Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
This chocolate cherry bundt cake is made from scratch with real cherries, and topped with a rich chocolate fudge frosting. Make with fresh or frozen cherries for a perfect year round treat!
Back in June, I shared this recipe for Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins and mentioned I had two more fresh cherry recipes to share this summer.
Given how much traffic it’s already generated, I’m thrilled to see you guys also love the chocolate and cherry combination (it’s one of my favorites, too) — because here’s another!
This time, we’re going back to my trust favorite baked dessert: the bundt cake! I love bundt cakes because somehow they’re both really easy and a little fancy.
Why bake a sheet cake when you can make a bundt cake in a pretty mold? And then decorate it with some chocolate fudge frosting and fresh cherries. Why, indeed?
A quick Google search shows that most chocolate cherry cakes are made with chocolate cake mix and a jar of cherry pie filling.
I’m sure these are delicious (because how can you go wrong with chocolate cake and cherry pie filling?) but today, we’re going homemade with our chocolate cherry bundt cake.
How to Make Chocolate Cherry Cake from Scratch
The chocolate bundt cake batter is one of my favorites — in fact, it’s based off my chocolate fudge bundt cake and hot chocolate bundt cake.
To turn it into a chocolate cherry bundt cake, we’ll add in some cherries, of course. Skip the cherry pie filling and use real cherries. Fresh or frozen work fine, but I can’t resist baking with fresh cherries this time of year!
We’ll also add in some almond extract because cherry and almond pairs so well together. Adding a little almond extract makes this cake somehow taste even cherry-ier.
How to Make Fudge Frosting for Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
But maybe the very best part of this chocolate cherry bundt cake? The fudge frosting!
Bundt cakes are often left naked, or drizzled with a slight glaze. Not today, friends! We’re mixing up a batch of rich, fudgy chocolate frosting to pour on top.
This fudge frosting really is fudge-like — it’s a recipe similar to old-fashioned boiled fudge, except instead of pouring it into a mold, we’re going to pour it over our cake!
(It’s also easier than fudge – we don’t have to break out a candy thermometer because we don’t need, or want, the fudge to set to a hard consistency; we want it to stay soft enough to cut through with a fork while we eat the cake!)
This is where it gets a little “choose your own dessert adventure”-ish, based on how much cherry flavor you like in your chocolate cherry cake.
Do you LOVE cherries? Use some cherry juice in the frosting, to really amp up the cherry flavor. You can find your own at the grocery store, or blend up some cherries in a blender and strain out the solids.
Do you like cherries but want to keep your fudge frosting as chocolatey as possible? Just stick with milk.
To make this frosting, bring the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and (optional) cherry juice to a hard boil. The most important part of this? Bring the mixture to a boil! It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
For super smooth fudge frosting, make sure the ingredients come to a rolling boil. Fudge is a super-concentrated sugar solution and sets when the sugar (dissolved in the milk) comes back out of solution and forms crystals.
After boiling the mixture, remove from heat and add in the butter and vanilla extract. Beat hard with a wooden spoon until the frosting starts to stiffen, then pour over the cake. It will harden further as it cools!
How to Store Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
This cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for up to 5 days (it’s safe for a bit longer, but will definitely taste stale!), or frozen for up to 3 months.
To make the cake ahead of time, bake the chocolate cherry cake, cool completely, wrap in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil, and freeze. Thaw to room temperature, then add the frosting.
To freeze extra slices of already frosted cake, cut into individual slices and freeze upright on a sheet pan. Once fully frozen and the frosting is hard, wrap each slice in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil, and store in a freezer-safe storage bag.
Tips and Tricks for the best Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
- If using fresh cherries, a cherry pitter makes life easier. I recommend this four-at-a-time cherry pitter.
- No cherry pitter on hand? No problem! To pit a cherry without a cherry pitter, push a plastic straw through the stem of the cherry until the pit pushes out the other side.
- Baking outside of cherry season? Use frozen cherries when you can’t find fresh! Toss the frozen cherries with 1/4 cup of flour to help absorb excess liquid and mix the berries into the batter straight from frozen.
- Looking to perfect your bundt cake baking sills? Definitely give this post on ESSENTIAL BUNDT CAKE TIPS a quick read — it covers everything from how to make sure your bundt cake doesn’t stick to how to prevent the bottom of the cake from doming!
- For a pure chocolate fudge frosting, omit the cherry juice and use 1 full cup of milk instead.
More Cherry Recipes:
- Cherry Chocolate Chunk Muffins
- Cherry Almond Pie
- Watermelon Cherry Popsicles
- Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
- All Fruit Dessert Recipes »
Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
This chocolate cherry bundt cake is made from scratch with real cherries, and topped with a rich chocolate fudge frosting.
For the Cake:
- 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups pitted halved cherries
For the Fudge Frosting:
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup cherry juice
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into 8 cubes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- additional cherries, for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease a 12-cup metal bundt pan.
- Using an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. On low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour in 1/2 cup of the milk.
- On low speed, beat in the remaining dry ingredients (salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, flour, and confectioners' sugar), followed by the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, mixing until just combined and no dry streaks of flour remain. Fold in the chocolate chips and halved cherries.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with a moist crumb. Cool upright on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert and remove from the pan to cool completely.
- While the cake cools, make the chocolate fudge frosting. Mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and cherry juice in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture reaches a hard boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Beat the frosting with a spoon until thick and smooth and the color lightens to a medium brown.
- As soon as the mixture starts to thicken, pour the frosting over the cake, helping it spill down the sides. Decorate with additional cherries, if desired.
Cake will keep stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. To freeze, wrap cake tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Allow to thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.
A Bunsen Burner Bakery Original Protocol
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 601Total Fat: 26.5gCarbohydrates: 90gProtein: 6g
Oh yum! This cake is really gorgeous. And I am sure this tastes heaven, too! Wish I could eat this right now!
Chocolate with cherries os definitely one of my favourite flavour combinations. This cake looks gorgeous, and that frosting sounds so tasty!
Just got a bundt cake pan—I know, I’m late to the game. Gonna take it for a spin with this. Cherry anything with almond extract is my FAVE.
Julie, this recipe is mouthwatering ?. It’s almost midnight but I’m sitting here and drooling over my keyboard ?.
I love the flavor combination of chocolate and cherries. This is one gorgeous cake! That frosting on top takes it over the top. Yum!
Chocolate and cherries is such a delicious classic combo but the chocolate fudge frosting makes this cake extra special. In fact, it looks amazing!
Chocolate and cherry are one of my favorite combinations! This looks perfect to take to a summer picnic! Can’t wait to try it!
I make a chocolate cranberry bundt cake and I’ve been meaning to try it with cherries! Thanks for the delicious reminder! I love the way yours looks, and that thick fudge frosting is to die for!
Giiiiiirl, that drip on the frosting is everything! I love how thick and fluffy the frosting is. This is the perfect thing to break in my new bundt pan!
Can i make this in a 9 inch round cake tin?
Hi Julina — The batter will be way too much for one 9-inch round cake tin. It’s designed for a 12 cup bundt pan, so you’d want to divide the batter up among 3 9-inch cake tins. A better option is two 8×4 inch loaf pans, if you have that available; the batter is designed for a deep pan more similar to a loaf pan than a shorter round pan!
Is there any way to make this with dried cherries? Could I soak them in something?
Hi Isabella — I haven’t tried it myself, but you should be able to reconstitute the cherries. For every 1 cup of dried cherries, use 1/2 cup of water and soak in the refrigerator overnight. Drain any excess water in the morning and use for baking!
Can you substitute granulated sugar for the confectioner’s sugar in the batter? I’m just wondering why you used powered sugar in the batter since most cake recipes out there use granulated sugar.
Hi Shan – this cake batter does use granulated sugar as well, but also has confectioners sugar for the proper texture of this cake. Substituting in more granulated sugar won’t have the same end result.
Can you use black cocoa powder?
Black cocoa powder is VERY bitter and drying in large quantities, so I wouldn’t use all black cocoa. I’d swap in no more than 1/4 of the total volume of cocoa for black cocoa if you’re looking for a darker color and more pronounced chocolate flavor.