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Cheryle Finley: Cherry limeade, poke cake refreshing summer treats

Jul 06, 2023

Cheryle Finley

Paula Baker’s private side includes a love of family and cooking.

What is your favorite summer drink? Really hot weather makes a glass of cold water refreshing. Iced tea may top the chart of most requested drinks. Then there’s the cherry limeade. Made tart with the limes and sweet with the cherries, this drink hits the spot year-round.

Sonic is arguably the most popular place to order a cherry limeade. According to, Sonic’s more than 3,600 locations annually sell enough cherry limeade to fill 15 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Four fresh lime halves make their way into each large drink, and the crushed ice is also a draw. If you have a craving for some slush, the cherry limeade slush is hard to beat and definitely worth a try. Good in any weather with your hamburger.

Said to have originated in South East Asia, cherry limeades require just a few ingredients to prepare at home. Most recipes call for lemon-lime soda, limeade concentrate and maraschino cherries with the juice. Other options add lime zest, fresh lime juice and sugar.

Cherry limeade isn’t limited to drinks — you can find recipes for cherry limeade-flavored pies, ice cream and sherbet, popsicles, smoothies and bars. Look for a float that calls for heaping scoops of vanilla ice cream.

I’m eager to share today’s recipe from Paula Baker featuring cherry limeade.

One of Baker’s passions is cooking, and she recently shared several favorite recipes with me.

Poke cakes are always a winner, and this one is a level above the usual with its perfect mix of lime and cherry. Maraschino cherries will look prettiest on top of each serving if patted dry with a paper towel to avoid bleeding. I am also including an easy drink recipe from that’s perfect for parties.

Have a great week, and happy eating.

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix

1 1/4 cups lemon-lime soda

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 egg whites

4 teaspoons grated lime peel, divided

1 (4-serving) box cherry gelatin

1 cup boiling water

For the frosting:

1 (12-ounce) container whipped fluffy white frosting

Maraschino cherries, if desired

Lime peel twists, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees — 325 for dark or nonstick pans. Spray bottom only of 13-by-9-inch pan with baking spray with flour. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, soda, oil, egg whites and 3 teaspoons of the lime peel with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 28-32 minutes or until toothpick tests clean. Cool 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir gelatin into boiling water, stirring for 2 minutes to completely dissolve gelatin. Poke cake every inch with tines of meat fork or table knife. Pour cherry mixture slowly over cake, allowing mixture to fill holes in cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour longer. In a small bowl, mix frosting and remaining 1 teaspoon grated lime peel. Spread evenly over cake. Top each serving with cherry and lime twists.

1 (2-liter) bottle lemon-lime soda

1 (12-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate

1 (9-ounce) jar maraschino cherries

1 or 2 limes for serving

Add soda, concentrate and entire jar of cherries, including juice, to large pitcher. Stir slowly. Pour over ice in glasses and add lime wedge. Yields 8 servings.

Cheryle Finley is a food columnist for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.

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