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Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with chocolate pudding frosting and gold cherries

Chocolate Cherry Cake

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!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, cherry, chocolate
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 11 hours 25 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 350 kcal
Author camila

Ingredients

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

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. This recipe makes for 4-6” round cakes, or 2-8” round cakes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350Fº.
  3. 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.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder, if using it instead of the coffee. Set aside.
  5. Cream the butter at medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  6. Add sugar slowly, cream for another 2 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. Add vanilla extract and mix.
  9. Slowly add milk, mix to combine.
  10. Pour dry ingredients over wet mixture.
  11. Fold with a spatula slowly, until ingredients are just combined.
  12. If you see big clumps of cocoa powder, you can use the whisk to try to gently smooth the batter out.
  13. Once batter is incorporated, pour hot coffee in the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  14. Pour batter evenly onto baking pans.
  15. 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.
  16. Once you remove it from the oven, wait 10 minutes, flip cakes onto a cookie cooling rack and let cakes cool.
  17. 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

  1. Place the chocolate in a bowl.
  2. Heat the heavy cream until hot to the touch, but don’t let it come to a boil.
  3. Pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir until the chocolate has melted completely.
  5. Let the mixture cool down until it comes to room temperature, about 72ºF.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl.
  9. Mix on low until combined, raise the speed to medium. Cream until the mixture is fluffy for two minutes.
  10. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Cherry Whipped Cream Filling

  1. 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

  1. Chop the chocolate finely and place it in a bowl. You can also use chocolate chips instead.
  2. Heat the heavy cream until it almost comes to a boil.
  3. Take it off the heat. Pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute.
  4. 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.
  5. If you still see chocolate lumps in, place the bowl in the microwave for a few seconds.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

  1. Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Trim the excess of the top if necessary to make it flat and even.
  2. Brush about 1 tbsp of cherry liqueur on the cake layer.
  3. Spread some of the Chocolate Pudding Frosting on top, just a thin layer to prevent the whipped cream to be absorbed into the cake.
  4. Then pipe a ring of frosting around the edges of the cake layer.
  5. Spoon some Whipped Cream in the middle and top with fresh chopped cherries.
  6. Place another cake layer on top. Repeat the same steps from above until you are done with cake layers.
  7. When you get to the top cake layer, brush it with some of the cherry liqueur.
  8. 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.
  9. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so the crumb coating has a chance to set.
  10. Remove the cake from the fridge.
  11. 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.
  12. 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

  1. Place the room temperature ganache in a piping bag and snip a small tip at the end with scissors.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, you can make the cherries

Gold Cherries

  1. Fill up a small bowl with water.
  2. 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

  1. Place the remaining Chocolate Pudding Frosting in a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice. I chose a 1M.
  2. Then pipe some frosting on top of the set ganache.
  3. Place gold cherries on top of the cake.

To serve

  1. Let the cake sit in the fridge overnight before cutting into it, so the flavors can mature and develop.
  2. It’s also a good idea to let the cake sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Storage

  1. Store this Black Forest Cherry Cake in the Fridge for up to 5 days, covered so it doesn’t dry out.

Recipe Notes

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.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cherry Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 350
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.