Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This chocolate cherry cake is one of the most flavorful cakes I’ve made. The recipe came about accidentally. I was updating our German chocolate cake and ended up with 2 perfect chocolate cake layers. Not wanting them to go to waste, I used what I had on hand to make a cake for the weekend.

While assembling the cake, there were a couple of times that I laughed at myself thinking that I had ruined it but instead something remarkable happened. This chocolate cake lights up your taste buds in several spots at once.

The kirsch and cherries amplify the chocolate in an intense and delicious way. Try a slice and you’ll know what I mean! I was surprised that the kids enjoyed it as well despite the adult flavors and they slept so well afterwards (I kid, I kid!) – the kirsch is not overbearing at all.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

Also, here’s a peek behind the scenes with my cute little assistant. We’re still working on the “assistant” part. I’m so grateful to work from home. I often think about my 12 hour night shifts working as an RN three days in a row and how torn I felt about it.

Thank YOU for reading my blog, trying my recipes and sharing them with the ones you love. It’s because of you that I get to do this full time. I’m truly thankful for you, my friends! This chocolate cherry cake is for you 🙂

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe-17

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake Layers:

9 large eggs, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour *measured correctly
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Cherry Syrup:

4 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup kirsch (a cherry liqueur from the liquor store)
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup water

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Chocolate Frosting:

3 sticks (3/4 lb) unsalted butter, softened at room temp and cut into pieces
8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp and cut into pieces
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Chocolate Cake Layers:

Prep: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of two 9″ round pans with parchment paper (don’t grease sides). Chop cherries and combine with 1/3 cup kirsch – marinate at room temp while while making the cake.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

1. Beat 9 large eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment for 1 min on high speed. With mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating on high a full 8 min. It will be thick and fluffy.

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe-6

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe-2

2. Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup cocoa powder and sift in thirds into egg batter, folding with a spatula between each addition. Fold just until no streaks of flour remain, scraping from the bottom to get any hidden pockets of flour; do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

3. Gently fold in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 4 Tbsp room temp melted butter, folding as you add butter in a slow stream and scraping the bowl to make sure butter isn’t pooling at the bottom. Fold just until incorporated – don’t overmix! Divide batter equally between two prepared cake pans and bake right away at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes (my oven took 22 min), or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

4. Let cake cool 10 minutes then run a thin spatula around the edges to loosen, transfer to a wire rack, remove parchment backing and cool to room temperature.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Make Chocolate Frosting:

1. Beat together 3 sticks softened butter and 8 oz softened cream cheese until smooth and fluffy on med/high speed (2 min).

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe-10

2. Whisk together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 tsp salt then sift them into your frosting. Beat on medium/low speed until incorporated.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

3. Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, increase speed to med/high and beat until fluffy and smooth and sugar is well incorporated (4 min).

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

How to Assemble Chocolate Cherry Cake:

1. Drain cherries and keeping both syrup and cherries. Into remaining syrup, add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 cup water, stir until dissolved and set aside.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

2. Slice 1 cake layer in half and set aside.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

3. Into a large mixing bowl, tear the second un-cut cake layer into large crumbs. Add 1/3 of chocolate frosting and drained cherries. Stir just until combined and cherries are evenly distributed. This is the part where you’ll be like, “what in the world?!” Just stay with me, it will be amazing!

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

4. Place a sliced cake layer cut-side-up onto a cake platter and brush with 1/3 of your syrup then add a thin layer of chocolate frosting. Top with the crumbled cake mixture and even it out with clean hands into the shape of a cake layer. Brush the top lightly with 1/3 syrup.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

5. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cut side of your second cake half. Place frosted-side-down onto your cake and brush with remaining syrup. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of chocolate cherry cake.

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

Print friendly for the Chocolate Cherry Cake ↓↓↓

Chocolate Cherry Cake Recipe

4.88 from 16 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com
This chocolate cherry cake is decadent and so flavorful. The kirsch and cherries amplify the chocolate in an intense and delicious way.
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 10 to 12 slices

For the Chocolate Cake Layers:

For the Cherry Syrup:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup kirsch, a cherry liqueur from the liquor store
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For the Chocolate Frosting:

Instructions

Prep:

  • Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of two 9″ round pans with parchment paper (don’t grease sides). Chop cherries and combine with 1/3 cup kirsch - marinate at room temp while while making the cake.

How to Make Chocolate Cake Layers:

  • Beat 9 large eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment for 1 min on high speed. With mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating on high a full 8 min. It will be thick and fluffy.
  • Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup cocoa powder and sift in thirds into egg batter, folding with a spatula between each addition. Fold just until no streaks of flour remain, scraping from the bottom to get any hidden pockets of flour; do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.
  • Gently fold in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 4 Tbsp room temp melted butter, folding as you add butter in a slow stream and scraping the bowl to make sure butter isn't pooling at the bottom. Fold just until incorporated - don't overmix! Divide batter equally between two prepared cake pans and bake right away at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes (my oven took 22 min), or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cake cool 10 minutes then run a thin spatula around the edges to loosen, transfer to a wire rack, remove parchment backing and cool to room temperature.

How to Make Chocolate Frosting:

  • Beat together 3 sticks softened butter and 8 oz softened cream cheese until smooth and fluffy on med/high speed (2 min).
  • Whisk together 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 tsp salt then sift them into your frosting. Beat on medium/low speed until incorporated.
  • Add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, increase speed to med/high and beat until fluffy and smooth and sugar is well incorporated (4 min).

How to Assemble the Drunken Cherry Cake:

  • Drain cherries and keeping both syrup and cherries. Into remaining syrup, add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 cup water, stir until dissolved and set aside.
  • Slice 1 cake layer in half and set aside.
  • Into a large mixing bowl, tear the second un-cut cake layer into large crumbs. Add 1/3 of chocolate frosting and drained cherries. Stir just until combined and cherries are evenly distributed.
  • This is the part where you'll be like, "what in the world?!" Just stay with me, it will be amazing!
  • Place a sliced cake layer cut-side-up onto a cake platter and brush with 1/3 of your syrup then add a thin layer of chocolate frosting. Top with the crumbled cake mixture and even it out with clean hands into the shape of a cake layer. Brush the top lightly with 1/3 syrup.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cut side of your second cake half. Place frosted-side-down onto your cake and brush with remaining syrup. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Chocolate Cherry Cake
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $$
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

I’m kind of at a loss for words with this cake. It’s that good. The best way to describe it is to experience it. Make this for your next celebration and you will impress your peeps 🙂

Decadent but simple chocolate cherry cake. Kirsch and cherries amplify chocolate in an intense and delicious way. The moist filling in this chocolate cake will surprise you! | natashaskitchen.com

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Donna
    March 4, 2022

    Is it ok to substitute butter and cream cheese with canola oil? How many ounce does it come up to for both ingredients? Thanks.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 4, 2022

      I have not tested that to advise. If you experiment, please let us know how it works for you.

      Reply

  • Barb Hall
    November 15, 2021

    What substitutes can I use if I can’t find kirsch? Both a non alcoholic and liquor substitute?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 16, 2021

      Hi Barb, a golden rum would work well here, you can use cherry juice or make a simple syrup with water and sugar.

      Reply

  • Galina
    April 25, 2021

    Can the frosting be piped using a piping bag?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 26, 2021

      Hi Galina, yes that chocolate buttercream frosting is stable for piping.

      Reply

  • Esmeralda Castillo
    July 26, 2020

    Can cherry extract be used and cherry pie filling instead of the Kirsch and the frozen and/or fresh cherries? If so how much cherry extract?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 26, 2020

      Hi Esmeralda, do you have rum? I think a golden rum would work well. For a non-alcohol version, I think a cherry juice would work better although I haven’t tested it to advise of the measurement.

      Reply

  • Marina
    June 23, 2020

    I am pretty sure it is my fault, but it was a complete waste. I have followed instructions carefully though. Looks like one cup of sugar was not able to fluff up eggs enough. But I made tres leches and that one turned out very good.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 24, 2020

      Hi Marina, 1 cup of sugar is enough for the recipe to work. Make sure you have room temperature eggs and aren’t using a coarse grain sugar which doesn’t incorporate as readily. Also if using something besides a stand mixer, you will need to give it longer to beat or the cake won’t rise properly. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Terry
    February 11, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Love all your recipes but I had to pause before making this wonderful cake … 9 large eggs?? Really? 9. Is this a misprint? Thanks, Terry

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 11, 2020

      Hi Terry, that is no misprint. This egg does require 9 eggs.

      Reply

  • Rachel Narang
    September 27, 2017

    Hi Natasha! Do you think this cake would hold up making a day in advance? I can’t use my stand mixer while my husband is working from home tomorrow. It’s super loud.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 27, 2017

      Hi Rachel, absolutely! This one can be made a day in advance and then stored in the refrigerator overnight. Let it sit at room temperature for a little while to soften before serving. I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Rachel Narang
    September 17, 2017

    Has anybody tried this with gluten free flour? I have all purpose 1 to 1 gluten free flour.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 17, 2017

      Hi Rachel, I have not tried this one with gluten free flour but a couple of readers reported great results using gluten free flour for our traditional sponge cake which is very similar to this one. I think it’s worth experimenting 🙂

      Reply

      • Rachel Narang
        September 17, 2017

        Thank you! I’ll definitely experiment before making it for someone’s birthday. I figure with so little flour required, it should be great! Better safe than sorry though.

        Reply

  • Irina
    June 26, 2017

    Natasha, this cake is delicious and kind of easy to make. Next time I am thinking to add a layer of meringues( trying to recreate my husband’s favorite cake from the local bakery in Brooklyn,NY). When would you recommend to add meringue layer before or after “the cherry mix”? I thinking to add some on top too. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 26, 2017

      Hi Irina, I think it would work best after the cherry mixture but be sure there is a layer of cream between the cherry layer and the meringue layer so the meringue doesn’t soften too quickly from the cherry juices. I’m so curious to know how your cake turns out!! 🙂

      Reply

  • elena
    April 16, 2017

    That cake was so good. I’ve made it twice already. Thanks for the recipe

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 16, 2017

      Elena, you are on the roll with baking 😬. Thanks again and you are welcome!

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.