Chocolate Cherry Cake

Hello friends! Today I am showing you how to make this delicious rich and indulgent Chocolate Cherry Cake. This cake is not the traditional authentic Black Forest Cake, this is simply my take on it, and how I adapted the concept of the traditional dessert to make an elegant cake for my sister’s birthday.

Layers of chocolate cake, brushed with cherry liqueur, filled with whipped cream and chopped fresh cherries, frosted with Chocolate Pudding Frosting, topped with ganache drip, and gold cherries.

Please watch the video on this page or on YouTube since it will make it so much easier to see how to make and assemble this awesome cake!

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Black Forest Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries

Like I mentioned, I am making this cake to celebrate my little sister’s birthday! She is turning 14 today! I am 17 years older than she is, we also have a sister that’s older than I am. Same mom and dad. She was just a lovely surprised that came into our lives 14 years ago.

And because of that she gets cake! And not only that, but she deserves an elegant cake.

I decided to go with a Black Forest Cherry Cake, but I wanted a luscious chocolate frosting on the outside of the cake, which is why I changed things up and just made a Chocolate Cherry Cake instead, inspired by the traditional Black Forest Cake.

slice of Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries.

The Chocolate Pudding Frosting for this Chocolate Cherry Cake received this name because it literally tastes like pudding. My husband thought it was actual pudding when he tasted it.

So I don’t even need to go on and on about how delicious it is and about how you should make this Chocolate Cherry Cake for the frosting alone!

Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries

I also wanted to leave you with the link for the edible gold I used to make the cherries for the top of the cake.

It’s a very simple technique and you can watch it on my video exactly how to do it.

Basically you fill up a bowl with water, and place the gold leaf in, then dip the cherry in the water, directly on top of the gold leaf, which will make the gold leaf stick to the cherry, it’s super cool too!

And I also stuck some of the gold leaves to the side of the cake, for an extra decoration and wow effect.

But the truth is that the cherries dipped in gold take this Chocolate Cherry Cake to the next level!

two slices of black forest cake, filled with whipped cream and fresh cherries.

Another thing worth pointing out is the fact that I brushed the cake layers with cherry liqueur. This is totally optional, you can skip it, or brush the cake layers with a simple syrup or even milk instead. If not, don’t fret, just skip the brushing step altogether.

I do love the extra flavor and moisture that the cherry liqueur provided to the cake, so I totally recommended, but it’s not a necessary step by all means.

Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries

If you like this Chocolate Cherry Cake, here are some more recipes you may enjoy:

I hope you enjoyed today’s recipe.

If you make this leave a comment below or tag me on instagram, I love seeing your creations!

slice of Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries.
Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Camila Hurst
This is my take on a Black Forest Cherry Cake, a delicious Chocolate Cherry Cake that is filled with whipped cream and cherries, frosted with a chocolate pudding frosting, topped with ganache, and gold cherries. It’s so delicious and beautiful!
4.25 from 4 votes
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 11 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 people
Calories 350 kcal


Chocolate Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 183 grams
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 39 grams
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature 113 grams
  • 1 cup sugar 200 grams
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk 157 ml
  • 2/3 cup hot brewed coffee 157 ml, or hot water (read notes*)
Chocolate Pudding Frosting
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 120 ml
  • 113 grams chopped chocolate or good quality chocolate chips
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar 281 grams
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder 75 grams
  • 339 grams butter room temperature (both salted or unsalted will work)
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
Cherry Whipped Cream Filling
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream cold (180 ml)
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherries
Ganache Drip
  • 113 grams chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream 78 ml
To assemble
  • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur
  • 8 whole cherries
  • Edible gold leaf


Chocolate Cake
  • This recipe makes for 4-6” round cakes, or 2-8” round cakes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350Fº.
  • Butter 4-6″ cake pans and place a parchment paper circle in the bottom of pans. Butter parchment. You can also use spray oil instead. Set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using it instead of the coffee. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter at medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  • Add sugar slowly, cream for another 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time, scraping the bowl in between and making sure the first egg is incorporated before adding the second one.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix.
  • Slowly add milk, mix to combine.
  • Pour dry ingredients over wet mixture.
  • Fold with a spatula slowly, until ingredients are just combined.
  • If you see big clumps of cocoa powder, you can use the whisk to try to gently smooth the batter out.
  • Once batter is incorporated, pour hot coffee in the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  • Pour batter evenly onto baking pans.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-20 min. After the 12 minute mark, keep checking regularly, because you don’t want to burn your cakes or over bake them. Remove them from the oven once a toothpick comes our clean once inserted in the cake.
  • Once you remove it from the oven, wait 10 minutes, flip cakes onto a cookie cooling rack and let cakes cool.
  • Once cool, wrap each layer individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. I like to leave my layers in the fridge for quite a bit so they can firm up and make it easier to assemble and decorate the cake.
Chocolate Pudding Frosting
  • Place the chocolate in a bowl.
  • Heat the heavy cream until hot to the touch, but don’t let it come to a boil.
  • Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
  • Stir until the chocolate has melted completely.
  • Let the mixture cool down until it comes to room temperature, about 72ºF.
  • While you wait, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together. I like to do this to avoid any lumps from forming in the frosting.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for 1 minute, until creamy. Pour the cooled down chocolate and heavy cream mixture in and cream for 2 minutes until incorporated. Make absolute sure the chocolate isn’t warm, or it will melt the butter.
  • Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl.
  • Mix on low until combined, raise the speed to medium. Cream until the mixture is fluffy for two minutes.
  • Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Cherry Whipped Cream Filling
  • Place the heavy cream in a bowl. Begin to whip with a mixer on medium or medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, when you notice the peaks are almost stiff, add the powdered sugar. Whip for another one or two minutes until the peaks are stiff. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Ganache for the drip
  • Chop the chocolate finely and place it in a bowl. You can also use chocolate chips instead.
  • Heat the heavy cream until it almost comes to a boil.
  • Take it off the heat. Pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute.
  • Use a whisk to gently mix the heavy cream and chocolate until all the chocolate melts, and the mixture is smooth without any chocolate lumps.
  • If you still see chocolate lumps in, place the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds.
  • Don’t mix the ganache too much, because if you add too much air to it, it will have air bubbles when you pour it over the cake.
  • Let the ganache cool down to room temperature. You are looking for the perfect dripping consistency, not too cooled down, but not warm either. You can test this by pouring one drop on the side of a bowl, or on the back of the cake, and watching how the drop falls. If it takes forever to roll down the side of the bowl/cake, then the ganache might be too hard. In this case, place it in the microwave for JUST a few seconds (literally 2-3 seconds), and stir. Test again. Repeat until the drop of ganache is slowly but effortlessly dripping a few inches down and stopping.
To assemble
  • Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Trim the excess of the top if necessary to make it flat and even.
  • Brush about 1 tbsp of cherry liqueur on the cake layer.
  • Spread some of the Chocolate Pudding Frosting on top, just a thin layer to prevent the whipped cream to be absorbed into the cake.
  • Then pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake layer.
  • Spoon some Whipped Cream in the middle and top with fresh chopped cherries.
  • Place another cake layer on top. Repeat the same steps from above until you are done with cake layers.
  • When you get to the top cake layer, brush it with some of the cherry liqueur.
  • Frost the cake with a thin layer of the Chocolate Pudding Frosting, to seal the crumbs of cake in, this is called Crumb Coating. Use an offset spatula to smooth the top of the cake, and a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake.
  • Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the crumb coating has a chance to set.
  • Remove the cake from the fridge.
  • Spread a thick layer of Chocolate Pudding Frosting on top of the cake and all around it, smoothing it out with a bench scraper and offset spatula to make it nice and smooth.
  • Place the cake back in the fridge for at least 1 hour before doing the ganache drip on top of the cake. While the cake chills you can make the ganache.
To do the Ganache Drip
  • Place the room temperature ganache in a piping bag and snip a small tip at the end with scissors.
  • Pour the ganache around the edges of the top of the cake, letting it drip nicely down the sides. Then pipe some ganache on top of the cake. Use a spatula to spread it and smooth it out. Place the cake back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the ganache to set.
  • Meanwhile, you can make the cherries
Gold Cherries
  • Fill up a small bowl with water.
  • Place a small piece of gold leaf in the water. Then dip the cherry in the water, on top of the gold leaf, which should stick right to the cherry. Use your fingers to press the gold leaf and make it stick to the cherry if it’s not completely adhering.
To finish
  • Place the remaining Chocolate Pudding Frosting in a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice. I chose a 1M.
  • Then pipe some frosting on top of the set ganache.
  • Place gold cherries on top of the cake.
To serve
  • Let the cake sit in the fridge overnight before cutting into it, so the flavors can mature and develop.
  • It’s also a good idea to let the cake sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.
  • Store this Black Forest Cherry Cake in the Fridge for up to 5 days, covered so it doesn’t dry out.


Video: I recommend watching my video on YouTube to see exactly how to assemble the cake. PS. in the video I make the ganache for the frosting and the ganache for the drip together, which is why it looks like a large amount, but I’ve divided the recipe because people will most likely make this in stages, and it will help to make the drip ganache separately in order to easily obtain the best consistency for it.
Chocolate cake: feel free to use hot water instead of coffee. You can also add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder to the cake batter if you want to enhance the chocolate flavor, the coffee helps bring out the richness in the chocolate.
Cake layers: the layers of the 6″ cake will be thin, and that’s because when you stack them, they can’t be too high, or the cake will be too hard to style and decorate.
Cherry liqueur: feel totally free to skip the cherry liqueur. You could also brush the cake with simple syrup, milk, or just leave it plain without brushing it at all.
Keyword cake, cherry, chocolate

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  1. This recipe looks tempting. I am from Europe and it is hard for me to figure out measurements. Did You plan maybe add “US to Metric” converter to the recipes too?

    1. So glad you like the cake. I already put almost everything in grams and ml except for the vanilla baking powder and baking soda. do you guys not have tablespoons/teaspoons in Europe?

  2. Just baked this in three 6″ pans and it took about 25 minutes in my oven! Just an FYI for anyone who was interested! 🙂

    Also, tastes really good!

  3. 5 stars
    I made your hot chocolate macarons and they were delicious (it was my first time making macarons!) So I am going to give this cake a try for my big ‘sis’ birthday! Thanks for the inspiration and great recipes. I am excited to try the gold edible sheets.

  4. 2 stars
    Ok Cake; a lot of complicated steps for an OK result. The cake honestly tasted like box chocolate cake. It was really spongey so the texture for a spongey cake was right but flavor was very much lacking. I do like denser cakes but I can’t knock the recipe for a different texture but I can for flavor. What made this cake acceptable to give my guests was the cherry whipped cream filling. I would like for there to be more information on the cherries that should be used as it depends on how flavorful they are. The rest of the parts of the cake were nice, Frosting and such was tasty. I had left over batter so I doctored it up for my next party and used it in addition to two rounds of cake from another recipe. I added 1/4 cup or Guinness, more chocolate and couple table spoons more of sugar and it came out better.

  5. This cake is beautiful and looks delicious! I have two questions. Could I brush the cake layers with just cherry juice from a jar of maraschino cherries? Also, if I use espresso powder, will I need to replace the 2/3 cup of coffee with another liquid? Thanks.

    1. You can use both the espresso and coffee. That’s how i do it most times.
      And yes you definitely can brush the layers with the juice from the maraschino cherries.

  6. 5 stars
    This cake is delicious, especially if you’re a fan of black forest. I doubled the recipe and made it in four 8″ cake pans. It was a tall cake but not tricky to decorate. The steps to making this recipe were simple to follow. I omitted the cake drip as I had a slightly different decoration idea in mind. I used fresh cherries for the top and canned cherries for inbetween each cake layer. I used the syrup from the canned cherries to moisten each cake layer too. I made this cake for my father’s 80th birthday surprise and it was a hit. Thank you for this gorgeous recipe.

  7. Hey Can i use sour cherry jam instead? Or is it better to use canned cherries because i am worried that will be too liquidy. Oh and what better than sour cherries or regular cherries? Can you help me?

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