If you like cherry desserts, you are going to fall in love with this moist and flavorful homemade Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake!
Not only does this cherry cake taste amazing, but it is beautiful too! Maraschino cherry juice is stirred into the batter, lending a wonderful cherry flavor and lovely shade of pink.
The addition of maraschino cherry pieces and mini chocolate chips gives a great texture and flavor boost to the cake as well.
This Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake is very moist, but sturdy enough to hold the weight of fondant, and it works well as a cupcake recipe also. I love a versatile recipe! Mini chocolate chips add just the right amount of chocolate flavor without being overpowering.
I prefer the look of mini chocolate chips to the regular size, but more importantly, these lightweight chips are less likely to sink to the bottom of the pan.
As we mention in the recipe below, we divided the cake batter between three prepared 8 inch pans, and once filled, we sprinkled additional cherry pieces and mini chips on top of the batter and just barely tapped them in.
Doing this step helps to ensure that the cherry pieces and mini chips will be evenly dispersed throughout the cake layer.
Once our Cherry Chocolate Chip Layers were baked, I assembled the layers with a cherry cream cheese filling topped with a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips.
I frosted the cherry chocolate chip cake with a layer of our Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting, and then applied a small angled spatula to it to create a ridged effect as I rotated the cake on a turntable.
You can work from the top edge of the cake to the bottom, or vice versa. This frosting technique is such a simple and easy one, I use it often!
After texturing our buttercream, I finished off the cake with a border of mini chips, and used a french tip to pipe our whipped cream around the cake. The maraschino cherries add a great pop of color!
We hope that you enjoy this cake recipe as much as we have! My husband and daughter have both declared that this will be their birthday cake, haha. Enjoy!
For the Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake Layers
- 3 cups (342g) cake flour plus 2 Tablespoons for dusting cherries
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2g) salt
- 6 egg whites (180g)
- 2/3 cup (146g) cherry juice from a 10 ounce bottle of maraschino cherries (If you don't have enough cherry juice, supplement with milk or water)
- 3/4 cup (172g) milk
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (4g) cherry extract (I used Watkins brand found at Walmart)
- 1/4 cup (54g) vegetable oil
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- Maraschino Cherries from 10 oz jar (use all) chopped and dusted with 2 Tablespoons flour.
- 1/2 cup (92 g.) Mini Chocolate Chips (plus additional for sprinkling over filling)
Cherry Cream Cheese Filling and Frosting
- 2 sticks (1 cup) (226g) unsalted butter- Softened slightly
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452 g)- We use full fat. (Reduced fat would make a softer frosting)
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (4g) cherry extract (*Pink coloring gel optional)
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
For the Whipped Cream Accents
- 1 cup (240g) heavy cream
- 1/4 (29g) cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Vanilla
For the Cherry Cake
- 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 1/2 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 and mini chips into the batter.
- Once the batter is in the cake pans, sprinkle the reserved cherries over the top of the batter, and using a spoon push them just slightly below the surface of the cake batter. You can also sprinkle a few mini chips over the top as well and lightly press them in. Doing this will help to insure that the cherries and chocolate chips will be more evenly dispersed.
- 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.
- 7 1/2 cups cake batter
- Works well for cupcakes
- Will hold up to fondant
For the Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
- Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
- Add the vanilla and cherry extract. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended (cover bowl with
- a towel to keep a cloud of powdered sugar from floating over your kitchen).
- Add the gel color at this point, increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy, approximately 1 minute, don't over beat.
- This frosting will pipe best when chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use, let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
- Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
For the Whipped Cream (You will have leftover-- you can half if you like)
- Chill the mixing bowl and beaters or whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla into the chilled mixing bowl, begin beating on low speed gradually increasing to medium high speed.
- The cream begins to thicken (approx. 1 1/2 minutes) and soft peaks form….peaks that slightly bend over. Watch closely as this happens quickly. Do not over beat or it will turn into butter.
To Assemble the Cake
- Place first layer of cake onto your cake base (or cake board) of choice. Spread first layer with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, and repeat.
- Frost the entire cake with Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting. I had just enough to frost our 8 inch cake. I then piped whipped cream with a french piping tip and added maraschino cherries.