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Moist Chocolate Cake from Scratch With Cream Cheese Frosting & Cherry Ganache Filling Recipe
Chocolate Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Plus Bonus Cherry Ganache
You would be hard-put to find someone who doesn’t love cherries. Scattered over ice cream, wrapped in a pie crust or savored with a tall glass of milk, cherries are irresistible. Drying intensifies their flavor and makes them available year-round, to tweak a culinary creation or as a healthy snack.
Brandied cherries folded into a ganache filling takes this cake to the next level. Skip the cream cheese frosting for a less-sweet dessert and serve the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar. For special occasions, add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for extra elegance. Accompanied by brandy-spiked coffee or a stout beer such as Guinness, you'll have an outstanding finale to any meal.
So are you ready for some cake? First, please enjoy my "Ode to Cherries".
An Ode to Cherries
I am a legend in my own right.
Immortalized over 2,000 years ago, I have been many things to many people: raised by medieval monks and summoned to pamper royalty, I was sought as a healer of lethal illness and as a talisman against evil spirits. Ancient Greeks were captivated by my blood-red hue; Odes commemorated my beauty. To the Japanese I was the very symbol of beauty, courtesy and modesty; to others I am the embodiment of passion and lust.
But life has not been a bowl of cherries.
Unable to have me, powerful men have pined away or taken their own lives. My hidden virtues have been exploited to obliterate enemies. Once accused of murder, I was later acquitted for lack of evidence.
Legend, myth and lore aside...
I am nothing more than a humble fruit, at my best when partnered with chocolate such as in this fudgy confection. But be forewarned: in such company I become even more decadent, seductive and unforgettable.
Men have killed for less.
Do You Have a Sweet Tooth?
- Try Dark Chocolate Bark with Carmelized Nuts & Pink Salt or Chewy Blondies with Chocolate Chips & Salted Caramel for a quick and easy sweet snack.
- Decadent Mocha Almond Sundaes are a delicious option for hot summer days, as are Fudgy Ice Cream Sandwiches or Horchata Ice Cream with Bananas & Butter Caramel Sauce.
- It's hard to beat High Altitude Banana Rum Bundt Cake.
- Make Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting for your next party.
- You can't eat just one Soft & Gooey Maple-Oat Cinnamon Bun.
- Sample Blackberry & Lemon Mini Bundt Cakes
- Yellow Cupcakes With Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- A tip from Cook's Illustrated: dissolving cocoa in boiling water enhances the cocoa's flavor and makes for an extra chocolatey cake.
- Dutch-processed (alkalized) cocoa produces a black cake while natural (nonalkalized) cocoa gives the cake a redder hue.
- Allow eggs to return to room temperature before use.
- If you can melt chocolate, you can make ganache. Although ganache may sound fancy, it's just a blend of melted chocolate and heavy cream.
- Soaking cherries overnight in liquor plumps them and boosts the cherry flavor.
- Allow cake layers to cool thoroughly before removing them from pans.
Moist Chocolate Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting
Cake recipe adapted from Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake
Give This Cake As A Gift
Give this cake as a gift, as mentioned by Suzie HQ in "How to Make A Creative Gift". You'll save money and your friend or family member will be so impressed and grateful!
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups white sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Grease the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans. Line with waxed or parchment paper and again butter and flour the pans.
- In a bowl or 4-cup measuring cup combine milk and vinegar to make sour milk. Allow to rest for a few minutes as you measure out the dry ingredients.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and soda into a medium mixing bowl. Add butter, eggs and extracts to the sour milk.
- Pour the salt and wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a hand mixer for 2 minutes.
- Add the cocoa powder to the boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Quickly add to the cake batter, mixing until just combined.
- Distribute batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick tester come out clean.
- Cool cakes in pans for 30 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.
Click here for SuzieHQ's fabulous DYI beauty treatment: Homemade Cherry Face Mask Recipe!
Cherry Ganache Filling
- 1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 10 oz. (300 grams) dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer water and sugar until dissolved. Add brandy and turn off heat.
- Pour sugar/brandy mixture over dried cherries and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day: drain the cherries, reserving the soaking liquid.
- Chop dark chocolate and melt in a microwave or double boiler.
- Warm the cream and butter. Whisk 1/4 cup of soaking liquid, warm cream and butter into the melted chocolate until smooth.
- Fold in the plumped cherries. Store ganache in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- When the ganache is firm enough to hold its shape, as seen in the photo above, proceed with the instructions "How to Assemble the Cake".
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces butter, softened
- 2 Tablespoons whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons brandy
- 1 teaspoon each almond and vanilla extract
- 5 cups powdered sugar (625 grams or 20 ounces)
- Place ingredients, except the powdered sugar, in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, whip until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, a cupful at a time, and continue beating until smooth and stiff enough to spread.
How to Assemble the Cake
- Spread ganache filling thickly over one of the cooled cake layers.
- Place the cake layers in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, or until the ganache is firm.
- Place the second cake layer on top of the ganached layer.
- Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting all over the cake.
- Return cake to the refrigerator for 30 minutes, until frosting is firm.
- Frost the entire cake with a thick layer of frosting.
- Decorate with chocolate syrup and maraschino cherries.