Cherry chocolate chip cake is a fluffy white triple layer cake stuffed with the decadence of chocolate covered cherries – perfect for Valentine’s Day!
cherry chocolate chip cake

What is it that they say about “best laid plans”?

If you’re a long time reader, then you know I try to reserve my most decadent of decadents for Friday, but UGH. LIFE.

A cloudy morning + earlier than normal lab meeting + THERE IS NEVER ENOUGH TIME meant that yesterday morning I had to choose between photographing this cake or a salad.

I’ll give you one guess what won.


So….Thursday Cake and Friday Salad!

It’s a really good, Friday-worthy salad I promise.

And this cake is really too good for Thursdays, which are pretty much the black sheep of the workweek.

But here we are. Let’s roll with it.


It makes you want to do cartwheels, doesn’t it?



I wish I could tell you there was some really deep meaning or inspiration behind this cake to make up for the whole Thursday/Friday mix-up, but honestly I just typed “Valentine’s Day” into the America’s Test Kitchen website.

And there it was.

They described it as tasting like chocolate covered cherries but BETTER.

In typical ATK fashion…they were right.


The cake base is pretty much the fluffiest of fluffy white cakes with some mini chocolate chips and cherry pie filling cherries mixed in. The cherry pie filling itself is drained before you use it so that all the high fructose corn syrup goes down the drain while you are left with, well, just the cherries. It’s a good deal.

BAKE –> COOL –> FROST with EASY, FLUFFY vanilla buttercream that has been dyed just the slightest hint of pink. Garnish with mini chocolate chips and some good old maraschinos.

Perfect for Valentine’s Day or, you know, Thursday. Just because.


Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake
Cherry chocolate chip cake is a fluffy white triple layer cake stuffed with the decadence of chocolate covered cherries - perfect for Valentine's Day!
Yield: 1 triple layer cake
For the cake
  • nonstick baking spray
  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups cake flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for decoration
  • 1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained
For the buttercream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 20 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
  2. Drain and rinse the cherry pie filling with cold water. Press cherries between two paper towels, making sure they are as dry as possible. Chop finely and measure out ½ cup. Discard the rest.
  3. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg whites, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low to combine. Add the butter to the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  5. Add in all but ½ cup of the milk mixture to the batter. Mix on medium speed for 1½ minutes. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat for another 30 seconds. Scrape down the mixer bowl and then beat for another 20 seconds.
  6. Fold the chopped cherries and the chocolate chips into the batter. Divide evenly among the three cake pans. Bake for 21-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cakes rest in their pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a large plate and invert again onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  8. For the buttercream, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and mix on low until starting to combine, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat on medium speed for 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the vanilla and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, and then increase speed to medium-high. Beat for another 4 minutes, or until fluffy. Beat a few drops of pink food coloring into the frosting and beat until combined.
  9. Spread ¾ cup of buttercream onto the bottom cake layer. Top with the middle layer and then frost that with ¾ cup of buttercream. Top with the final layer and frost the top and sides with the remaining buttercream. Garnish with the maraschino cherries and any remaining chocolate chips.
Adapted very slightly from Cook's Country
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice

 More decadent cakes:

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Devil’s Food Cake with Angel Frosting

the lovers, the dreamers and you rainbow cake

The Lovers, The Dreamers and You Rainbow Cake

red velvet and cinnamon layer cake

Red Velvet and Cinnamon Layer Cake

From Around the Web:

Chocolate Cake with Mexican Chocolate Frosting from Baking A Moment

Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes from Baked By Rachel

Mocha Cake with Nutella Italian Meringue Buttercream from La Peche Fraiche

Double Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream Filling from Spoonful of Flavor

Marzipan Moose Mousse Cake from My Name is Yeh


Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake
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58 Responses to Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake

  1. Beth says:

    Oh, Joanne, that is one beautiful cake. I can see how it won out over a salad. I’m already busy trying to think of a reason to bake this cake, today!

  2. Zainab says:

    Girl I like Thursdays at your place!! This is just beautiful and I just want a slice 🙂

  3. I saw you post this on Instagram and was drooling already! Everything about this cake is amazing. I’ll take a slice, please! Thanks for including a link to my recipe 🙂

  4. This cake is SO much fun and completely just makes me smile. Good call choosing cake over salad.

  5. Sues says:

    Um, this is one of the most glorious looking cakes I’ve ever seen. Whyyyy don’t I live in NYC so I can stop by your apartment for a piece?!? But then I might not ever leave 🙂

  6. Barbara says:

    That’s one fun cake, Joanne. It just makes you smile…seeing all those maraschino cherries complete with their stems on top. Really, quite retro. Yes, much better than salad!

  7. This cake is an absolute stunner and I think cake on Friday is overrated anyway— Cake-Thursday for the WIN!

  8. Gorgeous!!!!!!! A slice of this beautiful cake would go really well with my morning coffee right now 🙂 A girl can dream….

  9. June Burns says:

    Oh wow that looks amazing! I can definitely appreciate cherry + chocolate in cake 🙂

  10. Mira says:

    This cake looks beautiful and delicious! Cake on Thursday is even better, so I can make it for Friday 🙂 Pinned!

  11. Cherry chip is one of my favorites! Every year, Josh buys a box mix to make it for me (he’s really not the best baker…) but maybe next year I’ll make him give this one a try!

  12. Corina says:

    You’re tempting me so much with this. I love making cakes at the moment and this one looks amazing without being too complicated!

  13. Kathryn says:

    Hurrah for Thursday cake! This sounds amazing – my boyfriend loves chocolate + cherry so I should definitely surprise him with this on the big V day.

  14. Heather says:

    There is nothing my husband loves more than chocolate covered cherries, so I am going to save this and make it for his birthday!! Only problem is that I have to wait until May. :p

  15. I will take a cherry-chocolate-chip-cake from ATK any day of the week!!! this is gorgeous!

  16. SallyBR says:

    Oh, my…. I don’t even like cakes that much and here I am salivating all over the keyboard….


  17. Absolutely stunning and I loooove all the cherries stuffed inside! Your husband is one lucky man!

  18. Natalie says:

    I love cherries and have been known to go overboard on them…aka this cake is my dream!

  19. Danguole says:

    There are few things in life that are always true, and one of them is “ATK is right.” And I like a good salad on a Friday — looking forward to it!

  20. You are killing me with this cake. I love cherry pie filling and will eat it right out of the can with a spoon. Bookmarking this to make when I am NOT on a diet…lol.

  21. Meg says:

    Man, we love ATK! My husband and I were especially addicted to it when we did not have cable . . . it was on a local cooking channel, one of the few we actually could get. This cake is gorgeous! I’m sure it tastes fantastic. I could dive in right now.

  22. Wed. coffee talk, and cake Thurs. …I think it’s just perfect. I wish I could have a slice too.

  23. Kelly says:

    Gorgeous cake! I love that you shared this today instead, I could sure use the motivation and delicious photos to get me through to the weekend! Cherry-chocolate chip sounds perfect!

  24. Sarah says:

    This cake is beautiful! I love the chocolate chips on the inside and outside! YUM. The.boy is so lucky!

  25. There is no way I can wait until valentine’s day for this! And also, I don’t think I want to share it, so I had better just make it now for myself 😛

  26. Hotly Spiced says:

    This is so colourful and perfect for any celebration. And chocolate and cherries work incredibly well together. I love this cake’s fluffiness xx

  27. Kate says:

    Sometimes it’s nice to have cake on Thursday. Like a treat for getting through the week, knowing there’s still a couple days left.

  28. Rachel says:

    this is just so lovely! i would adore this on valentine’s day, or any day! also ATK is the BEST! they have yet to steer me wrong…

  29. I’m up for cake any day! It’s a cake kind of week (both my husband’s and my birthdays) and this is just the kind of dessert we both love!

  30. Don’t worry Joanne – it’s Friday in NZ! And what an amazing FRIDAY

  31. (so I will just finish that comment)… treat and we look forward to Salad Saturday down here at the bottom of the Earth:)

  32. Eileen says:

    Hooray for cake! Now I am totally craving chocolate-covered cherries. 🙂

  33. I was just going to make a cake like this, but with a chocolate covered cherry theme. I still might have to give it a try. This one looks amazing 🙂

  34. You know how to make me drool lol. I am so wishing I had a piece of that cake right about now.

  35. I’ve been pinning ideas for hubbys big 3-5 bday next month and adding this one to the list. So pretty and such simple ingredients. Love it!

  36. Thanks for the shout-out Joanne! This is a lovely cake. Cherries + chocolate was a match made in heaven!

  37. It’s pretty unusual for me to bake a layer cake, but damn this might be the thing that takes me over the line. I can see why this couldn’t wait for a Friday 🙂

  38. This cake is worthy of any day posting 🙂

  39. I just knew I had to stop over to see this pretty cake! Love chocolate with cherry. Perfect for Valentines Day.

    Enjoy the lovely weekend friend!

  40. Good golly – them mini chocolate chips and cherry pie filling cherries mixed into the cake are just too tempting!

  41. cheri says:

    Beautiful cake Joanne, can’t blame you for making this on a Thursday, nice pictures!

  42. Susan says:

    Hello gorgeous! What a beautiful cake, Joanne. It looks like a party on a platter. I always have good luck with ATK recipes.

  43. Ok the fact that you are even thinking about valentine’s day cakes already is evidence that you are SO ahead of the game! This cake is out of this world, no stratosphere. My only regret is that I didn’t pick this flavor for my wedding cake!

  44. Trisha says:

    Girl, I’ll take your desserts any day of the week, and this cake is just STUNNING. Valentine’s day wasn’t even on my radar yet, but it totally is now because I’m making this!!!!

  45. Foodiewife says:

    I’ve lost count on how many Cook’s Country/Cook’s Illustrated/ATK recipes I’ve made. Rarely, if ever, do they fail to deliver. Cherry cake is one of my faves. I don’t care what anyone says about red dye 40– I looooooooooove maraschino cherries. You hit the one right out of the ballpark. I want!

  46. grace says:

    your cake looks SO light and fluffy, joanne! what a masterpiece! rinsing the gunk off the pie filling cherries is a really clever idea and frankly, my mouth is watering.

  47. Christine says:

    This is beyond awesome. Normally I’m not a big sweets fan (prefer savory) but omg, this is to die for!

  48. Johanna GGG says:

    oh my – those cherries, those layers, those bits – how pretty – I can see why it came up under valentines!

  49. elly says:

    So, I’m going to see if my kid wants this for his birthday cake. I’m pretty sure he will say yes, but if not, it will be my birthday cake. It looks WAY to good to pass up.

  50. […] Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake {Eats Well With Others} […]

  51. Erin says:

    Just made the cake and it came out too moist. I like this idea and flavor combo but my cake just totally fell apart once it cake out of the pans.

    • joanne says:

      I’m SO SO SO sorry to hear that this cake didn’t work out for you!! I’d love to try to troubleshoot with you to see what went wrong, if that’s okay.

      Usually when a cake falls apart once out of the cake pans it’s not because it’s too moist, it’s either because it’s underbaked or because it’s still too warm and hasn’t cooled and set enough. Do you think either of these could have been the problem?

      Alternatively, I know I really had to spend a lot of time drying the cherries from the cherry pie filling after draining them to make sure they wouldn’t add excess moisture to the cake…do you think this could have been the issue?

      Again, so sorry! You could always make a parfait out of the cake or try to glue it back together with frosting!

  52. Becky says:

    I made this for my 5 year-old for her birthday today and it was beautiful! My only question is about the salt. Is it really supposed to be 1 tablespoon of salt or 1 teaspoon? It seemed a little on the salty side to me. Other than that, it turned out great and our family loved it.

    • joanne says:

      Oh my gosh, you are SO RIGHT!! I feel terrible. It must have been a typo that I didn’t catch. I have changed the recipe and I’m so glad that it turned out even with that extra salt!! My deepest apologies.

  53. I just want to thank you for the awesome recipe. IT was hit with my husband. The cake is delicious!!!! It’s Keeper!

  54. Angela Hawkins says:

    I just made this beautiful cake for my husband for Valentine’s day. I am concerned about the cherries. I couldn’t seem to get them dry enough. The finished cake looks very dense. It didn’t rise much at all. Still smells like heaven. I’m trying to see if there was anything else I could have done to get it to rise or if it is meant to be a dense cake.

  55. Abby says:

    I made this cake last weekend and it was delicious! I made a few modifications and had a few troubles:
    *Rather than tossing the extra chopped cherries, I added them to the buttercream. I also added some juice from the maraschino cherries to the buttercream. It added some color and a bit of cherry flavor!
    *Next time I will use butter and flour in my pans before I pour in the batter. One of the cakes REFUSED to come out of the pan and I think that adjustment will help.
    *Most of the chocolate chips sunk to the bottom and stuck to the pan. There were very few chocolate chips left in the cake. I think that has to do with the thickness of the batter?

    Otherwise, the cake received rave reviews and I’ll definitely make it again!

  56. Reet says:

    Greetings from down under, i would really love to make this cake but I live in Australia & it’s very difficult to find all the amazing products that you lovely ladies have in the USA. eg we don’t have cherry pie filling here, (at least I’ve never seen it in our supermarkets) we have apple, peach, pears & pineapple & “mixed fruit” concoction. Cherry pie filling is available on line but for 595gm can it’s almost $20 Australian ($15 American). It’s a bit prohibitive & out of reach for most of us. The recipe still looks amazing & maybe I can make my own filling with fresh or frozen cherries, I’ll have to research a bit more.

    With kindest regards

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