Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake is a homespun cake that tastes like chocolate-covered cherries, and is the perfect treat to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Most recipes add mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries to the batter, but we found that the cherries in canned pie filling tasted better than maraschino cherries, which we reserved for our Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake’s garnish. Draining the jarred cherries and drying them with paper towels ensured the melted chocolate in our recipe adhered to them well.
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1 recipe white cake batter of your choice
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems, drained and wiped dry
Red food coloring
4 cups vanilla buttercream of your choice
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
Drain and rinse cherry pie filling under running water. Press cherries between several layers of paper towels until very dry. Chop cherries fine and reserve 1/2 cup (discard remaining cherries). Gently fold cherries and 1/2 cup chips into cake batter. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and divide batter among pans. Bake on middle rack in 350-degree oven until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely.
Melt remaining 1 1/2 cups chips and shortening in bowl. Holding stems, partially dip maraschino cherries into chocolate and place on parchment-lined plate. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 10 minutes.
Beat 5 drops red food coloring into buttercream; add more coloring as desired.
Spread 3/4 cup buttercream on bottom cake layer. Repeat with 3/4 cup more buttercream and second cake layer. Top with final cake layer and frost top and sides with remaining buttercream. Decorate with whipped cream and cherries.
To invert a cake simply means to flip it upside down in order to remove the cake from the pan. To do this, place a rimmed baking sheet over the top of the cake pan. Grab the cake pan and the baking sheet and flip it upside down so that the cake pan lands on top of the baking sheet. Remove the cake pan.
If your cake’s decorative side is at the bottom of the cake pan, you can use a large decorative serving platter in place of the baking sheet.
If your cake’s decorative side is at the top of the cake pan, like our recipe for Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, you will need to do a second flip. Place a wire rack or a large serving platter over the cake pan and flip it again so that the streusel is at the top of the cake.