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.

The Steps

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.

The Results

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!

Cherry Chip Cake

Ingredients

  • For the cake
  • 3-1/4 cups (420 gm) cake flour, plus more for cherries
  • 2-1/4 cups (450 gm) sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (170 gm) unsalted butter, cold
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 gm) milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped cherries, stemmed and cored
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • For the cherry filling
  • 1-1/2 cups (150 gm) cherries, stemmed and cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the frosting
  • 1-1/2 cups (285 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 block/ 8 ounces (225 gm) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Appx. 5 cups (1-1/2 pounds or 680 gm) of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

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 a hard one to forget.

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  • Yield
    9 servings
  • Prep time
  • Cook time
  • Total time
  • In Category
    dessert.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3-8” cake pans and line their bottoms with rounds of parchment paper cut to fit. Set aside.
  2. 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 stirred. Add the butter in tablespoon-sized chunks and medium-low speed and continue to stir 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 chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons of flour and fold the mixture into the batter. Divide the batter between the three pans and bake until a tester inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. 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 with a potato masher. Once the mixture is smooth, bring to a boil, stirring regularly, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from heat to a small bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Chill completely in the refrigerator completely prior to using.
  4. To prepare the frosting, beat the butter on medium speed in a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer (I use 4 on my 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 tablespoon of water or milk at a time to get the frosting the right consistency. Refrigerate as needed to thicken the frosting up.
  5. To assemble the cake, 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 (see notes) 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” 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 (crumb coat) all over the cake and allow it to set up 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.