Dark Chocolate Cherry Cake
Make this cake for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day! They’ll love the moist, dark chocolate cake, layered with sweet cherry buttercream!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Remember the other day when I was saying how much I love the fruit + chocolate combo? Well, this might be my favorite version of that.
I am crazy about cherries and chocolate! And they are so perfect for Valentine’s Day.
I’ve been wanting to do a rectangular cake foreverrrrr! I was so happy to have the opportunity to partner with Ghirardelli to make this dream a reality 😛 Their Valentine’s Day Impressions make the perfect garnish, don’t you agree?
They come in Milk & White Chocolate, or Milk & Dark Chocolate. I obviously went with the Milk & Dark. I love how they’re like a conversation heart, with all the different cute Valentine’s Day messages. Only these are way yummier, because CHOCOLATE!
I also used Ghirardelli’s Dark Melting Wafers, melted and drizzled all over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip all down the sides. So tempting!
The cake is (once again) adapted from my Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcake recipe. I’m telling you, there’s nothing this recipe can’t do. It’s the number one recipe on this site, for good reason. I have made it dozens of times and it never fails to impress. It’s moist, super-chocolatey, and the whole thing happens in just one bowl.
This time you’re going to bake it up in a 9×13 pan, and then carefully cut it into quarters, layering it with a Swiss meringue buttercream that’s folded together with chopped dark sweet cherries. Obviously, cherries aren’t exactly seasonal right now, but don’t worry! You can pick up a bag of frozen cherries for this and they work just beautifully.
I want to thank everyone for all the sweet comments on my last post. Lately, I’ve been having a rough time replying to every single comment, like I’ve always tried to do in the past. But I do read each and every one, and they always make me smile! I was so happy to have all of you to bounce ideas off of for my big living room purchase. You all really came through for me and I think I’m ready to move forward and order the new sofa set. I’ll share pics as soon as it comes in! It’s looking like it’ll be here in 8-10 weeks.
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Some of the tools I used to create this cake include:
- Rectangular Cake Pan
- Parchment Paper Sheets
- Bowl-scraping Paddle Attachment
- Serrated Bread Knife
- Stick Blender with Mini-Chopper Attachment
- Small Offset Spatula
- 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (62.5 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (31.25 g) cake flour
- 1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, (1 stick), softened but still cool
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (100 g) Greek yogurt, (sour cream may be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, (2 sticks), softened but cool
- 2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (69 g) thawed frozen dark sweet cherries,, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup (169.5 g) Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers
- 3 Ghirardelli Valentine's Day Impressions
- 1/3 cup (78.86 ml) heavy cream,, whipped with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, mist a 9x13-inch cake pan with nonstick spray, and line with a half sheet of parchment.
- Place the first 7 (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Mix in the butter on low speed, until the mixture resembles damp sand.
- Stir in the eggs, greek yogurt and vanilla, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure all the ingredients are well-combined.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with one or two moist crumbs.
- Cool the cakes completely, and cut into quarters. Fill and frost with Cherry Buttercream, and garnish with Dark Melting Wafers, Valentine's Impressions, and whipped cream.
- Place the egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water, and whisk continuously, until the mixture is hot, opaque, and the sugar is completely dissolved (should not feel gritty between your fingers), about 5 minutes.
- Whip the mixture on high speed, until stiff peaks form and it has completely cooled. (It's helpful to place the mixing bowl + whip attachment in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. There should be no hint of warmth remaining.)
- Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, whipping well after each addition.
- Mix in the almond extract and vanilla until well blended.
- Beat in the chopped cherries.
Can you make this a day early? Does it need to be efigerated?
You can and it would probably slice better if it was refrigerated. Good luck!
I don’t have a rectangular cake pan and was wondering if I could adapt this to a circular layer cake (9 inch). Do you have any tips for altering the ratios/amounts of ingredients and bake time? Or is this just not recommended? Thank you!
Hey Ryan! I often refer to this chart for these types of questions. I’ve found it to be very useful! Let me know if this gives you the answers you’re looking for 😉
Ah yes. Thank you. I’ve seen this before, but completely forgot about it.
I have a second question: I made this last night (borrowed a rectangular cake pan), but the icing became lumpy and took on an almost curdled look when I added the cherries. I drained the cherries before and after chopping because I thought this might happen with the delicate egg white fluff, but it still had a strange texture. I ended up tossing all of the icing around in a colander to drain the excess liquid, cooling again, and remixing which achieved a slightly better consistency. The final product came out great and got rave reviews, but did I do something wrong with the icing? Should I have dried the cherries more?
Yes I think drying the cherries more would have probably made a difference. It looked curdled because the water in the cherries was having a hard time homogenizing with the fat in the butter. I’m glad you got it all to work out in the end though!
I’m going to have to check out those chocolates. Love the look of the cake.
This cake looks very beautiful, I want to make it as soon as possible.
I hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment!