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Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake

  • Prep Time - 1 hour. Cooking time - 45 minutes
  • 16
  • Experienced



3 cups of plain flour

2 cups of caster sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

3 tsp baking powder 

1 ½ cups Koko Black Cocoa Powder

1 cup of light brown sugar (lightly packed)

4 eggs

1 cup flavourless vegetable oil

2 cups of milk

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of boiling water

Cherry Cream Cheese Filling

For cherry compote:

250g frozen cherries, thawed

2 tbs caster sugar

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs water

1 tsp cornflour 

Extra cold water

For the cream cheese frosting:

180g unsalted butter, softened

350g firm cream cheese, softened 

Pinch salt

5½ cups icing sugar (750g), sifted

1½ tsp vanilla extract

Possible extra:

1 to 2 tbs cornflour

1 to 2 tbs of milk


Fresh berries (cherries if in season)

Koko Black 54% Dark Chocolate Shavings

Koko Black Jar of Stars

Chopped pistachios


1. Preheat oven to 160C. Grease and line four 20cm round cake tins. 

2. Sift flour, caster sugar, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add brown sugar and whisk to combine dry ingredients well. 

3. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla extract to combine.

4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add boiling water and gently fold in to combine, do not over mix. 

5. Pour evenly into the tins. Bake in the middle rack of oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

6. Cool in tins for 20 minutes before turning out on to wire racks to cool completely.

7. To make the cherry compote, in a medium saucepan over medium to low heat combine cherries, caster sugar, lemon juice and water. Bring to boil and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and then and breaking the fruit up a little with the back of a spoon, until cherries are soft and syrupy. Remove from heat. 

8. In a small bowl, mix cornflour with a few teaspoons of cold water and pour into cherry mixture in a thin stream while stirring. Set aside to cool completely. 

9. To make the frosting, in a large bowl beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add salt and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Add icing sugar gradually until combined. 

Note: The frosting should be thick, but if the mixture becomes too thick, add some milk 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture becomes too soft, add sifted cornflour 1 tablespoon at a time. 

Gently ripple the cherry compote through the frosting. 

10. Assemble the cake by spreading ¼ of the cherry cream cheese filling on to each layer of cake and stacking, finishing with the final layer of filling on top. 

11. Sprinkle top layer with chocolate shavings and pistachios. Dot with cherries or fresh seasonal berries and Koko Black chocolate stars.