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Cherry Chocolate Cake

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This tender cherry chocolate cake is a simple yet elegant cake spiked with cherries. An easy cake recipe made with melted dark chocolate and fresh, frozen, or canned cherries.

slice of chocolate cake with cherries and icing sugar.

After baking the Cherry Bread and the Cherry and Almond Cake recently, I felt it was time for a cherry chocolate cake recipe. Something easy to make that will not require a lot of time and effort, so this easy recipe was exactly what I needed.

The result is an incredibly tender cake with an intense chocolate flavor, dotted with slightly tart cherries, an absolute delight, something that your whole family will love.

Expert tips

  • Use a digital kitchen scale; baking is a science, and measuring the ingredients correctly guarantees for best results (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Use a cherry pitter; it’s cheap and makes pitting much easier (Amazon affiliate link).
  • Ensure that the ingredients (eggs, butter) are at room temperature. When you beat them together, they will create a smooth emulsion that traps the air in the batter. This air expanding during baking makes the baked good light and fluffy.
  • Melt the chocolate in a water bath. Don’t let the water come to a simmer or boil, or the chocolate might become grainy. If the water gets too hot, remove the pot from the heat and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted.
  • Immediate baking: Bake the easy chocolate cherry cake immediately after stirring the batter. Preheat the oven and prepare the baking tin before making the cake batter. If you leave it waiting, the baking powder will lose its power, and the cake will not rise nicely.

Recipe ingredients

listed ingredients for chocolate cake with cherries.
  • Cherries: 350 g/ 12.5 oz fresh sweet or sour cherries, weighed after pitting. 350 g are about 2 ½ cups of whole pitted cherries.
    • You can also make it with frozen (and defrosted) fruit or canned (and drained) ones.
  • Dark chocolate: Use good-quality dark chocolate with 60-80 % cocoa.
    • Semi-sweet chocolate is also ok; the cake will be slightly sweeter.
  • Sugar: Two types of sugar: white and brown. However, if you don’t have any brown sugar, don’t stress about it; replace it with white sugar.
  • Ground nuts: I used ground hazelnuts, but ground almonds should be fine as well.
  • Other dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.
  • Butter: I always use unsalted butter when baking. European-style butter with a high-fat percentage (82-86%) is best for baking cakes; it makes them richer and softer.
  • Eggs: Four large eggs at room temperature.

How to make cherry chocolate cake?

  • Preparations: Preheat the oven. Grease and flour a springform of about 24 cm/ 9.5 inches.
  • Cherries: Pit fresh cherries (1). The best way to do it is with a pitter (Amazon affiliate link). If using frozen fruit, defrost and pat it dry with paper towels. If using canned fruit, drain and pat it dry as well.
  • Melt chocolate: Chop the dark chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Melt it at bain-marie (water bath), stirring often. Let cool slightly while you prepare the rest (2).
collage of two pictures of pitted cherries and melted chocolate.
  • Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with 50 g/ ¼ of the white sugar with an electric mixer until stiff and glossy. Set aside.
  • Wet ingredients: Beat the soft butter, 50 g/ ¼ white sugar, and 50 g/ ¼ cup brown sugar in a large bowl on high speed until fluffy (3). Mix in the egg yolks ( and the melted and cooled chocolate (4).
collage of two pictures of stirring ingredients for cake batter in a bowl.
  • Dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts, and salt in a separate bowl (5).
  • Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix in very shortly on low speed, just until combined (6).
collage of two pictures of flour mix in a bowl and cake batter in another.
  • Carefully fold in the beaten egg whites (7).
  • Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared pan.
  • Top with the cherries (8).
collage of two pictures of cake batter in a bowl and in a pan topped with cherries.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean; the baking time depends on your oven.
  • Check after about 30-40 minutes. If the top of the cake starts to get dark too soon, cover the pan loosely with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent it from getting burned.
  • Let cool in the baking dish for about 20 minutes. Release it from the baking pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

Recipe FAQ

Can I use other fruit or berries?

Sure. Preferably tart berries like raspberries and red or black currants. Or peaches, nectarines, pears, etc.

Can I add anything?

If you want more chocolate, fold in a small handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate into the already mixed batter.

How to melt chocolate at bain-marie?

Place the chopped chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Pour some water into another pan. Place the bowl on top; the bowl should not touch the hot water at all. Heat on low heat, often stirring, until the chocolate is completely smooth.

How to store?

Room temperature: Keep in an airtight container for 1-2 days. If the weather is hot, it’s preferable to refrigerate the leftovers. Otherwise, the cherries might start to build mold (it happened to me; it was hot during the last few days).
Refrigerate in an airtight container to store it for longer, 3-4 days.
Freeze it for about 3 months. Wrap in plastic wrap and then in foil.
Defrost in the fridge or on the counter.

overhead view of a slice of cake with chocolate and fresh cherries.

How to serve?

  • You can serve the cherry chocolate cake lukewarm or cooled with a dollop of vanilla ice cream, Vanilla Cherry Ice Cream, or Amaretto Cherry Ice Cream.
  • Or serve it at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar, or topped with whipped cream. We also love it with Vanilla Sauce.
  • For a more intense cherry experience, serve it with homemade Cherry Sauce.
  • And if you want more chocolate, you can top it with chocolate ganache, glaze, or homemade chocolate frosting.
overhead view of cherry cake with chocolate on a silver plate with a small sieve beside.

More cherry cakes

Do you like this recipe?

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slice of chocolate cake with cherries and icing sugar.

Cherry Chocolate Cake

Tender cherry chocolate cake, a fluffy chocolatey cake spiked with cherries. An easy cake recipe made with melted dark chocolate and fresh, frozen, or canned cherries.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 310kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

  • 350 g cherries fresh, frozen, or canned, 12.5 oz/ 2 ½ cups, Note 2
  • 100 g dark chocolate 60-80% cocoa, Note 3
  • 4 eggs large
  • 150 g unsalted butter soft, 5.5 oz/ 2/3 cup
  • 100 g white sugar divided 3.5 oz/ 1 cup
  • 50 g brown sugar 1.8 oz/ ¼ cup, Note 4
  • 100 g all-purpose flour 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon, Note 1
  • 100 g ground hazelnuts 3.5 oz/ ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F. Grease and flour a springform of about 24 cm/ 9.5 inches.
  • Cherries: Pit fresh fruit. If using frozen fruit, defrost and pat it dry with paper towels. If using canned fruit, drain and pat it dry as well.
  • Melt chocolate: Chop the dark chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl. Melt it at bain-marie (water bath), often stirring (Note 5). Let cool slightly while you prepare the rest.
  • Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites with 50 g/ ¼ of the white sugar until stiff and glossy. Set aside.
  • Wet ingredients: Beat the soft butter, 50 g/ ¼ white sugar, and 50 g/ ¼ cup brown sugar until fluffy.
  • Mix in the egg yolks and the melted and cooled chocolate.
  • Dry ingredients: Mix flour, baking powder, ground hazelnuts, and salt in another bowl. Add them to the butter mixture and mix in very shortly, just until combined.
  • Carefully fold in the beaten egg whites.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top the cake batter with the cherries.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Check after about 30-40 minutes. If the top of the cake starts to get dark too soon, cover the pan loosely with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent it from getting burned.
  • Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Release it from the form and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes

  1. Use a digital kitchen scale; baking is a science, and measuring the ingredients correctly guarantees for best results. However, measuring flour and butter using cups is very unprecise (Amazon affiliate link).
  2. I weighed the cherries after pitting.
  3. Semi-sweet chocolate is also fine; the cake will be a bit sweeter.
  4. If you don’t have brown sugar, replace it with white sugar.
  5. Pour some water into another pan. Place the bowl with the chocolate on top; the bowl should not touch the hot water. Heat on low heat, often stirring, until the chocolate is completely smooth. If the water gets too hot, remove the pot from the heat source and continue stirring the chocolate off the heat until melted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg
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