recipe my mom got specifically states not to use a Bundt pan for this cake. Most likely because it rises too much and a Bundt pan would be too small for this much batter plus the rise. Note #2: If you're using a dark non-stick pan, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F for both baking stages.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
Cream the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still running, add in the sugar and continue to beat, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, for another 2 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture; beat until combined. Use a rubber spatula to give it a final mix to make sure all of the flour is incorporated.
Add 1/3 of the batter to the tube pan and then sprinkle with half of the cherries and half of the walnuts. Cover with another 1/3 of the batter and then sprinkle with the remaining cherries and walnuts. Top with the remaining batter and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 325° F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Cake will be golden brown and a thin knife or skewer inserted in center will be clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack or platter and let cool. Serve at room temperature. Wrap cake well in plastic wrap and store at room temperature or in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Wrapped in plastic and then foil, and stored in a freezer bag, cake can be frozen well.