I’ve always been one for cherries. 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. While I’m partial to eating fresh cherries straight from the bowl. Utilizing their beauty and flavor in festive baked goods is always a means of stopping the show. Which is where our cherry chip cake comes in.
Stemilt’s Bing cherries prove to be no exception this time of year. Sweet and juicy dark cherries ooze with such delicious flavor and texture that it’s hard for me to even want to bake them into something. It’s hard to keep them around long enough without absolutely devouring them! But here, in this cherry chip cake, I took the season’s freshest produce and used it in three different applications. To ultimately capture different aspects of this delicious fruit.
First, the cherries are baked into vanilla cake layers with a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips. The chopped cherries within the cake serve as little fruity nuggets that keep the cake moist and flavorful. Second, the cherries are cooked into a quick jam filling to stuff in between the cake layers. Just barely sweetened and thick enough to coat a spoon, the filling here adds texture, moistens the cake, and makes cut slices vibrant with color. Finally, on top of a blanket of cream cheese buttercream, fresh cherries! They serve as the edible décor for this already stunning cake. Truly, these Stemilt cherries are the literal and proverbial “cherry on top” of this beautiful baked good!
Cherries and chocolate are a natural match made in heaven. When paired with fluffy vanilla cake and a tangy cream cheese frosting, the duo really sings. I recently shared this cake with my family and friends as the centerpiece of a summertime birthday party… And my guests raved about it. People are always surprised by how well the combination works together, and this cake is no exception. I love that the cherries and chocolate don’t overwhelm the cake but instead serve as a balance to the frosting’s sweetness and the cake layers’ fluffy texture.
While a cake with so many elements may seem like a bit of a doozy, almost all parts of this recipe can be prepped and made ahead of time so that assembly is as streamlined as possible.If you are interested in making cake assembly a bit more simple, I recommend prepping the filling and cake layers in advance. Cooled cake layers stack well in a semi-frozen state and the filling will keep in the refrigerator up to a week in advance. Simply prep your frosting when you’d like to assemble to cake and stack away! Just be sure to allow the whole thing (or single slices!) come to a cool room temperature just before serving.
If you can keep yourself from diving right into your bowl of Stemilt Bing cherries, I do hope you’ll give this cherry chip cake a try. Fruit lovers, chocolate lovers, and dessert lovers alike will agree this is a seasonal festive favorite that is well worth the time and effort. Happy baking to you all!