Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake. Chocolate cake with a cherry ganache filling, frosted with fresh cherry buttercream, topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate covered cherries.
I went to Optometry school in Boston and adored the city. After I finished school, I wanted to move back to the Carolinas, but I had liked Boston so much that I thought I would try out another city before heading back. So, I decided to do my residency in Baltimore. During my residency, I started dating Matt, my now husband. I thought he seemed like a pretty good guy, and wanted to get to know him for a bit longer. So, I decided to take a job in Baltimore and see what happened.
Matt lived a good bit north of Baltimore, so the driving back and forth started to become a pain. After we had been dating for a while he said, “I have these friends, Mark and Kelly, who live close to my area, and sometimes rent our rooms in their house. Maybe you’d be interested in living there?” I remember thinking it would be kinda weird to live with a married couple, but then met Mark and Kelly, thought they were awesome, and decided it made sense.
So, I moved in with them, and it was once of the best decisions of my life. Mark and Kelly ended up becoming two of Matt’s and my best friends. They were there to encourage us in our walks with the Lord through our dating phase and engagement, they were both in our wedding, helped us move into our first house, and we’ve been able to encourage each other through many huge life events, including learning how to navigate this whole parenthood thing.
All that to say, they hold a special place in my heart. When someone holds a special place in my heart AND loves desserts, I make them cake. Matt doesn’t care for desserts. Kelly is fine with them. Mark loves them. So, I dedicate some time to making Mark cake. Mark’s birthday is in June, and for the last four or five years, I have started to plan out his cake around April. He loves chocolate, as do I, so it’s always a no brainer that lots of chocolate will be included. This year I decided I wanted to make a cake that tasted like a giant chocolate covered cherry, but better. So, this chocolate covered cherry cake came to be.
Y’all, it’s good. It was everything I dreamed of and more. Each year Mark and Kelly throw a summer party, with crabs, for his birthday …. in case you don’t live in Maryland, it’s a thing where everyone sits around and beats crabs with mallets for about two hours, to end up with four bites of food. There were a ton of people there, so I somehow cut the cake into about 40 slices. It was gone within about 5 minutes because one, everyone was hungry from beating crabs, and two, it is that freaking good. So next time you go to make a cake, put this Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake on your short list.
Chocolate cake with a chocolate cherry ganache filling, frosted with cherry buttercream, and topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate covered cherries.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup coffee
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup fresh cherries
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh cherries chopped finely
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- ~8 fresh cherries to dip in chocolate
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line 3, 8" pans with parchment paper. Flour & butter sides of pans (I use baking Pam to do this).
Whisk together first six ingredients in mixing bowl. Then add following 7 ingredients and beat on medium speed until all ingredients well combined, about 2 minutes. The batter is thin.
Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans.
Bake until toothpick comes out of center of cake with just a few crumbs, about 25 minutes.
Chop cherries very finely with a knife or pulsing in a food processor a few times.
In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, add cherries, sugar and water. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place cherry mixture and chocolate in a heat safe bowl.
Put heave whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat until boiling, about 60 seconds.
Pour whipping cream over chocolate mixture and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Remove plastic wrap and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before using to assemble cake.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together butter and shortening until light in color.
Add in salt and vanilla and mix until well combined.
Alternate mixing in cherries powdered sugar, scraping down sides as needed, until well combined. Once combined, turn mixer on high for about 30-60 seconds.
Level cakes. Use frosting to piper a border on outside of two cake layers. Fill inside of each border with half of cherry ganache.
Stack the two filled cake layers, and finish with the unfrosted layer (I always put the top layer on upside down so that the top of the cake will be smooth).
Use the cherry buttercream to frost outside of the cake. Save about 2/3 cup for decorating top of cake.
To make ganache, place chocolate chips and corn syrup in a heat safe bowl. Put heavy cream in a microwave safe dish and heat until boiling, about 60 seconds.
Pour cream over chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 minutes.
Remove plastic and whisk until smooth.
Dip about 8 cherries into ganache and set on parchment paper.
Pour remaining ganache into squeeze bottle and use to drop down sides of cake. Fill top of cake with remaining ganache and smooth with offset spatula.
Use pasty bag to pipe cherry buttercream into 8 circles on top of cake. Top each buttercream circle with a chocolate covered cherry.
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