1Chocolate Covered Cherries Variation
I like making "Chocolate Covered Cherries" version of the Amish Friendship Cake (Bread - AW). It's great for people who always wanted to make the candy version, but couldn't pull it off.
You use Cherry Jello instead of Pudding Mix. You use Marichino Cherry Juice instead of Vanilla Extract. You add 1/2 cup Marichino Cherries and 1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips. I don't use nuts for this one.
I like to make this as a Bundt Cake topped with chocolate glaze and garnished with marichino cherries on the top. For Glaze (I never measure when I make glaze, I'm estimating here): about 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 or 2 cup confectioners sugar, 1-2 tbs marichino cherry juice and milk (as needed for consistency).
2Cherry Cheese Cake Variation
This is wonderful. I used the basic mix, omitted the cinnamon and used two small boxes of cheese cake pudding instead of the vanilla and I added a small pack of cream cheese and 1/4 cup more milk. You also need a can of Cherry pie filling , 1/2 can per loaf. After putting the batter into the pans dab teaspoons of cherries on top of them and swirl around with spoon to mix in the cherries. Cook at 325 until dark golden brown. This is my brother-in-law's favorite and is very moist. I also found out that if you put the bread in a ziplock bag before it is totally cooled, the bread will be more moist. I love the many ways you can make this bread.
Instead of large vanilla pudding use 2 small boxes of pistachio pudding. Omit cinnamon and add cup maraschino cherries, chopped with 2 tablespoonfuls of syrup from cherries. Reduce milk by 2 tablespoonfuls. Sprinkle baking pans with plain sugar.
Note: This makes great finger tea sandwiches when spread with softened cream cheese!