Cake 40: Chocolate Cherry Cake & Cupcakes

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This is a homemade chocolate cherry cake from scratch. Most cherry chocolate cake recipes you find are standard “black forest” cake recipes, and many of them use a devils food cake mix. You know the drill, I don’t do things from mixes in the 52 cakes project. I apologize for not taking photos of the final product. The cake wasn’t worth photographing since it was basically in pieces, but I should’ve photographed one of the cupcakes at least. I will definitely make this recipe again, though, and when I do I’ll update this post with pictures.

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons cherry syrup from canned cherries, or cherry juice
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • Additional cherries of your choosing, or dried cherries, to top or garnish with

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe Directions

Allow the eggs and butter to come to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Give them a good stir with a whisk and then set aside. In your kitchen mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, then gradually add the sugar a bit at a time and beat until completely combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then beat for another 2 minutes or so until you get the light and fluffy butter-sugar mixture. Add the eggs one at a time and beat just until blended, then add the vanilla. Alternate adding the dry ingredients mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the dried cherries and cherry syrup or juice. Pour the chocolate cherry cake batter into a prepared bundt pan until no more than 2/3 full, and bake for about 35 minutes. WAIT until the cake has cooled about 15 minutes or so, and run a knife around the inside and outside edges and then turn the pan upside down and let the little guy slide out. Do NOT be like me and try to do it within 5 minutes of pulling it out of the oven.┬áNow, I’m a dumbass and didn’t wait long enough to turn the cake out of the pan. I now not only have burnt fingertips but I also have a cake that’s broken to bits. Still delicious, but … it’s in shambles. I could have made a double layer cake with this amount of batter, but I instead opted to do a bundt pan cake plus a dozen cupcakes. (Now I’m wishing I had just saved that second bunch of batter just in case, hah!) If you do cupcakes, bake them for 18 to 22 minutes. I put a dark, sweet cherry in the center of each in hopes that the batter would rise up over it and make it a cherry center. I bet this would also be insanely good with almond extract instead of vanilla extract. Cherry chocolate almond? Omigosh.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting Frosting Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Directions

Put a clean metal bowl in the freezer while you soften your cream cheese and butter at room temperature. In the cold metal bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream on a high speed for a few minutes until you get stiff peaked whipped cream. Set aside. In your kitchen mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together until well-blended. Add the powdered sugar about a 1/2 cup at a time (start out beating after each addition at a low speed or you’re going to end up with a mess), and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to make sure it all gets incorporated. After all the powdered sugar is in, beat in the vanilla extract. Lastly, beat in the whipped cream you made. Pipe it onto your cupcakes or spread it onto your cake. I topped the outer ring of the bundt cake with cherries, and I plopped a cherry on top of each of the cupcakes.

I took these to a happy hour (congratulations Kevin and Mike on your successes!) I wasn’t expecting to get such rave reviews as I did, but I was thrilled with the results. The cupcakes disappeared in minutes and the cake didn’t take long to pawn off on people either. Justin said, “The frosting tastes like ice cream on top.” Wendy, the lovely lady who didn’t much care for sticky sweets, said the frosting was just perfect. And most people I couldn’t quite understand between bites and mumbles of “mmm oh my gosh this is good mmmm.” Clearly this chocolate cherry cake recipe was a hit and is worth trying at home. If you do decide to bake it, please consider sending your pictures so I can use it on the blog in lieu of the ones I wasn’t able to get!

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Heather is an advertising professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding new restaurants in new cities. She leads a pack of animals, including her beagle Ford, her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and cat, Ahab.

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