Last Updated on June 7, 2018
Delicious chocolate cherry layer cake recipe is the ultimate Birthday cake! It consists of three sponges and five layers of of cream cheese, chocolate, cherries and cherry sauce. You will learn how to make this recipe from scratch. This moist cherry cake is tall, looks beautiful and tastes awesome! Moreover, it is suitable for vegetarians.
This homemade cake is the tallest, tastiest, the most beautiful chocolate cherry layer cake I’ve ever made. It is a lot of work to do, but it’s totally worth the effort! Anyways, it is the cake that can wow your guest or your special one. It is a decadent summer treat, but also possible to make any time of the year!
It’s a six layer cake (3 fluffy sponges, cut in half) with cherry cream, cream cheese filling (divided in layers – white and the other with cocoa) and of course some cherries in side. The outside of the cake is frosted with cream cheese, covered with chocolate ganache an decorated with fresh cherries, blueberries, nuts and more chocolate! Learn how to make this cherry cake from scratch.
You will bite into soft sponge cake, you will taste cream and chocolate, and of course – cherries. It’s perfectly sweet, moist and so delightful! If you love how this cherry cake looks, if you love cherries, you will love the taste of this layer cake too!
The most fun part after all the cake work is watching excitement on the faces when you present the cake. Then of course, the delightful and thankful looks after having a bite. I think you can’t buy it, but you CAN make this chocolate cherry layer cake!
As it is not the most healthy dessert on the one hand… (At least I am honest with you) on the other, this is the cake that you should make on a super special day like Birthday. Surprise your friend or parent or your beloved one! Believe me, he or she will remember it for a long time. It is much more worth it than ordering a cake in your local bakery. Moreover, you can go jogging together next day to burn all the calories!
How to make chocolate cherry layer cake – day by day plan
You will need to prepare this sour cherry cake at least three days ahead of time.
At first day bake all the sponges and let them cool and remove from the pans. You can also cook cherry sauce on a double boiler and let it cool completely. Let the cherries defrost in the fridge overnight.
By the way, you can use fresh cherries that are in season, too! However, I skipped extra work of pitting cherries. And defrosted cherries are soft and perfect to place on this cake. Moreover, don’t waist the cherry juice from defrosted cherries! Leave it to soak the sponges.
Next day, cut all the sponges in half. Make cream filling, mix one part with cocoa. Assemble the cake and leave it in the fridge. Give yourself some rest, then make frosting. Frost and leaven the cake and leave it in the fridge overnight.
Final day melt the chocolate. Decorate the cake with chocolate ganache, then add some fresh cherries and blueberries on top. Add some extra chocolate and crushed nuts and you are ready to present your work!
As this sour cherry cake has a lot things going on (but it is worth it every bite!), I will navigate you through the layers of goodness, so you will be able to make it from scratch.
Delicious layers of chocolate cherry cake
How to make sponge cake
Soft, fluffy sponge cakes are easy to make. That’s a basic recipe that you can use with any cake filling you love. These cake sponges are made with only three ingredients – eggs, sugar and flour. You can add any flavoring too, like vanilla or rum that I used in this cherry cake recipe.
You need only to whisk eggs with sugar on high for about 15 to 20 minutes. The more you whisk, the more fluffy and high will be your sponge. Take your time to make it.
After baking, sponge cakes need to cool, then you can cut them in half lengthwise. These sponges soak cherry juice so good. This is the ultimate sponge cake recipe that I highly recommend. No butter or dairy needed! Not a hundred eggs, too, ha!
It is similar to my Orange cake recipe, where I made Orange sauce, (and oh, it was the most delicious part of the cake). I only replaced orange juice with cherry nectar juice and added a little bit cornstarch to make it thicker in the end.
How to make cherry cake cream filling
The filling for the cake is made with cream cheese, butter and sugar. Part of it I mixed with sweetened high quality cocoa (32%) with hazelnut flavoring. And I spread these fillings in layers. First layer – white cream filling, second layer – cocoa cream filling. This makes chocolate cherry layer cake more interesting, doesn’t it?
White frosting is the best fit for this chocolate cherry layer cake, to my mind! I’ve made it with cream cheese and Dr. Oeteker cake cream powder, which contains powder milk and sugar. But you can add just powder sugar instead. Beat the cream cheese with butter, adding powder sugar in batches, until you have thick consistency that pretty spreadable on the cake.
Decoration – Birthday Cake Design Ideas
The most favorite part, that you can get creative with, is decorating cherry layer cake! I covered the top with melted chocolate, letting some drips fall down from the sides of the cake. Let the chocolate set in the fridge before adding berries.
Of course there should be fresh cherries in the center of the cake! I added blueberries and crushed nuts around the cherries. Moreover, add some chocolate triangles in between the berries, if you wish so.
Designing chocolate cherry layer cake exterior is totally up to you! Add as much berries as you like, get creative with chocolate figures. Moreover, leave some space for the candles, if it’s a Birthday cake.
You can also stick the berries with melted chocolate on the cake, if you are afraid of carrying it to the table. Some blueberries may fall from the cake, when you carry it, so be careful, let someone help you.
Don’t let the drunk person carry the cake, haha! But most important – be sure it fits in your fridge!
Hope you will enjoy making this Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake as much as I did!
To make a smaller sweet surprise, check our Giant Black Pearl. You will learn there how to temper chocolate, which you can use with this recipe, too. Also our no bake White chocolate mousse cake is a must try!
What you need to make this chocolate cherry layer cake from scratch:
determination and patience (you can make it too!);
2 or 3 spring form pans (8 inch/20 cm) if you bake the sponges at once or 1 pan, but then you need to let it cool, then clean the form and bake another sponge;
Offset spatula (you can use the back of your cake server too!) to spread the frosting;
Stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand electric whisk (or both to make you work faster, or get your hubby or grown up kids or friends to help you:) You will need to whip the frosting, the cream filling and most importantly – the eggs for the sponges.
Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake recipe (Birthday Cake Design Ideas)
Cream cheese filling
- 1000 g cream cheese /35.3 oz
- 510 g defrosted cherry /18 oz
- 5-7 tbsp cherry juice (from defrosted cherries)
- 25 g sweetened cocoa with nut flavor (cocoa minimum 32%) /0.9 oz
- 1/2 cup sugar powder
- 100 g butter (room temperature) /3.5 oz
Per 1 sponge (you will need 3)
- 4 eggs (room temperature)
- 120 g sugar /4.2 oz
- 120 g flour /4.2 oz
- 1/2 tsp rum essence (optional)
- 1 egg + 2 egg yolks
- 80 g butter /2.8 oz
- 130 g sugar /4.60 oz
- 200 ml cherry nectar juice /6.7 fl oz
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 700 g cream cheese /24.7 oz
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar or 1/2 Dr. Oeteker cake cream powder
- 100 g butter (room temperature) /3.5 oz
- 1 handful cherries
- 1 handful blueberries
- 150 g chocolate 52% cocoa /5.2 pz
- 2 tbsp crushed cashews
For cherry sauce.
- Whip egg with yolks until stiff peaks.
- Add butter and cherry juice.
- Cook on the double boiler on low temperature for 1-1,5 hours until thick. Stir occasionally. Mix in cornstarch in the end.
- Remove from the stove and let it cool.
For cake sponge.
- Whip eggs with sugar and rum essence for 15-20 min until pale and triple in size.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F / 170 C
- Sift in flour in two batches and gently and slowly fold into the eggs.
- Layer the bottom of 8 inch / 20 cm spring form pan with parchment paper. Grease the edges with butter, and, preferably dust with flour. Remove the excess flour.
- Pour batter into prepared spring form pan.
- Bake about 30-40 min until top is golden and inserted wooden skewer comes out clean. Don’t open the oven door for at least 30 minutes!!!
- Cool the sponge in slightly open oven for 10 minutes.
- Cool the sponge in the room temperature for 20 min, then release the edges of the pan and remove parchment paper.
- Repeat this recipe 2 more times to have 3 sponges in total!
For cream cheese filling
- Whip cream cheese for 1 minute. 1/4 of the cream cheese put in the separate bowl.
- Add cocoa to the smaller part of cream cheese and whip until incorporated.
- Add butter and sugar to the white part of cream cheese, whip well until soft peaks. Add a tablespoon more sugar, if it is too runny, or add a teaspoon of milk, if it looks too thick.
- With a big bread knife cut every sponge in half lengthwise. **
- Put one half of the sponge, cut side up, on a cake serving stand.
- Cover the top of the sponge with white cream cheese filling, starting about 2 inch / 5 cm from the edges. Leave the middle without cream cheese.
- Soak the middle of the sponge with a cherry juice (from defrosted cherries). Add the cherry cream in the middle, spread it up to the edges of white layer.
- Put defrosted cherries around on the white layer and around on edges between white layer and cherry cream layer.
- Cover with the other half of the sponge, cut side down.
- Repeat steps 3-6, using cocoa cream cheese filling instead of white cream cheese filling.
- Repeat every layers until the last sponge – white layer, then cocoa layer and so on until you put the last sponge on top. Leave the last sponge empty on top!
- Make sure your cake stand straight and put it in the fridge.
- Whip all ingredients for frosting. It needs to be thick and spreadable. Add more sugar, if it look too runny.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and put spread around the frosting, removing the excess, or adding more, where needed. Use offset spatula, or the back of cake serving spatula. It should be even from every side and top. Take your time. Leave the cake in the fridge.
Decorating the cake
- Melt the chocolate on the double boiler (Bain Marie).***
- Put the frosted cake on the table. Spoon the melted chocolate on the top, starting in the middle. Spread the chocolate up to the edges in thin layer, letting some drips from the sides. Work fast, when the chocolate is hot and spreadable. You can’t change it, when it sets.
- Let the cake with chocolate set in the fridge.
- Spread the excess melted chocolate (you can remelt it if it sets) on the small baking tray, layered with parchment paper. Lave the tray in the freezer until sets.
- When the chocolate on the cake sets, remove it from the fridge to decorate with berries.
- Put the cherries with stems in the middle of the cake. Put blueberries around the cherries.****
- Remove the tray with chocolate from the freezer. Cut different triangles with a knife and pace them in between the cherries.
- Sprinkle crushed cashews around the edges of the cake.
- Serve and enjoy the celebration!
** Let all the sponges cool completely before cutting them!
*** Pour water in the pot. Put chocolate in the heat proof bowl, that you can put on the pot with water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Bring it to the boil, then watch the chocolate melts. Stir the chocolate until it melts completely and remove from the heat.
**** You can dip the berries in melted chocolate before putting on the cake, so that they stay in place, when you transfer or cut the cake.