Oh how we LOVE this amazing Cherry Cake recipe from scratch! We are so happy to have another tried & true homemade recipe for our collection of favorite cakes.
I love light, fruit flavored cakes any time of the year, but especially in the spring and summer. This versatile and flavorful recipe deserves a place in your recipe box!
Often Strawberry Cakes or Lemon Cakes are the first to spring to our minds when planning our dessert menus for summertime gatherings.
While we've included SO many favorite fruity cakes in our Recipes Section, don't overlook this amazing homemade Cherry Cake! It just might become a new favorite.
This moist scratch Cherry Cake recipe is tender, flavorful, and is the prettiest shade of pink! It is sturdy enough for fondant, and makes beautiful cupcakes also. I love a cake recipe with a little versatility!
Chopped maraschino cherries, cherry juice, and a splash of cherry extract lend a beautiful shade of pink to this homemade cake as well as a flavor that is just perfect!
Frost or drizzle this delightful Cherry Cake with decadent chocolate ganache for a "Chocolate Covered Cherry" cake, coat it with luxurious Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting, or add a bit of cherry extract to your favorite vanilla buttercream!
We hope that you enjoy the recipe!
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Thanks for stopping by! If you try our Cherry Cake recipe, make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below! We think you're going to love this one!
Cherry Cake from Scratch
This moist and flavorful Cherry Cake from Scratch is one of our favorites! Keep it in mind for spring and summer gatherings!
- 3 cups (342g) cake flour plus 2 Tablespoons for dusting cherries
- 1Tablespoon (15g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2g) salt
- 6 egg whites (180g)
- ⅔ cup (146g) cherry juice from a 10 ounce bottle of maraschino cherries, if there is not enough juice to reach ⅔'s cup add water or milk
- ¾ cup (172g) milk
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (4g) cherry extract
- ¼ cup (54g) vegetable oil
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cold to the touch
- maraschino cherries from a 10 ounce jar (use all) chopped and dusted with 2 Tablespoons flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour 3 (8 inch) round pans
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt for at least 30 seconds
- In another bowl, add the egg whites, cherry juice, milk, vanilla and cherry extract, and vegetable oil. Blend together with a fork
- In the bowl of your mixer add the butter and beat at medium speed to soften. Add the sugar and continue to beat until lightened in color and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes, longer if using a hand mixer.
- Add approximately ½ of the flour mixture to the bowl, mixing on low speed until just blended. Add half of the wet ingredients and blend. Continue alternating the dry and wet ingredients (ending with dry) until blended. Do not over beat.
- Reserve approximately 2 Tablespoons chopped cherries. Gently stir the remaining chopped cherries into the batter.
- Once the batter is in the cake pans, sprinkle the reserved cherries over the top of the batter, and using a toothpick push them just slightly below the surface of the cake batter. Even though the flour is supposed to keep the cherries from sinking to the bottom of the pan, I find that most will, so this is my reason for adding a few to the top.
- Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, when the cake springs back to the touch or a toothpick pulls out clean or with only a few crumbs attached, the cake is done.
- Makes 7 ½ cups cake batter
- Works well for cupcakes
- Will hold up to fondant
Looking forward to trying this for a client who misses his mom's cherry cake (which he's pretty sure was made from a mix but anyway). However, I cannot find cherry extract anywhere and will not have enough time to make my own.
What are good substitutes for cherry extract that will still punch up the cherry flavor and the pink color? I know almond would complement the cherry, but it's not a favorite.
Hi Jody, without getting into experimenting with changing the actual recipe (substituting pureed cherries for some of the liquid for instance) which can be hit or miss as to how it will bake up/effect flavor & texture, the easiest bet is to boost the cherry flavor in between the cake layers.
As you assemble the cake, you could brush the cake layers with maraschino cherry juice (from the jar) or pureed maraschino cherries, add your filling/frosting, and then sprinkle finely chopped maraschino cherries on top of the filling before adding the next cake layer.
*Just as a side note, we've tried adding a couple of tablespoons of cherry jello powder to our cherry pound cake batter (as we did in our strawberry doctored cake mix recipe) to see if it would make a good substitute for the extract, and we found that the flavor didn't really come through.
Adding it to the filling should do the trick. Good luck!
This was a horrible cake. Had to almost double the bake time and it was still uncooked in the middle. Followed directions exactly as shown.
Hi Cheryl- This has been a really popular recipe over the years- I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you! The extra baking time is very unusual unless you divided the batter between two pans rather than three...or used a bundt pan, or smaller pans, etc. If not, I would use an oven thermometer to double check that your oven is heating properly.
As a child, I loved store-mix cherry cake. That memory inspired me to seek this recipe out. I made this recipe in a half-batch as cupcakes for Valentines day. Substituted 1/2 maraschino juice with some reduced sour cherry juice i had left over from a pie filling and skipped the extract. Very good results. Thank you.
Hi Randy, I am happy the cupcakes turned out well for you. Thank you for posting!
Hi Cheryl! What kind of frosting did you put on this cake? (Perhaps a Swiss meringue might work?) My granddaughter sent me this recipe and I told her that she needs to help make it. 🙂 I just need to make shure I have all the ingredients.