Double cherry chocolate cake: A favorite candy in cake form

Chocolate covered cherry cordials. You either love ’em, or you hate ’em. Me, I stand firmly in this camp:

Love ’em! I’ve loved them since I was a little girl, when my mother would share one or two from the box my dad would get her for Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

I even had a certain approach to eating one of these little bombs of goodness. First, you turned the dome upside-down, and inspected the bottom for drips of syrup. These were licked off, then tiny nibbles were taken all around the bottom edge to break the seal.

Next, you used your front teeth to pry off the bottom cap of chocolate. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

Left with basically a chocolate cup filled with syrup and a cherry, I would do my best impression of a Russian vodka lover tossing back a jigger. Head back, swift shot down the throat. Lastly, I would stuff the remaining cup of chocolate into my mouth somewhat inelegantly and think about having another.

Over the years I’ve eaten many a box of cordials; experimented with making my own, and eaten some gourmet chocolate cherries along the way, too. When looking for a new direction for a chocolate Bundt cake, I couldn’t help but think of a giant cherry cordial in Bundt form.

Fresh cherries weren’t in season while I was developing this recipe, so I turned to dried cherries, plus maraschino cherries and their juice*. Chunks of chocolate in a deep-dark, fudgy, cherry-studded cake – here we are, in business!

Let’s make Double Cherry Chocolate Cake.

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Dried fruits can be made softer by a little steeping in liquid. While you’re gathering and measuring your ingredients, place 1 cup chopped dried cherries in 2 cups milk. and let sit.

When you’re ready to make the batter, drain the cherries and reserve them in a bowl. Save your cherry-flavored milk for the batter.

*Yes, you can use 1 cup of fresh cherries diced up. They aren’t super juicy like strawberries, so I’d reduce the milk by only 1/4 cup.

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Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt pan. Bundt cakes are notorious for sticking, so be sure to grease and flour well, skip the pan spray this time.

In the bowl of your mixer combine:

8 tablespoons soft butter
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup of the reserved milk

Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape the bowl well.

Add the remaining 1 cup of milk, plus 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice. Beat for another 2 minutes.

Add the plumped cherries, 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, and 1 cup chocolate chips or discs.  Blend on low speed for 1 minute to combine.

If you have discs or wafers, definitely try them in this recipe. The big melted pools of chocolate with the cherry pieces are just divine.

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Bake the cake for 40 t0 50 minutes. One key way to know if the cake is fully baked is to check the cracks. Cracks are normal for this cake, and should look moist but not wet.

The toothpick/cake tester method is excellent as well, but chances are you’ll hit a pocket of chocolate and that can always throw things off.

By the way, did you know that a strand of uncooked spaghetti makes a great cake tester for deep bundt cakes? You can get to the center much more easily than a toothpick.

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See? Moist but not really wet at the bottom of the crack.

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Set the pan on a rack and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out carefully and allow it to cool completely before slicing and serving.

If you’d like even more cherry flavor, you can brush on 1/4 cup Kirsch or cherry liqueur as the cake cools. A simple vanilla glaze over the top of the cake is all that’s needed for decoration.

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Double Cherry Chocolate Cake. 

Print just the recipe.

So, how do you feel about cherries and chocolate? Raspberries more your thing? Leave us a comment about your favorite fruit and chocolate combo. Who knows, it may lead to another great recipe!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Ilsa Bick

    I’ve just put this in the oven and so I will reserve judgement on the final product. BUT this has to be one of the most poorly-designed recipes I’ve ever tried. First off, all the ingredients aren’t REALLY listed so you can have everything ready and set up. Slipping in that, oh by the way, you also need maraschino cherry juice and some chopped cherries was . . . well, a surprise. Thank heavens, I read the recipe well ahead of time. But that’s just ridiculous. ALL ingredients should be listed right off the bat.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Ilsa, in our blog posts the link to the recipe can be found below the title photo, highlighted in orange. The recipe page does include the list of ingredients, along with step-by-step directions. Here’s the link to the recipe for the Double Cherry Chocolate Cake. Barb@KAF

  2. Carol

    Just made the recipe for the first time! I didn’t have maraschino cherries so I used bing cherries and juice that I canned. Worked nicely.
    I am wondering, can I convert this recipe to use self rising flour?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Carol, we think this recipe would work best with the all-purpose flour called for. Self-rising flour doesn’t have quite the protein content you need for this cake, and the baking powder contained in the self-rising flour may be excessive. Barb@KAF

  3. susan

    For the bakers who had the cherries and chocolate fall to the bottom. A very wise Italian grandmother taught me to take w little flour or cocoa powder from the recipe and toss with the add ins. It would prevent the pieces from falling to the bottom. You don’t need much, maybe a tablespoon or so. And remember to add the remaining flour back in. Pat dry any wet ingredients and then toss.

    Recipe looks wonderful! Will hopefully be baking this for my guys at work soon!

    Reply
  4. Bridgid

    I love dark chocolate with cherry, with raspberry, with coconut (and especially coconut & almond), with mint, but especially with ORANGE.

    And we eat chocolate covered cherries similarly, except instead of taking it as a shot, I would stick my tongue in the cream or liquid, lap it up, and then eat the cherry separately. Then I’d finish off the shell.

    I used to make chocolate covered cherries – I’d soak the cherries in blackhaus, or ameretto, or kirsch. Made great gifts.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      There really isn’t anything that dark chocolate can’t go well with as far as I’m concerned! I wish I was on the lucky receiving end of that cherry-filled gift bag! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  5. Biffhank

    I think raspberries make an amazing mix with chocolate. It’s funny, though. I worked with a gal for 7 years who didn’t like fruit and dark chocolate (she was ok with white) with the exception of bananas and dark chocolate. Now I look at fruit and chocolate with less enthusiasm because of that exposure. I know it is good but my brain worked so long to think otherwise I tend to avoid the mix. But I think fresh raspberries would be great. My gardeners loved Kirsch added to another recipe. Would it be ok to do 1 cup of chopped fresh Bing-type cherries and 1/4 cup of Kirsch instead of the cherry juice in the cake or just stick to the Kirsch on the outside to soak in? Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Margaret UK

    Hi again. Thanks for the confirmation. The cake took 65 mins to cook (using my beautiful new Nordicware bundt chiffon tin) and I tried the spaghetti test. What a good idea! Much better than my expensive cake thermometer. Anyway, I have to say I was very slightly disappointed as the cherries seemed to vanish (not many of them in the ingredients list) and the whole cake, while lovely, just didn’t seem to have a lot of chocolate flavour. I do love your site and will try other recipes from it.

    Reply
  7. Margaret UK

    I have this cake in the oven and am typing this with fingers crossed as the batter seems too thin to support the fruit – although I’m sure that, as professionals, you will have a good reason for this. One other thing – I’m from the UK and don’t find it easy to use the cup method, preferring grams or ounces. I am very pleased that you have the converter but am puzzled why the liquid for the metric measure is in grams. Do you really mean we should weigh the milk? It would be easier if you could put the liquids in millilitres.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins, post author

      Yes, you can absolutely weigh the milk. Our recipe conversion program automatically converts to grams for us, based on the ounces that we put in. ~ MJ

  8. wendyb964

    Can’t wait to make this for my little sis who used to eat boxes of the things and remained rail thin. The best tip I’ve found recently to keep cakes from sticking to bundt pans is to refrigerate the pan after greasing and flouring while mixing the cake batter. So much nicer than nicking it out of the pan, and it only seems to happen when the cake is to be given away. btw, with our now smaller household, I always use two half-size bundt pans or, for a round cake, half the recipe to make 6″ layers instead of 9″.

    Great tip!-Jon

    Reply

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