The following recipe and photography were provided by our partner, Stemilt and Kate Wood.
Whether mixed into boozy drinks, served on top of ice cream sundaes or baked into buttery stone fruit cobblers, cherries just seem to make things better. Utilizing their beauty and flavor in festive baked goods is always a means of stopping the show. Which is where this cherry chip cake comes in.
Cherries and chocolate are a natural match made in heaven and when paired with fluffy vanilla cake and a tangy cream cheese frosting, the combination really sings, making this Cherry Chip Cake hard to forget.
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For the Cake
- 3 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for cherries
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups chopped cherries, stemmed and cored
- 1 cup Heinen's mini chocolate chips
For the Cherry Filling
- 1 1/2 cups cherries, stemmed, cored and diced
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, stirring on low speed with the paddle attachment until well combined.
- Add the butter in tablespoon-sized chunks continue to stir on medium-low speed until the flour takes on a cornmeal-type consistency, about 3 minutes.
- Add the milk and vanilla and increase the speed to medium. Beat for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the eggs, one at a time, and stir to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Toss the cherries and Heinen’s mini chocolate chips with 3 Tbsp. of flour and fold the mixture into the batter. Divide the batter between the three pans and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
- To prepare the cherry filling, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir well to evenly coat the cherries. As the cherries cook, smash with the back of a fork or potato masher.
- Once the mixture is smooth, bring to a boil, stirring regularly, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat into a small bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Chill completely in the refrigerator prior to using.
- To prepare the frosting, beat the butter on medium speed in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy, scraping the bowl as necessary.
- Add the cream cheese and beat to incorporate for an additional minute. Add the salt, vanilla and powdered sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until well combined. Do not overbeat as this can cause the cream cheese to loosen. If needed, add a Tbsp. of water or milk at a time to get the frosting to the right consistency. Refrigerate as needed to help the frosting thicken.
- To assemble, use a serrated knife to level the cakes. Smooth a small amount of frosting on an 8” cake board or plate and center a single cake layer on top.
- Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe a dam around the outer rim of the top of the cake. The dam should be at least ¼-inch tall to prevent the raspberry filling from squirting out the sides. Spread approximately half of the cherry filling inside the dam and sprinkle with about 1/3 of the leftover mini chocolate chips. Pipe a bit of frosting on top of the cherry filling to help the next layer of cake stick.
- Stack the second cake layer on top and repeat the entire process once more.
- Place the final cake layer on top. Spread a thin coat of frosting all over the cake and allow it to set in the fridge prior to applying the final coat of frosting. You can skip this step if desired. Decorate the top of the cake with chocolate chips and cherries, if desired.
- Cake will keep in the refrigerator, covered in plastic, for up to three days.