Fresh Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache

A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries! Cherries are my best friend and nemesis. Talk about being like Katy Perry. Get it? Haha.

They are my best friend when I’m just popping them in my mouth to eat and can spit out the pit.
They become my nemesis when I need to get the pit out with the cherry still somewhat intact.

A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries! I know I could buy a cherry pitter, but it seems kind of silly because it’s going to sit unused for 9+ months out of the year. And I really don’t need another appliance taking up space in our tiny house. Plus I already have a prop addiction so I guess my fingers are losing this battle because they are just going to have to pit the cherries themselves.

I usually just cut the cherry in half and then dig out the pit from one of those sides. Ryan has a more creative technique. He likes to cut the cherry 4 times, cutting around the pit in a square or rectangle.

A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries! I was browsing youtube for creative ways to pit a cherry and there are a ton of ideas! I wish I would have used some of those techniques when I made this cake. I guess I thought there wasn’t another way to pit a cherry unless I had a cherry pitter. Here are some I found:

A paper clip – undo the paper clip so you have an s-shape and use the larger end to cut a circle around the pit, entering where the stem is.

A bottle and a skewer/chopstick – Place the cherry on the neck of a skinny bottle. Use the skewer/chopstick to push the pit down into the bottle.

A piping tip – Push the piping tip into the cherry entering where the stem was. The cherry should go inside the piping tip, then pull it out and discard of the pit.

Do you have any other unique ways to pit a cherry? I am definitely going to try the bottle and skewer technique next time!

A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries! This cake can be broken down into 4 steps – bake, fill, frost and garnish.

We recently shared a tutorial on how to bake a cake and later this week we’ll be sharing a tutorial on how to make buttercream. Definitely utilize those resources to help you along the way!

After you bake the cake layers, which I HIGHLY recommend using a homemade bake even strip during the baking process, and after you whip up the buttercream, the next step is to fill the cake.

How to fill a cake with cherry buttercream. Take the first cake layer and place it on a cardboard cake circle that has been smeared with a little buttercream, this will help the cake stick to the circle and not move around. Add your desired amount of buttercream on top of the first layer. Add a handful of chopped cherries, spreading them around the cake, then carefully add a bit more buttercream, kind of helping to seal in the cherries. Adding more buttercream on top of the cherries will prevent cherry juice from leaking into the cake layers and dying the cake.

A quick tip – To ensure that you have the same amount of buttercream in-between each layer, measure the buttercream in a measuring cup! For example, put 1/4 cup of buttercream in-between each layer.

Onto the third step, frost the cake. Add an even coat of buttercream on the sides and top of the cake. Don’t be skimpy on the frosting here! After you frosted the cake, place it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to chill.

A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries! Fourth step – garnish. Once the chocolate ganache is room temperature, use a spoon to drizzle the ganache around the edges of the cake, allowing it to naturally drizzle down the sides. Once the edges have ganache, now go back and fill in the middle, adding more ganache and using a spoon to spread it smooth. After the ganache has set for 10-15 minutes, add mini chocolate chips around the outside of the cake and place cherries in the middle of the cake.

A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries!

Fresh Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

White Cake (repeat this recipe for each layer - that way you can decide how many layers you want)

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 5 & 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cherry Buttercream

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cherry puree
  • 1/4 cup chopped cherries, to go in-between each layer

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

To top the cake

  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Cherries

Directions:

White Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. Using butter, grease the bottom and sides of an 6 inch round cake pan or springform pan and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around the pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the egg whites, beat again.
  4. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract, mix until smooth.
  5. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, gently mix with a spoon. Gradually add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, do not dump it in, rather take spoonfuls of the flour mixture and gently shake it over the wet ingredients, as if you were sifting in the flour. Fold in the mixture until no flour remains. Repeat with the other half of the flour, folding it in and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate everything. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan, using a spatula to evenly spread it out.
  6. Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife. Make sure the cake is completely cooled, then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This cake is good for up to one week like this.

Cherry Buttercream

  1. Pit cherries to make cherry puree. Place the cherries in a blender and puree until smooth. Measure 1/2 cup of puree and set aside.
  2. In a mixing large bowl, combine the butter and vegetable shortening, beat using an electric mixer until fluffy, 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and cherry puree, beat using electric mixer.
  4. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1-2 cups at a time, mixing by hand first, then with the electric mixer. Continue adding powdered sugar until the frosting tastes good and isn't too wet.

Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl.
  2. In a small pot over low heat, heat the heavy cream until just before boiling.
  3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to stand for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Use a spatula to stir the mixture until smooth.
  5. Allow the ganache to come to room temperature before adding it to the cake.

To assemble the cake

  1. Spread a small amount of buttercream on a 6 inch round cardboard cake circle. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the first layer and spread it as even as possible with an offset spatula. Decide how much or how little frosting you want in-between each layer.
  2. Evenly place chopped cherries on top of the buttercream.
  3. Spread more buttercream on top of the cherries. This will help seal the cherries into the buttercream and prevent the juice from seeping into the cake.
  4. Repeat this process for each layer of cake. Once all of the layers are stacked and frosted, it’s time to do a crumb coat. The crumb coat will help seal the crumbs in. Using your offset spatula, spread a thin layer of buttercream around the sides and the top of the cake. It’s easiest to start off with more frosting on the cake and remove some as needed.
  5. Place the entire cake in the fridge for 20 minutes to harden the crumb coat.
  6. Begin to add the second layer of frosting, starting with the top of the cake and working your way down to the sides. Try to get the buttercream as even as possible around the cake. Place the cake in the fridge for 20-30 more minutes.
  7. Once the ganache is room temperature, use a spoon to drizzle the ganache around the sides of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Fill in the middle of the cake with ganache and spread evenly with the back of the spoon. Allow the ganache to set for 10 minutes.
  8. Place mini chocolate chips around the outside of the cake.
  9. Add cherries to the center of the cake.
  10. Serve and enjoy.
I know our recipe calls for 1 & 1/2 egg whites, which is kind of goofy. Do your best to measure out half of an egg white. I like to whisk it with a fork first, then use a tablespoon to measure it.
A 3 layer white cake filled with chopped cherries and cherry buttercream. Topped with a drizzled chocolate ganache and fresh cherries!
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42 Responses to “Fresh Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache”

  1. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor — August 24, 2015 at 7:25 am

    Gosh, this cake looks incredible, Beth! I love fresh cherries and the combination with chocolate is perfection. You always make the most beautiful cakes!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Awww thank you Ashley! I must have cake on my brain :)

  2. Stephanie — August 24, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!! I don’t even know if I could eat it. I just want to put it on the table and look at it :)

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      YES! We can freeze it in time?!

  3. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — August 24, 2015 at 9:19 am

    This is one beautiful cake! Just wow!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Thank you Cathy!!

  4. Kelly - Life Made Sweeter — August 24, 2015 at 9:48 am

    This cake is so gorgeous, Beth! Love the fresh cherries. I don’t have a cherry pitter either and usually use the chopstick method over the sink since the juice tends to splatter a bit. It would be totally worth it for a slice of this cake though :)

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      I’m going to have to give that method a try!

  5. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits — August 24, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Beth, I know I say this about your cakes all the time, but this looks SO good. I’ve seen the bottle/chopstick trick before, but I have yet to try it. I can totally see how it would work though! Also, I would love to know how to tie a knot with the cherry stems inside my mouth. I don’t know why, but it seems like a cool party trick!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Hahaaa!! I am sure you can youtube that :)

  6. Medha @ Whisk & Shout — August 24, 2015 at 11:06 am

    I love the fresh cherries here and they pair amazingly with the chocolate :) This is such a centerpiece cake!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      That is a great way to describe it Medha! Thank you!

  7. Michelle @ Blackberry Babe — August 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

    OMG Beth! Every day you succeed in making me SO HUNGRY. This cake looks sinful! 

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Muahahaa!! I succeeded :)

  8. Cate | Chez CateyLou — August 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Wow, those are some creative ways to pit cherries!  I’m with you – love eating them but hate working with them!  But it was totally worth it for this cake – SO GOOD!  And so pretty. Just LOVE it!!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Sounds like we both need to give these cherry pitting techniques a try!

  9. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life — August 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    This cake is absolutely gorgeous!!!!  I love the use of the old pans too…I have been looking for some at thrift stores with no luck yet!!!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      I am a prop junkie for sure, I even have neighbors on the lookout for old bakeware!

  10. Danae @ Recipe Runner — August 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Ugh pitting cherries is such a pain! On top of it taking forever it stains everything from the cutting board, to my hands, and usually my shirt gets hit with some juice too. However I absolutely love them and I love them even more all over this beautiful cake!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Yes! The cutting board! How did I forget it always stains!!

  11. Meg @ With Salt and Wit — August 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    All I can say is I LOVE cherries for the same reason. And hate them for the same reasons! And I definitely bought a cherry pitter and have yet to use it..ha. 
    And do you ship cakes? Because my 30th birthday is at the end of September I can’t see a better dessert to celebrate with…just sayin ;) 

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 24, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      Girl, for you and baby, I will ship this cake!

  12. I have no idea where to even start. This cake is stunning. It is truly art. How in the world do you even cut it? Please tell me how you cut this cake. LOL. I don’t have a pitter either, I just use a chopstick, but not the bottle, that is new to me and I have to say, I am going to try it. 

    • Beth @ The First Year — September 3, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      The only secret I have to cutting a cake is cleaning the knife in between each cut, that way you have super clean cut lines!

  13. Michelle | A Latte Food — August 25, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Okay, Beth, this cake is straight gorgeous! I absolutely love chocolate and cherries–this cake looks heavenly!

  14. Hello, handsome Cake! You look absolutely gorgeous! And you’re right, Beth, about the cherry pitter. It’s better to have more space for another 10 cookie cutters, haha (just teasing):) Well done!

    • Beth @ The First Year — August 25, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Hahaha, you read my mind completely :)

  15. Mary @chattavore — August 26, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    So pretty, Beth!

  16. Eden Passante — October 21, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    What a gorgeous cake! Love the flavor combination of chocolate and cherries too! So pretty!

  17. Laura Tweed — February 20, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I need to let you know this is my most requested cake – friends, family and FB.  This was the best recipe I have tried in a long time.  Kudos to you for an amazing recipe, great tutorial and great blog.  Thanks for giving us updates.  I can’t wait to try the new recipe for the chocolate cake, peanut butter buttercream with chocolate chard’s!

    Thanks again,

    LT

    • Beth @ The First Year — February 23, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Laura, I think you made my night. Thank you!!

  18. Suzanne — February 29, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I know this is a stupid question, but how many layers of 6 inch cake did you use for this cherry cake that is pictured? Also, is the buttercream amount you list only enough to frost one 6 inch layer? I know the ingredients you list for the cake is for each layer of the cake, but didn’t know about the frosting? Thanks so much.

    • Beth @ The First Year — March 1, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      I used three 6 inch cakes. And the buttercream recipe will make enough to frost the entire cake!

  19. Soumya Srinivasan — March 3, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Beth,
    This cake looks absolutely gorgeous .. I am a novice at cake baking but I feel with your helpful tips , I should be able to bake one next week. I will keep you posted on how I go :)

    • Beth @ The First Year — March 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Share a picture if you can!!

  20. Anna — March 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Hi,

    I’m eager to bake this cake, but I have one question regarding the ingredients.  You listed “1 & 1/2 egg whites”  – do you mean 1 1/2 cups of egg whites?  I have no clue how to divide an egg white-LOL!

    Thanks!

    • Beth @ The First Year — March 28, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Anna! It’s 1 and 1/2 egg whites. Whisk 1 egg white and only use about half of it :)

  21. Daniela — June 4, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Loved it! I’m throwing a party today and decided to make this cake. I’m in Brazil, so I need to make some substitutions. Instead of sour cream, I’ll use yogurt, and maraschino cherries . Let’s hope it’s as awesome as yours. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  22. Emily — June 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I am planning to make this but I only have 9″ springform pans. Do you think I can get away with making a 2 layered cake using the same amount of ingredients listed in your recipe?

    • Beth @ The First Year — June 15, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Yes I think so!

  23. Saski Trent — June 17, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I’m picking up 18 lbs of fresh cherries tomorrow with my Bountiful Basket. I am totally making this cake for Father’s Day and trying out the piping tip pitting idea. My mom suggested soaking the cherries in a cherry liquor over night similar to a Schwartzwaldee Kirschtorte (Black Forest cake). I am so excited to make this elegant cake for the men in my life!

    • Beth @ The First Year — June 20, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Oh, that sounds amazing!!

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