This Chocolate Cherry Cake is rich, fudgy, and loaded with roasted cherries and big puddles of chocolate chunks. A must-bake this summer during cherry season. Equally perfect to bake for Valentine’s Day if you have frozen cherries on hand!

a slice of fudgy cherry brownies among other slices with fresh cherries in the background


Why you should try this recipe

  • A heavenly flavor combo between roasted cherry and double chocolate. Need I say more?!
  • With the richest, fudgiest texture – slightly underbaked, this cake will melt in your mouth. A flavor/ texture adventure.
  • Another “fancy-but-not-too-fancy” dessert to add to your collection, along with Chocolate Loaf Cake with Chocolate Almond Glaze and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Lava Cakes. This cake is ideal to make in the summer months during the cherry season, but also all year long (hello Valentine’s Day!) using frozen cherries.
fresh cherries, light brown sugar, cocoa powder, flour, vanilla extract, butter, dark chocolate bar and salt on a wooden table

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The ingredients you’ll need

  • Cherries – when in season, I always use fresh cherries. To make this recipe all year long, use thawed frozen cherries and follow the recipe as written.
  • Dutch process cocoa powder – creates a bold chocolate flavor and rich fudgy texture.
  • Unsalted butter – for a delicious buttery taste and to create the perfect texture.
  • Cane sugar (granulated sugar works too) – brings a subtle caramel touch.
  • Free-range eggs – act as a binding agent in this recipe.
  • Pure vanilla extract – for a subtle vanilla flavor and depth of flavor.
  • All-purpose flour – for the texture.
  • Fine sea salt – to enhance the cake’s flavors.
  • Bittersweet dark chocolate (either bar or chocolate chips) – creates the double-“chocolate-ness”! I love biting into puddles of dark chocolate, this is why I used a chopped chocolate bar, but chocolate chips work too! 70% cacao content is always what I aim for.
fresh cherries with droplets of water

Substitutions and Variations

  • Using frozen cherries instead of fresh cherries is ideal to make this recipe all year long. Just thaw the cherries according to the package instructions and follow the recipe as written.
  • Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder can be replaced by unsweetened cocoa powder. Just note that the chocolate taste will be a bit less earthy and intense. For more information about Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder in baking, check out this great article.
  • Bittersweet baking chocolate: I like bittersweet baking chocolate for its intensity. However, feel free to substitute with semisweet baking chocolate (both baking chocolate or chocolate chips) if need be.
  • Make these brownies gluten-free by swapping all-purpose flour with the same amount of gluten-free baking flour mix of your choice.

chopped dark chocolate on wooden board

How to make Chocolate Cherry Cake?

Start by roasting the cherries:

  • Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
  • Thoroughly rinse the cherries and pat them dry with a kitchen cloth. 
  • Cut the cherries in half, remove the pits, and transfer to a sheet pan or baking tray.
  • Roast the cherries for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Make the batter:

  • Turn the heat of the oven down to 355°F (180°C).
  • Using a mixing bowl and a hand mixer or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine light brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt.
  • Beat the mixture on high speed until fluffy in texture and lightened in color, about 5 minutes.

Note: this step helps create the fudgy texture, try not to skip it.


  • Add the melted butter and keep whisking until combined, about 20 seconds. 
  • Sift the Dutch-process cocoa powder and flour together.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold until combined (do not overwork the batter).

  • Add the chopped dark chocolate and roasted cherries to the mixture (keep a small handful of both to sprinkle on top of the cake).

Bake the cake:

  • Line a 9×9-inch (22×22 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper:
  • Simply cut two sheets of parchment just slightly thinner than the width of the baking pan. Then, line them crossways so the bottoms and sides of the pan are lined with an overhang on all sides, as shown in the picture below.

Note: We want this cake to be slightly underbaked, which makes it more difficult to remove from the pan. Overhangs of parchment paper are important to be able to remove it without any fuss.

a square baking pan lined with parchment paper
  • Transfer the batter to the pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  • Add the remaining chopped chocolate and cherries on top.

  • Bake the cake for 30 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes.
  • Then, using the overhangs of parchment paper, remove it from the pan and onto a cooling rack (otherwise, the residual heat of the pan will continue the cooking).
  • Let the cake cool down completely, and enjoy!
baked cherry brownies with melted chocolate chunks

Nim Keys – Useful Tips

  1. Thoroughly whisk sugar and eggs – whisking sugar and eggs for 5 minutes with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) is what creates a fudgy, glossy texture. Try not to skip it!  
  2. Use a metal baking pan – metal yields the best result in terms of texture. If using a glass or ceramic baking pan, add 10-15 minutes as they will take longer to bake.
  3. Line the baking pan with parchment paper – fudgy cakes often break when removed from a greased baking pan. The parchment paper overhangs help remove the cake from the pan while keeping its structure intact.
  4. Do not overbake the cake – for a fudgy texture, it should be slightly underbaked (an inserted toothpick should come out with fudgy breadcrumbs).

overhead shot of slices of fudgy cherry brownies with fresh cherries

Recipe FAQs

How long do these Chocolate Cherry Cake keep?

It can be kept on the counter covered with clingfilm for up to 2 days.

Can I freeze this cake?

Yes! Let it cool down completely and place it in a ziplock or freezer-friendly container and into the freezer. To defrost: let the cake thaw overnight in the fridge. To enjoy it warm: place in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 2-3 minutes.

I don’t have a 9×9-inch baking pan. What are the substitutes?

An 8-inch (20 cm) round pan will work just fine.

Can I make this Chocolate Cherry Cake gluten-free?

I haven’t tested it myself, but I do think this recipe would work well with gluten-free flour! As we don’t want this cake to rise (fudgy texture is what we are looking for), the type of flour is not critical in this recipe. Just replace the all-purpose flour with the same amount of gluten-free baking flour.


stack of fudgy cherry brownies slices with fresh cherries in the background

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a slice of fudgy cherry brownies among other slices with fresh cherries in the background

Chocolate Cherry Cake

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time : 20 minutes
Cook Time : 40 minutes
Total Time : 1 hour
Servings : 6
This Chocolate Cherry Cake is rich, fudgy, and loaded with roasted cherries and big puddles of chocolate chunks. A must-bake this summer during cherry season. Equally perfect to bake for Valentine’s Day if you have frozen cherries on hand!

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 2 ½ cups (300 g) fresh cherries (or thawed frozen cherries)
  • 1 cup (200 g) cane sugar (granulated sugar works too)
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (190 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (75 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (75 g) all-purpose flour
  • 7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by roasting the cherries:

  • Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
  • Thoroughly rinse the cherries and pat them dry with a kitchen cloth. 
  • Cut the cherries in half, remove the pits, and transfer to a sheet pan or baking tray.
  • Roast the cherries for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Make the cake batter:

  • Turn the heat of the oven down to 355°F (180°C).
  • Using a mixing bowl and a hand mixer or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Beat the mixture on high speed until fluffy in texture and lightened in color, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the melted butter and keep whisking until combined, about 20 seconds. 
  • Sift the Dutch-process cocoa powder and flour together.
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold until combined (do not overwork the batter).
  • Add the chopped dark chocolate and roasted cherries to the mixture (keep a small handful of both to sprinkle on top of the cake).

Bake the cake:

  • Line a 9×9-inch (22×22 cm) square baking pan with parchment paper (see instructions in the post).
  • Transfer the batter to the pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Add the remaining chopped chocolate and cherries on top.
  • Bake the cake for 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes in the pan.
  • Remove from the pan and onto a cooling rack, and let it cool down completely. Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. Thoroughly whisk sugar and eggs – whisking sugar and eggs for 5 minutes with a hand mixer (or stand mixer) is what creates a fudgy, glossy texture. Try not to skip it!
  2. Use a metal baking pan – metal yields the best result in terms of texture. If using a glass or ceramic baking pan, add 10-15 minutes as they will take longer to bake.
  3. Line the baking pan with parchment paper – fudgy cakes often break when removed from a greased baking pan. The parchment paper overhangs help remove the cake from the pan while keeping its structure intact.
  4. Do not overbake the cake – for a fudgy texture, this cake should be slightly underbaked (an inserted toothpick should come out with fudgy breadcrumbs).
Calories: 683kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 10gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 25gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 258mgPotassium: 636mgFiber: 9gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 917IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 7mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Did you make this recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Leave a comment below to let me know how it went!
5 from 1 vote

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing.
    Was surprised how the cherries merged well with the chocolate.
    The cooking instructions as regards timing etc were excellent.
    will definately make again.
    we served with liquid cream but any other would do the job too.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Mary. Cherries and chocolate are such a great match, I agree! So glad you liked it!