A must try Russian Cherry Layer Cake with a surprise layer inside. The frosting has only 2 ingredients. This cake was a winner!

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My mother-in-law gave me the recipe for this Russian cherry layer cake over the phone and I made it for New Years. It’s the same basic biskvit recipe that I love so much.

I just can’t resist a moist cake! There’s a surprise layer in this cake: crumbled chocolate cake with cherries and cream. The frosting for this cake is only 2 ingredients. It’s easy and cool-whip free (for the cool whip haters – you know who you are!) I love how light the frosting tastes and it’s not overly sweet. This cake was a winner!

It’s 12:29 am and I need to go to bed. It’s never a good idea to post recipes this late, but Russian Christmas is coming up (January 7th) and I thought you just might like to try a new cake!

Ingredients for Russian cherry layer cake:

15 large eggs, whites and yolks separated, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour *measured correctly
3 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used dutch cocoa)

Ingredients for Syrup:

21 oz country cherry pie filling/ topping
1 3/4 cups cold water
1 Tbsp sugar

Ingredients for Frosting:

1 can sweetened condensed milk (boiled 4 hours in crock pot on high)
3 cups cold heavy whipping cream
Chocolate shavings and cordial cherries for decor, optional

Cake Layers How-To:

Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
Line 2 (13×9) non-stick rectangular baking pans with wax paper.
Line a round cake pan with wax paper.

1. Mix egg yolks with sugar until well blended. Add flour and mix until well blended.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed 2-3 minutes (i did 2 1/2 min) until fluffy and about 3 times in volume. Don’t beat till it’s stiff or it won’t blend well.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-2

3. Us a spatula to fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-3

4. Place 1/3 of the mixture in a medium bowl and gently stir in the cocoa powder until evenly blended.

5. Pour chocolate cake batter into a round cake pan.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-5

6. Divide remaining cake batter between the 2 lined baking pans.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-4

7. Bake in the center of the oven for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I put all three cakes in at once with the two racks in the center of the oven and rotated the cakes half-way through baking.

8. When cakes are finished baking, take them out of their pans and quickly run a sharp spatula under the cake to separate it from the wax paper. If you wait until the cakes cool, the wax paper will be harder to pry off. Let cakes cool to room temperature.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-6

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-13

Syrup How-to:

1. Pour the can of cherries into a medium bowl and add 1 3/4 cups water. Mix well to thin the syrup.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-12

2. Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon or colander  and squeeze out any excess juice from the cherries. You will mix these into the center of the cake.

3. Add 1 Tbsp sugar to the cherry juice. This is your syrup.

Frosting How-to:

1. Cook sweetened condensed milk ahead of time since it needs time to cool to room temperature. Click here for instructions on how to cook it with the crockpot method.

2. For best results with whipping cream, your cream should be very cold. Also, freeze the mixing bowl you plan to use for beating the cream along with the whisk attachment. I Put my kitchenaid and whisk attachment in the freezer 10-15 minutes.

3. Pour cold whipping cream into your cold mixing bowl and beat on high speed until stiff (sorry forgot to time it, I wanna say 3 min or so?)

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-7

4. Once cream is thick, reduce to the lowest speed and add your cooked sweetened condensed milk 1 Tbsp at a time until well blended. I blended it some more with a spatula.

5. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

Assembling the Cake How-to:

1. Place the first white cake layer face down on the dish you plan to serve the cake on.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-8

2. Pour 1/2 of the syrup evenly over the cake layer. Let it soak in while you proceed to step three.

3. Crumble the chocolate cake in a medium bowl and add the strained cherries and 1/3 of the frosting. Use a spatula to cut into the mixture to stir it.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-14

4. Spread the chocolate cherry mixture over the first cake layer.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-9

5. Place the second cake layer face down on top of the cherry mixture and pour the remaining syrup evenly over the cake layer. Let it soak in for 10 minutes or so.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-10

6. Trim the sides with a serrated knife if necessary and spread frosting over the top and sides.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-11

7. Decorate to your hearts delight. I finely grated chocolate over the whole cake and used cordial cherries to make holly which was my brilliant sister, Tanya’s idea). Keep cake refrigerated until serving. It stays yummy in the fridge for at least 3 days.

Russian Cherry Layer Cake-15

Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Russian Cherry Layer Cake

5 from 3 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Prep Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 -16

Ingredients for Russian cherry cake:

  • 15 large eggs, whites and yolks separated, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder

Ingredients for Syrup:

  • 21 oz country cherry pie filling/ topping
  • 1 3/4 cups cold water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 1 can cooked sweetened condensed milk, i.e. can dulche de leche
  • 3 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate shavings and cordial cherries for decor, optional

Instructions

How to Make Biskvit Cake Layers:

  • Mix egg yolks with sugar until well blended. Add flour and mix until well blended.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed 2-3 minutes until fluffly and about 3 times in volume. Don't beat till it's stiff or it won't blend well. Use a spatula to fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites.
  • Place 1/3 of the mixture in a medium bowl and gently stir in the cocoa powder until evenly blended. Pour chocolate cake batter into a round cake pan.
  • Divide remaining cake batter between the 2 lined baking pans.
  • Bake all three cakes in the center of the oven for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When finished baking, remove from their pans and quickly run a sharp spatula under the cake to separate it from the wax paper. If you wait until the cakes cool, the wax paper will be harder to pry off. Let cakes cool to room temperature.

Making the Cherries/Syrup and Frosting:

  • Pour the can of cherries into a medium bowl and add 1 3/4 cups water. Mix well to thin the syrup. Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon or colander and squeeze out any excess juice from the cherries (reserve the juice). You will mix these into the center of the cake. Add 1 Tbsp sugar to the reserved cherry juice. This is your syrup.
  • For best results with whipping cream, your cream should be very cold. Also, freeze the mixing bowl you plan to use for beating the cream along with the whisk attachment for 10 - 15 min. Pour cold whipping cream into your cold mixing bowl and beat on high speed until stiff, around 3 min. Once cream is thick, reduce to the lowest speed and add your cooked sweetened condensed milk 1 Tbsp at a time until well blended. Refrigerate frosting until ready to use.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Place the first white cake layer face down on the dish you plan to serve the cake on. Pour 1/2 of the syrup evenly over the cake layer. Let it soak in.
  • Crumble the chocolate cake in a medium bowl and add the strained cherries and 1/3 of the frosting. Use a spatula to cut into the mixture to stir it.
  • Spread the chocolate cherry mixture over the first cake layer.
  • Place the second cake layer face down on top of the cherry mixture and pour the remaining syrup evenly over the cake layer. Let it soak in for 10 minutes or so. Trim the sides with a serrated knife if necessary.
  • Spread frosting over the top and sides. Decorate and keep cake refrigerated until serving. It stays yummy in the fridge for at least 3 days.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Keyword: Russian Cherry Cake
Skill Level: Easy/Medim
Cost to Make: $$

 

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Comments

  • Agafiya
    April 24, 2020

    Can I use maraschino cherries instead?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 24, 2020

      Hi, we love the tanginess of fresh or frozen cherries. Maraschino would completely change the flavor profile and would be very sweet but if that is all you have available and if you enjoy their flavor, that could work.

      Reply

  • Valentina
    January 19, 2018

    Hi natasha. I want to make this cake and I dont have heavy cream, can I substitute with cool whip?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 20, 2018

      Hi Valentina, I haven’t tried that substitution here. In the past when using cool whip, I used this recipe for frosting and it worked well.

      Reply

  • Anya
    December 27, 2017

    Do you think you could put the layers back into the 13×9 pan and just decorate the top? Or would it end up too tall? I’m thinking of making it and transporting it to an outdoor party and don’t want to worry about it sliding off the platter!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 27, 2017

      Hi Anya, I think that would work well to put it back into the pan. 🙂

      Reply

  • Yelena
    December 21, 2017

    Do you think I can make the biskvit without separating the eggs, would it still work?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2017

      Hi Yelena, yes!! I have been making my sponge cakes that way lately all the time. Here is our basic sponge cake for the new method we use.

      Reply

      • Yelena
        December 23, 2017

        Ok Awesome thanks! I have another question, At the Russian store I saw canned sour cherries in syrup, but the syrup is thin Unlike the thick country cherry filling. Anyways I bought both and I wanted to ask if it’s ok if I use the Russian cherries would it still be ok? Thank you again 🙂

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 23, 2017

          Hi Yelena, yes absolutely those would work great and you can use the juice in the jar to soak the cake layers. Should taste great! 🙂

          Reply

      • Sveta
        June 7, 2018

        How would you do it with the new regular sponge cake recipe? Would you just put cherries without the chocolate layer in the middle?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          June 7, 2018

          Hi Sveta! I’m not sure what you mean. Have you seen this version of the cherry cake? This might be helpful 🙂

          Reply

          • Steva
            June 7, 2018

            Well I’m thinking to make a regular 4 layer sponge cake. Then put cream and just cheries in between? Not a chocolate cherry mixture (no cake layers crumbled with cherries? Would that work?! Or should I crumble one white sponge layer? (Do cherries hold up better or it takes better?)

          • Natasha
            June 8, 2018

            Hi Steva, I think that would work. It might be better to cut the cherries in half or coarsely chop them so they sit more uniformly.

  • Anna D
    December 6, 2016

    Yum this is a beautiful cake and looks delicious !! 😋

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 6, 2016

      Anna, thank you for yet another great review! It tastes as good as it looks 😁.

      Reply

  • Tzivia
    June 28, 2016

    Mmmmm wow looks really way good love cherries and chocolate however am wondering what can I sub for the cocoa powder because my gr8 aunt Shirley doesn’t like chocolate she likes vanilla and fruity cakes and cookies wanna make this for her she’s gonna be 95 this summer g-d bless her and also don’t have a crock pot @ the moment can this be made with a different frosting thanx always Natasha ur a true gem

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 28, 2016

      Hi Tzivia, you could just make it a vanilla layer instead of chocolate. I like the chocolate/vanilla contrast but it would still taste good without the cocoa 🙂

      Reply

      • Tzivia
        June 29, 2016

        Oh ok cool awesome sauce will definitely keep this in mind thanx tons @ always luv have a gr8 day peace

        Reply

  • ashraf
    April 30, 2016

    hi

    All of your cakes seem delicious.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 30, 2016

      Thank you! 🙂

      Reply

  • Lera
    November 3, 2015

    Hi Natasha,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question regarding the dough for pirogy. It is come up just perfect.
    I am trying now to make a birthday cake for my husband and have question regarding the frosting. How to mix condensed (which is sticky in consistency) with fluff of whipped cream. Thank you so much for your website

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 3, 2015

      Hi Lera, just follow the instructions in steps 3 & 4 for the frosting. It will blend in. It’s good that it is thick and sticky in consistency because otherwise the frosting would be too runny. I hope you love the cake and happy birthday to your husband! 🙂

      Reply

  • Deloris
    November 7, 2014

    Well — here it is — near the end of 2014!
    I just read your recipe for this delicious sounding cake. I am confused about the cherries — I think recipe said pie filling, yet your cherries look so bright and red to be that and I would think it would be hard to get the juice off those. Also same with a can of tart pie cherries. Your cherries almost look like maraschino cherries– please enlighten my poor old mind!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 7, 2014

      I did use pie filling cherries, but I think it would have been a whole lot easier to use tart pie cherries and the tart contrast would have been very tasty! It was a little cumbersome to get the juice off these. In the end, I think this recipe needs an update! Thanks for the question. Now I”m very motivated to re-make and improve it. We’ve been doing that with many of our older recipes. Anyway, thanks again and have a wonderful day! 🙂

      Reply

      • Deloris
        November 9, 2014

        Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. It was very helpful.

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          November 9, 2014

          I’m so glad to hear it. Have an awesome day! 🙂

          Reply

  • Siran
    April 22, 2014

    Can I use the store bought zavareeniy moloko they bring that from Russia now and we have them in our stores. they should be the same right?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 22, 2014

      I’m not familiar with that product. As long as it is cooked sweetened condensed milk, it should be good. Ask at the store to make sure 🙂

      Reply

  • Елена
    February 14, 2014

    Здравствуйте, Наташа, испекла Ваш торт а вот нужные вишни не могу найти в магазине, все такие сладкие, мне кажеться, что они должны быть немного с кислинкой, подскажите плз где их можно купить и как они точно называются:-) заранее спасибо

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 14, 2014

      You can also use frozen pitted cherries and thaw them then soak in rum. Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply

  • veronika
    February 3, 2014

    why does my cream seams kind of runny, is it because i over mix it when I added the zgushenka??

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 4, 2014

      That could be. Was your whipped cream stiff enough before you started mixing in the condensed milk? Also, did you use Cooked condensed milk? This isn’t the most stiff frosting though. How runny was it exactly?

      Reply

      • veronika
        February 8, 2014

        it was not too stiff, yes, i did your version of dulce la lece. it was runny like sour cream and it was falling off the cake; as long it was in the fridge it was ok…

        Reply

  • Oksana
    October 25, 2013

    I think I probably over mixed my batter when I was combining the whites with the yolks. What a shame. I hope it will taste good even though it’s deflated?!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 25, 2013

      It should still taste great. Also, it helps if you don’t open the oven while cooking.

      Reply

  • Oksana
    October 25, 2013

    Hello dear. I made this cake today. For some reason my biskvit came out really small. I feel like the biskvit shrunk after it came out of the oven. I placed it back into the 9×13 pan to see if it really shrunk and you know what? There was at least two inches of empty room in the pan. It looks like your biskvit is nice, fluffy and large! I have no idea what happened to my cake?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 25, 2013

      Wow that is strange. Did your batter look like mine in the photos? The most likely reason is that you may have over-mixed the batter and deflated it. This cake really relies on the volume of the egg whites. Also, you have to get it in the oven right away, it can shrink in volume if it sits on the counter too long. Hope that helps. Did you do anything else different?

      Reply

  • Lyudmila
    October 12, 2013

    Hi, Natasha. Have a question about the crem(frosting) if the condensed milk is boiled its changing color to brown how come your picture looks white? Did you add anything? Tnx.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 12, 2013

      The heavy whipping cream really lightens it up. And the two combined taste wonderful excavation point

      Reply

  • Ella
    July 4, 2013

    Yeah that helps:) Thanks a lot..

    Reply

  • Ella
    July 2, 2013

    One question can these biskvit stay without the frosting for three days? I need ur response as soon as possible please thanks:):)love ur recipes

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 2, 2013

      I haven’t made it that far in advance, I’ve made it two days before my event, frosted one day before the event and refrigerated until we served it on the day of the event. i hope that helps 🙂 I think two days would work better without it getting to dry or hard.

      Reply

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