Made with jarred Bing or sour cherries, this chocolate cherry cake is flavourful, soft, and delicious with the combination of sweet-tart cherries and rich chocolate. Topped with Chantilly cream, cherries, and more chocolate, it's a one-bowl recipe and a bit like an easier single layer Black Forest cake minus the Kirsch. There are chopped cherries in the cake base for an extra fruit boost.

If you're a fiend for chocolate cake, try our sourdough chocolate cake, easy old-fashioned chocolate mayonnaise cake, or whole wheat chocolate cake!

Top-down view of a chocolate cake topped with whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate shavings.
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Ingredients

Chocolate cherry cake ingredients with labels.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Cherries: use jarred sour cherries or Bing cherries, whatever is easier for you to find. If in season, fresh cherries can be used in the same way but will have to be pitted by hand.
  • Cocoa: this cake is leavened primarily with baking soda, so Dutch process won't work well. Use natural cocoa powder for the best results.
  • Oil: any oil that's liquid at room temperature. For a more complex taste, use olive oil.
  • Make it dairy-free: substitute the milk for non-dairy milk. For a vegan alternative, add cherries to our one-bowl vegan chocolate cake instead.

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

Method

Cherry cake steps 1 to 4, mixing the batter and before baking.

Step 1: whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: add the milk, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine.

Step 3: whisk in the egg.

Step 4: pour into a greased 8-inch baking tin and bake for about half an hour.

Top Tips

  • Cold is okay: while it's best to have the egg and milk at room temperature for an ideal rise, it's a bit less important for this recipe than with butter-based cakes. You can warm up the egg (see below) but the milk can be cold if you don't have time to let it sit out.
  • Use warm water: to quickly bring eggs up to room temperature, submerge in warm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the egg last: this is a slightly different method than you might be used to, but it works! The egg should be added right at the end.

Recipe Notes

If you want to go a more Black Forest route, you can brush the still-warm cake with a bit of Kirsch and then let it cool as usual. This adds that traditional flavour without making multiple layers. If you do want this, also make sure to use sour cherries, which are almost always added in Germany (and definitely don't use maraschino).

How to Store

Storage: keep the plain cake in a sealed container at room temperature for a couple of days. If topped with cream and fruit, it's best to refrigerate, but note that the cake will soften a bit as the cream and cherry liquid soaks in.

Freezing: transfer the fully cooled cake to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before decorating and serving as usual.

Baked chocolate cake on a cooling rack, top down view.

FAQ

What are the best cherries to use for cake?

Unless you want cloyingly sweet - in which case, use maraschino - the best are jarred sour cherries, jarred Bing cherries, or pitted fresh cherries.

How do I make chocolate shavings?

You can use a vegetable peeler to shave thin slices of chocolate off of chocolate bars. A sharp paring knife works too but it's a bit trickier.

If you make this Chocolate Cherry Cake recipe or any other cake recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

Top-down view of a chocolate cake topped with whipped cream, cherries, and chocolate shavings.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Made with jarred cherries, chocolate cherry cake is flavourful, soft, and delicious with the combination of sweet-tart cherries and rich chocolate.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Yield: 8

Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • 8-inch round cake tin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk at room temperature
  • ¼ cup light oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • ¾ cup jarred cherries chopped (Bing or sour) plus extra for topping

For Decorating

Makes: 8inch round

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and grease an 8-inch (20 cm) cake tin with oil or butter. Set aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine.
    1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Add the milk, oil, and vanilla to the bowl. Whisk to combine. A few lumps are fine, you don't want to over-mix. Whisk in the egg.
    ¾ cup milk, ¼ cup light oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1 large egg
  • Gently fold in the chopped cherries to distribute evenly into the batter.
    ¾ cup jarred cherries
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake passes a toothpick test. You can use a 9-inch tin but note that the cake will need a few minutes less baking time.
  • Cool the cake for 10 minutes in the tin before carefully removing and cooling fully on a wire rack. Top with cream, extra whole cherries, and chocolate before serving.
    1 batch Chantilly cream, Whole cherries, Chocolate shavings

Notes

Optionally toss the cherries with some flour before adding to help keep them suspended in the batter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 297IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.

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