Today's moist white chocolate cherry cake is the cake recipe that we didn't know we needed!
Cherries and white chocolate are a perfect match, and the bits of cherry baked into the cake layers make for a beautiful slice as well!
This impressive dessert consists of cherry-flecked white chocolate cake layers which are brushed with maraschino cherry juice and filled and frosted with white chocolate buttercream.
The cake is decorated with white chocolate curls and a few additional cherries for a pop of color. We hope that you enjoy this flavorful recipe!
How to make White Chocolate Cherry Cake
You can find the full, printable cake recipe further down in this post. Here is a quick rundown of our steps!
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour three 8 x 2 inch pans. We highly recommend lining the pans with circles of wax paper or parchment.
Chopping Cherries: Next, remove 22 maraschino cherries from the jar and chop them finely. We blotted them off a bit with a paper towel to remove excess juice. I'm sure that you have some wiggle room with the number of cherries- but this is the amount that worked well for us!
Save the juice for brushing onto the baked layers later. We will also use additional sliced cherries in the filling.
Heating the Milk and White Chocolate: Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove top, do not let it boil. Add the white chocolate that has been cut into very small pieces (See image below).
Let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften, then stir until the white chocolate is melted and smooth. Let the melted white chocolate cool down before using.
Next, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk for 30 seconds to blend and set aside.
Creaming Butter and Sugar: In the bowl of your mixer, mix the butter until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture lightens in color and becomes fluffy
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the yellow is blended in. Add the vanilla extract.
Adding Wet and Dry ingredients: Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk/chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk mixture).
Mix until just combined, do not over mix and do not mix above medium speed.
Gently fold in the 22 finely chopped cherries.
Filling the Cake Pans: Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow the layers to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and turn out. This recipe makes 6 cups of batter.
White Chocolate Buttercream
- This white chocolate frosting is so creamy, delicious, and pipes perfectly too! It makes a wonderful filling and frosting, and really gives our layer cake an added boost of white chocolate flavor.
- Cut/chop the white chocolate into very small pieces, put into a microwave safe bowl and add 4 Tablespoons milk or cream.
- Microwave for 15 seconds and let it sit for a minute or two. Stir and microwave again for 15 seconds letting it sit a minute to soften further, stir. Be careful not to over heat the chocolate. The chocolate will continue to melt as it is stirred. Allow the chocolate to cool a bit before using.
- Next, beat the butter until softened and smooth, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Pour in the white chocolate and milk mixture. Add vanilla extract. If needed, you can add another tablespoon of milk.
- Beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes. The frosting will become smooth and creamy.
- This recipe makes 5 cups frosting, which is enough to frost and fill a 2 or 3 layer eight inch cake. If you will be doing a lot of decorative piping, you will need additional frosting.
Time to Assemble and Decorate the Cake
We kept things pretty simple for our cake design. You can decorate however you like- this frosting is very easy to work with!
To assemble the cake, place the first white chocolate cherry cake layer on a cake plate or pedestal.
Brush a layer of maraschino cherry juice over the top of the layer (we used a silicone pastry brush for this).
Then, follow with a layer of white chocolate buttercream frosting. Top with additional finely sliced cherries. Use however many you like.
Add the second cake layer, brush with cherry juice, a layer of frosting, top with sliced cherries, and add the third layer. Brush with cherry juice, frost the cake as usual.
I like to apply a thin crumb coat of frosting to my cakes and chill them in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm things up before applying the final layer of frosting.
I combed the frosting around the sides of the cake with a metal cake comb. (You can heat your metal comb under very hot water before combing for a cleaner finish!)
As an optional step, we topped the frosted cake with chocolate curls.
We made them by running a vegetable peeler down the edge of a white chocolate bar. If the chocolate bar is too cold, the curls will splinter.
A very slightly warm bar will give you the best results.
I chilled my finished white chocolate curls in the freezer for five minutes before handling so that they would be less fragile. (You can even use a toothpick to pick up and add the delicate curls to the cake).
*If you love chocolate curls, check out our video tutorial on Striped Chocolate Curls from candy coating!
We topped off the cake with a few maraschino cherries (we blotted them on a paper towel first to remove some of the excess juice).
How to Freeze Cake Layers
You can easily freeze cake layers which will allow you not only to work well in advance, but it also gives your cakes an extra boost of moistness!
We freeze all of our cake layers when time allows, whether we are working with cake mixes or baking from scratch.
Once you remove your freshly baked cake layers from the oven, allow them to cool on a wire rack (still in their pans) for about 10 minutes before turning them out individually onto foil-wrapped cake boards.
Wrap the Warm Layers
Wrap each cake layer with plastic wrap, then foil, while they are still warm and pop them in the freezer for at least a few hours but up to 3 months!
This step can make cakes even more moist because of the additional moisture that is created from moving a very warm cake layer to a very cold freezer.
The wrapping traps all of that extra moisture inside of the cake.
Thawing the Cake Layers
When you are ready to decorate the cake, simply thaw the layers on the counter, still wrapped, until condensation forms on the foil.
Thaw to desired amount-- some decorators like to assemble their cakes while they are still partially frozen as they are less fragile when handling as well as when crumb coating.
More Cherry Cakes and Frostings to Try
If you love cherry cakes, we have more recipes for your must-bake list! These are all tried and true favorites!
Cherry Cake- Doctored Cake Mix
Cherry Cream Cheese Frosting- Also a great choice for this cake!
We hope that you enjoy our White Chocolate Cherry Cake! If you give it a try, we would love for you to leave a comment below!
A Few more White Chocolate Recipes!
If you are a fan of white chocolate, make sure to check out our White Chocolate Raspberry Cake, White Chocolate Peppermint Cake, White Chocolate Cranberry Cake, and White Chocolate Coconut Cake as well! So many recipes, so little time! ;0)
White Chocolate Cherry Cake
This homemade White Chocolate Cherry Cake is so moist and delicious! Layers are brushed with maraschino cherry juice and frosted with white chocolate buttercream.
For the Cake
- 4 ounces (113.5g) white baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bar and Bakers Premium Baking Bar to test the recipe)
- 2 ½ cups (285g) cake flour * if you do not have cake flour see Note below for substitution
- 2 ½ teaspoons (10g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened (do not soften in the microwave)
- 1 ½ cups (300g) sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature ( if in a hurry you can warm the eggs in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water for 5 minutes)
- 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cup (314g) milk
- One 16 oz Jar Maraschino Cherries- This is for batter as well as filling and decoration on top.
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 3 sticks (339g) unsalted butter, softened (do not soften in the microwave)
- 8 ounces (227g) white baking chocolate (I used 2 Ghirardelli Premium Baking Bars)
- 5 cups (575g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons (42 g) milk or cream
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt - optional to cut the sweetness
- We used an additional white chocolate bar for creating chocolate curls. Topped with 3 cherries.
For the White Chocolate Cherry Cake
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
- Grease and flour three 8 x 2 inch pans.
- *For this recipe, we recommend adding a circle of wax paper or parchment paper to the bottom of the cake pans to prevent sticking
- Remove 22 maraschino cherries from the jar and chop them finely. We will use these as the last step. Lightly blot with a paper towel. Save the additional cherries as well as the cherry juice (for brushing onto cake layers). We will also use additional slices in the filling.
- Heat the milk in the microwave or on the stove top, do not let it boil. Add the white chocolate that has been cut into very small pieces. Let it sit for a couple of minutes to soften, then stir until melted and smooth. Let this cool down before using.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk for 30 seconds to blend and set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer, mix the butter until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and mix on medium speed 4 to 5 minutes, until the mixture lightens in color and becomes fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each until the yellow is blended in.
- Add the vanilla.
- Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk/chocolate mixture, beginning and ending with the flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk mixture).
- Mix until just combined, do not over mix and do not mix above medium speed.
- Gently fold in the 22 finely chopped cherries.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees F for 22-25 minutes. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached, it is done. Let cool 10 minutes in the pans and turn out.
- Makes 6 cups of batter. Works well for cupcakes.
For the White Chocolate Buttercream
- Cut/chop the white chocolate into very small pieces, put into a microwave safe bowl and add 4 Tablespoons milk or cream.
- Microwave for 15 seconds let sit for a minute or two, stir and microwave again 15 seconds letting it sit a minute to soften further, stir. Be careful not to over heat the chocolate. The chocolate will continue to melt as it is stirred. Let the chocolate cool down before using.
- Beat the butter until softened and smooth, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Add the white chocolate and milk mixture. Add vanilla. Add another Tablespoon milk if needed. Beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes and it will become smooth and creamy.
- Makes 5 cups frosting. Makes enough to frost a 2 or 3 layer eight inch cake. If you will be doing a lot of decorative piping, you will need additional frosting.
Assembly of Cake and Decoration
- Place the first white chocolate cherry cake layer on cake base or pedestal. Apply a layer of cherry juice using a pastry brush, then follow with a layer of white chocolate buttercream. Top with additional sliced cherries (to your liking).
- Add the second cake layer, brush with cherry juice, a layer of frosting, top with sliced cherries, and add the third layer. Brush with cherry juice, frost the cake as usual.
- I like to crumb coat (thin coat) my cakes and chill in the freezer for about 15 minutes before applying the final layer of frosting. I combed the frosting around the sides of the cake with a cake comb. I topped with chocolate curls that were created by running a vegetable peeler down the edge of the white chocolate bar. I chilled my curls in the freezer for five minutes before handing. I applied mine with a toothpick
Very pretty! Looks and sounds delish!
Did this cake taste best the day you made it or day after? I can do either, and know for some cakes the day after is even better. Thank you and look forward to trying it. Your site is the only one I use for cakes <3 Always delicious!
Hi Candice, We appreciate your nice comment, thank you. We think the White Chocolate Cherry cake is equally good the first and second day, hope you enjoy it.
Can this be made from a doctored cake mix. I have to make 2 10 inch round cakes and if so how do I do it? Thank you
Hi Claudia- We haven't tried making a cake mix version of this but well have to add it to the list! :0) -- I
You could try a variation of our Chocolate Chip Pecan Cake linked below-- and just use white chocolate pudding instead of vanilla-- and then omit the chips & pecans of course- adding, finely chopped maraschino cherries as in this recipe. The chocolate chip cake also uses 1 grated chocolate baking bar which you could substitute for white chocolate as an optional add in.
I would do the filling as in this white chocolate cherry cake recipe, brushing on the juice and topping with sliced cherries, etc.
If you give it a try, let us know how it goes! You would need to double the recipe-- and according to Wilton's Batter charts, use 6 cups of batter per pan (but the best general rule is not to fill it past about 2/3 full to prevent overflow).