Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling

Helene

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Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling – Picture this: a rich, moist chocolate cake generously filled with a homemade cherry pie filling. The cake is frosted with a velvet layer of chocolate ganache and decorated with fresh cherries. Now, don’t tell me you’re not ready to dip your spoon into this cake.

Top view of a chocolate cake with cherry pie filling, with a napkin and cherries arranged around.

This Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling will redefine your love for chocolate and cherries, a combination that does not need further proof. And the best part is: this chocolate cherry cake is easier than it might lead you to think, and you can split the preparation over 2 days.

a chocolate cake decorated with ganache and fresh cherries is on a marble bard with a pink napkin in the foreground.

Ingredient notes

Here are helpful notes about some ingredients to help you select the best options for ensuring recipe success.

For the chocolate cake:

  • Dutch process cocoa powder, also called baking cocoa.
  • Fine sugar: you can use caster or granulated sugar.
  • Milk: whole or 2% milk-fat
  • Vegetable oil with a neutral flavor like canola oil / rapeseed oil.

The Cherry Filling is made with cherries (fresh or frozen), sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Optional: Kirsch (cherry liquor for a boozy filling)

Chocolate Ganache:

  • Chocolate: 40% cocoa content. If you can’t find chocolate with 40% cocoa content, make a mix: half milk chocolate with 30% cocoa content and half semi-sweet chocolate with 50% cocoa content.
  • Heavy cream, full fat, 30% milk fat minimum
  • Unsalted butter

This recipe requires additional essential ingredients, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

How to make this Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling ?

Here is a summary of the recipe. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions at the end of this post.

Chocolate Ganache: Heat the chocolate and half of the heavy cream over a double boiler. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the butter and stir until completely melted. Add the remaining heavy cream. Stir until fully incorporated. Cover and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours until the ganache is set.

a bowl of chocolate ganache on the left side before it has been chilled and then on the right side of the image, now hardened after chilling.

Cherry Filling: Heat cherries with sugar until they begin to break down. Add a mixture of lemon juice and cornstarch and cook until it thickens. Let it cool.

Bake the chocolate cakes: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Next, add the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Transfer the batter to cake pans and bake in the oven.

a chocolate cherry cake in process with a bowl of cherry pie filling on the left side and 2 layers of chocolate cake on the right side of the image.

Assembly:

Once baked and cooled, level the cakes if needed.

Place the first cake on a cake board. Pipe a rim of ganache around the edge of the first cake layer. Then, spoon the cherry filling into the center.

Top with the second layer, making sure the layer cake is upside down.

Cover the sides and the edge of the top of the cake with the ganache. Make sure the ganache is soft enough; it will make things easier. Then, smooth the side with a scraper / smoother. 

a chocolate cherry cake in process with cherry pie filling topped on a cake on the left side and then the cake frosted with chocolate ganache on the right side of the image.

Decorate the top with a giant rosette, leaving 1 inch of space from the edge and then pipe small blobs all around. Add fresh cherries.

a chocolate cherry cake in process with the top of the cake decorated with a rosette on the left side and then the cake with fresh cherries on the right side of the image.

Tips

For the chocolate cakes:

  • Ingredients at room temperature: It’s easier to combine
  • Don’t overmix the batter, mix until just combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly by weighing it (about 450g in each cake tin)
  • Use aluminum cake tins for best results.
  • Use a wet strip around the sides of the tin. It prevent hard edges, domed cakes.
  • To ensure that your cakes remain moist, be careful not to overbake them.

Cherry filling: 

  • Cook on medium heat. Don’t try to speed up the process with high heat.
  • Ensure the cornstarch is fully dissolved with the lemon juice before adding it, and ensure the cherry compote is hot when ready to add it. If it’s not hot enough, you may have lumps.
  • When ready to use, give a stir with a spoon/spatula to smooth a little bit. If you make it in advance, it may look like jello after a couple of days. Don’t worry, stir and the texture will be back.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • When heating the chocolate and heavy cream to make the ganache, use a spatula, not a whisk, as we don’t want to incorporate air.
  • If the ganache is too firm, place it in a microwave in a 5-10-second burst until you reach the right consistency. It should be soft enough to pipe but not too soft to hold the shape.

Assembly:

  • Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. Ganache can’t be added to warm cakes or will melt.
  • Pour hot water on your spatula and smoother / scraper and wipe it off; it will help smoothen and apply the ganache.
a chocolate cake with cherry filling on a marble board, with a slice being removed from the cake.

FAQs 

How do I store the Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling?

Store the cake in the fridge, under a cake dome, for up to 2 days.

Can I make it ahead?

  • You can prepare the chocolate cakes one day ahead of time. Once baked, let them cool, and then wrap the cakes (without any frosting or filling) tightly in cling film and place them in the fridge or on your countertop if it’s not too hot. Otherwise, you can freeze the cakes for up to 1 month.
  • The cherry filling can be made a few days in advance. Cover touching the surface and place in the fridge for up to 1 week. When ready to use, give it a stir to give its texture back.
  • You can prepare the chocolate ganache 1 day in advance. Cover and let it in the fridge. Place it in a microwave in a 5-10-second burst the following day until you reach the right consistency.
a slice of a chocolate cherry cake on a dessert plate with a spoon and a pink napkin in the foreground.

Looking for more cherry recipes?

If you tried this Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling or any recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment below or a rating.

Chocolate Cake with Cherry Pie Filling

  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours
  • Serves: 10

a moist chocolate cake generously filled with a homemade cherry pie filling.

Ingredients

Chocolate Ganache

  • 400 g (14 oz) chocolate, finely chopped, 40% cocoa content
  • 320 ml (1 cup + 1/3 cup) heavy cream, full fat (30% minimum)
  • 90 g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter - diced

Cherry Filling

  • 200 g (0.45lbs) pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
  • 35 g (3 Tbsp) fine sugar
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) lemon juice
  • 10 g (1 Tbsp) cornstarch
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kirsch (optional)

Chocolate cake

  • 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 75 g (3/4 cup) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 200 g (1 cup) fine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 90 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil- neutral flavor

Decoration

  • 10 fresh cherries

Method

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1)

    Prepare a double boiler with a bit of water to simmer in a saucepan.

  • 2)

    Place the chocolate and half of the heavy cream in a bowl. Heat over the simmering water. Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. With a flexible spatula, constantly stir until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth.

  • 3)

    Add the butter and stir until completely melted.

  • 4)

    Remove from the heat and add the remaining heavy cream. Stir until fully incorporated. (Note: replace over the double boiler if you cannot manage to incorporate it without any lumps of chocolate)

  • 5)

    Transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours until the ganache is set. It should be firm enough to hold the shape but smooth enough to pipe on the cake.

    Note: If the ganache is too firm, place it in a microwave in a 5-10-second burst until you reach the right consistency.

Cherry Filling

  • 1)

    Add the cherries with sugar into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, frequently stirring, until the cherries start to boil and begin to break down.

  • 2)

    In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and the cornstarch until fully dissolved. Pour the cornstarch juice into your cherry mixture and turn your heat to medium-low. Stir constantly with a whisk for a few additional minutes or until everything thickens, and the cornstarch turns clear. Note: the cherry filling will thicken as it cools.

  • 3)

    Remove from the heat. Optional: add a ½ tablespoon of Kirsch and stir.

    Pour the cherry filling into a bowl to cool. Cover with plastic wrap, touching the surface, and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight. When ready to use, stir with a spoon to smooth a little bit.

Chocolate Cakes

  • 1)

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), fan off. Line two 8-inch (20cm) round cake pans with baking paper or grease with baking spray.

  • 2)

    In a large bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add in the sugar and salt. Whisk until combined.

  • 3)

    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients: eggs, milk, water, vanilla and oil. Mix until combined but do not over-mix.

  • 4)

    Divide the batter between two cake tins (about 450 g in each tin) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Note: I place wet cake strips around the pans. It helps keep the sides moist and limits the dome on the top, but it usually takes 5 extra minutes to bake the cakes. So, start to monitor the cake after 15 minutes of baking.

  • 5)

    Let the cakes cool in their pans for 5 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack. Allow them to cool completely.

Assembly

  • 1)

    Once the cakes are baked and cooled, proceed to the assembly. Using a cake leveler or a long-serrated knife, level the cakes if needed to remove any domes and to have flat cakes.

  • 2)

    Place the first cake on a cake board. Place some ganache in a piping bag and pipe a rim around the edge of the first cake layer: it will create a dam, and your filling won’t slip.

    Then, spoon the cherry filling in the center until the edge of the dam.

  • 3)

    Top with the second layer, making sure the layer cake is upside down to have a perfectly flat surface on the top.

  • 4)

    Using an offset spatula, cover the sides and the edge of the top of the cake with the ganache. Make sure the ganache is soft enough; it will make things easier. Then, smooth the side with a scraper / smoother. Tips: Pour hot water on your spatula and scraper and wipe it off; it will help smoothen and apply the ganache.

  • 5)

    Place the remaining ganache in a piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (Wilton 2D) and decorate the top with a giant rosette, leaving 1 inch of space from the edge and then pipe small blobs all around. Add fresh cherries.

Notes

– Store this cake for up to 2 days in the fridge under a cake dome.

– For a nice cut and slice, pour hot water on the blade of your knife and wipe it off after every slice.

– US/UK standard Baking Spoons:  teaspoon: 5ml / tablespoon: 15ml / cup: 240ml

– Scroll back to read tips, variationsstep-by-step photos and FAQ within the blog post that you might find helpful.

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