Chocolate-Cherry Cake

Chocolate-Cherry Cake

Topped with a pompadour of airy whipped cream frosting — which tastes comfortingly of hot cocoa — this cake is reminiscent of Black Forest gâteau but with more chocolaty depth. The cake’s dark chocolate flavor is enhanced by Dutch-processed cocoa powder, which produces a much deeper, Oreo-like chocolaty taste than natural unsweetened cocoa powder. A glossy, cherry-red layer of preserves keeps the crumb moist and tender, and a splash of almond extract evokes the aromatic bittersweetness of kirsch or maraschino cherries (cherries are, after all, in the same family as almonds). Don’t forget the actual cherries on top; they’ll make you happy.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Prepare the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with olive oil.
  2. Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder until evenly distributed and no lumps remain. To a separate large bowl, add the 1/2 cup oil, eggs, milk, almond extract and salt and whisk until smooth, at least 30 seconds. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the last streak of flour disappears.
  3. Step 3

    Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and tap gently against the counter to pop excess air bubbles. Bake until a skewer or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.
  4. Step 4

    Microwave the cherry preserves in a small bowl in 30-second intervals or in a small saucepan over medium heat until looser and slightly liquidy. Spread the preserves evenly over the cooled cake.
  5. Step 5

    Make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder and salt and pour over the hot water. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, whisk until smooth. Add the heavy cream and continue whisking until billowy soft peaks form. When you turn the whisk upside-down, a peak of cream should flop over slightly like a Santa hat. Spread the frosting over the cake and, if using, garnish with the cherries. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.