Nothing is prettier than chocolate cake with cherry frosting. This Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake has a chocolate ganache drip on top for a sweet look!
Have you tried our cherry almond cake? It’s a pinkalicious beauty with cherries baked in the cake and whipped in the frosting. If you’re looking for something just a little bit different, this chocolate drip cherry cake is a delicious one to try.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake Recipe
Valentine’s Day….First birthday cake…Shower cake or just a special occasion cake, this decadent cake is sure to please. Here are the parts:
- Chocolate cake with cherry flavor
- Cherry buttercream
- Chocolate ganache
- Optional toppings: chocolate shavings, frosting swirls, maraschino cherries
Today we’re sharing all the detail on how to make this chocolate cake!
6″ Round Cake
This cake is small but tall layer cake. We used 3 6″ round cake pans. You can make 2 8″ round layers if you’d like but you’ll have to adjust the baking time. If you love to buy cakes, I highly recommend adding 3 6″ cake pans to your baking arsenal. There are a lot of gorgeous recipes out there for small but tall cakes.
Chocolate Cherry Cake
This cake has a chocolate cake base very similar to our dark chocolate cake recipe. The cherry flavor comes from the addition of maraschino cherry juice. The cake will have a chocolate look and flavor, with just a hint of cherry.
Cake making tips:
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to break up any clumps of flour or cocoa.
- Use a stand mixer (or a hand mixer) to beat together the wet ingredients.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Add 1 cup of hot water to the cake batter by slowly drizzling it in. **Pro tip: For the ULTIMATE chocolate flavor, use 1 cup of strong coffee instead of hot water. Your cake won’t taste like coffee, but it will intensify the chocolate!**
- Grease and flour the baking pans. It works best if you use shortening to grease the pans. Our secret is to use cake release (recipe here). The cakes come out beautifully every time!
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. The exact time will depend on the baking pan types and sizes you use. Watch the cakes closely through the oven door with the light on. Don’t open the oven until your cakes *look* done or the cakes may fall in the center. Once the cake looks done, touch the center. It will spring back when the cake is done.
This homemade cherry frosting is a classic buttercream made from powdered sugar and butter. Homemade buttercream beats store bought any day. Here’s how to make it:
Start with room temperature butter. Don’t melt it. You just want it to slightly give when you touch it. Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream it using a paddle attachment. This will take about 2-3 minutes and the butter should be almost white in appearance.
Add in your sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Making sure each cup is incorporated before adding the next.
After all of the powdered sugar is combined, add in your heavy whipping cream and cherry juice. Whip on high speed for about 3-5 minutes. This will give you a “whipped” texture to your frosting. If you prefer a firm frosting, you will only need to mix 2-3 minutes.
**Pro Tip: This is a sweet frosting. We use salted butter to cut the sweetness a bit. You can also add a pinch of salt to cut down on sweetness even more. **
Making ganache for a drip cake is easier than you may think. Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is mostly melted. Stir the chocolate between each interval until all is melted. Allow the ganache to sit until it cools and thickens slightly. If you put the hot ganache on the cake it will melt the frosting. This works best if you refrigerate the cake so that it is cold, then allow the ganache to cool. Spoon the ganache onto the top of the cake, then push the ganache to the edge of the cake so it slightly drips over the edge.
Other Cherry Cake Recipes
TOOLS TO MAKE THIS CAKE
- Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
- Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
- 6” Round Cake Pan: These are my favorite pans!
- Cake Spatula: To get that frosting nice and smooth.
- Wire Cooling Racks:This will help your cakes cool more quickly.
- Cake Plate: I have this cake plate and everyone loves it! It comes with the cute server too.
Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon Maraschino cherry juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups salted butter (3 sticks) (at room temperature)
- 5 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (you can add more or less to taste)
For the ganache:
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Make the cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease three 6” cake pans with shortening, then dust the pans with flour.
- Start your cake batter by combining all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk to break up any lumps.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, milk, oil, cherry juice, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
- Add one cup of water into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 1 minute. Slowly drizzle the water into the stand mixer while whisking on a low speed.
- Gradually increase speed until you are at the highest speed and whisk for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is light and airy.
- Divide the batter equally between the three pans (filling them about halfway full) and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- After the cakes are baked all the way through, remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then release from the pan.
- When the cakes are completely cool, start making your frosting.
Make the frosting:
- Place your room temperature butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream together with a paddle attachment. This will take about 2-3 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add in your sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time. Making sure each cup is incorporated before adding the next.
- After all of the powdered sugar is combined, add in your heavy whipping cream and cherry juice. Whip on high speed for about 5 minutes. This will give you a “whipped” texture to your frosting. If you prefer a firm frosting, you will only need to mix 2-3 minutes.
- Frost your cake with a generous layer of the cherry buttercream and decorate as you wish.
For the ganache:
- Make the ganache by combining the chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is mostly melted.
- Stir the chocolate between each interval until all is melted.
- Allow the ganache to sit until it thickens slightly. For best results, make sure the cake cooled. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
- Pour the cooled ganache onto the chilled cake and push to the edges to allow the ganache to drip over. **If the ganache is too hot it will melt the buttercream. Chilling the cake and allowing the ganache to cool a bit will help this.**
- After the cake is cut, keep in an airtight container, stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.