This succulent fresh cherry cake is incredibly delicious! The cherry filling only takes 5 ingredients, and the moist vanilla cake is topped with a sweetened buttercream frosting that is so creamy and irresistible. That you can replicate this recipe with success, I share a detailed step-by-step photo guide and a video in this post. By the way, have you tried my lemon blueberry cake?
Step-by-step video tutorial
Baking instructions (photo tutorial)
Preheat the oven and prepare the baking pans. Then, in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt to combine and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, oil, and sugar until creamy.
Then add one egg at a time and mix until well combined. Mix in the vanilla as well.
Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Divide batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Then bake and let cool.
Place the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and water in a large saucepan and cook until the cherries get soft. Stir constantly.
Blend the cooking cherries with an immersion blender and cook until the filling has thickened and reduced by about ⅓. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools.
Tip: You can use the filling to make homemade pop tarts!
Let's go on with the buttercream. In a large mixing bowl beat butter until super creamy.
Add 1 cup powdered sugar at a time and beat on low speed until combined. When all the sugar is in, beat on medium speed until the sugar is dissolved. Then stir in the vanilla.
Mix in 1 tablespoon heavy cream at a time until you reach the desired consistency. The buttercream should be creamy and fluffy but firm enough to spread. I added 3 tbsp. Add a pinch of salt to your taste and stir to combine.
Note: I recorded a video to show you how I assemble the cake. You can find it at the top of the post.
- Don't overmix the cake batter or the cake will be dry and dense.
- Level the tops of the cake by cutting off the doomed tops (if there are any) with a long knife before frosting for stability and good presentation.
- Although frozen cherries work fine, I recommend using fresh sweet cherries to get the best results.
It's important to note you can completely replace the cherries with something else, but don't use more than 1 pound (454g) of fruit total. Here are some of my tested favorites: Blueberries, Peaches, and Blackberries.
This recipe is designed for sweet cherries such as Bing, Lambert, or Lapins. However, if you desire sour cherries to pair with the sweetness of the cake, English Morello or Montmorency also work.
It should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. On average, this cherry cake will last around 2 days. Don't set it out longer than 2 hours, or it will go bad quicker.
Either wrap the entire cake up with plastic wrap or tin foil or wrap individual slices. Then place it in a freezer bag or airtight storage container. It will last 3 months in the freezer. To serve, place it in the fridge overnight and it will be ready the next day.
More cake recipes to try
- Peaches and Cream Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- Raspberry Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
Fresh Cherry Cake Recipe From Scratch
- 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup canola oil or mild vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 vanilla beans* (or 3tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted (when frozen thaw first)
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups unpacked powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 vanilla beans* (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- 2-4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°C. Line the bottom and the sides of two 8" (20cm) baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat butter, oil, and sugar until creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Add one egg at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Add vanilla* and stir to combine. Alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Divide batter into the two prepared baking pans equally. Bake for 30-33 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake or the cake will be dry. Let cool to room temperature.
- Place the cherries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and water in a large saucepan and bring over medium heat to a boil. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the cherries get soft. Stir constantly. Blend the cooking cherries with an immersion blender and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until the filling has thickened and reduced by about ⅓. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. It will thicken as it cools.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter on medium speed until super creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup powdered sugar at the time and beat on low speed until combined. When all the sugar is in, beat on medium speed until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla*. Mix in 1 tablespoon heavy cream at the time until you reach your desired consistency. The buttercream should be creamy and fluffy but firm enough to spread. I added exactly 3 tbsp. Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine.
- Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Then cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Spread ¼ of the buttercream over the cake. The buttercream should be higher around the edges that it holds the cherry filling inside the cake. Layer with ⅓ of the cherry filling (where the buttercream is lower). Repeat two more times. Place the last cake layer on top and lightly frost the outside and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill 4 hours in the fridge. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
You can find the video in the post above. If you don't see a video, please check your browser settings.
This is a great recipe! Cherry vanilla is one of my son's favorite flavor combinations so I made this for his birthday. Everyone really liked it, and it is a beautifully presented cake with the pretty white layers and red filling. I used frozen sweet cherries that had been thawed and rinsed. I also don't have an immersion blender so I used a potato masher with the cherry mixture and crushed it as best I could. Due to this, I think the amount of cherry filling could have been increased slightly - but I did have enough for a thin amount on each layer. I also did not trim my cake layers to make them flat, but it still worked just fine - I was careful not to overbake so the sponge had some flexibility to it. The directions were clear, accurate, and easy to follow. I think it tastes even better the second day. Thank you!
my son said this is the best cake he has ever eaten and rest of family loved too - cake and icing were really good
i did not level the cake and did not put in fridge for four hours so my cake split in the middle - do not skip any steps
I baked this cake yesterday and it was and still is absolutely delicious. Just make sure to take it 15 min before serving, to bring it to room t - more or less. Thank you so much for your recipes, Sabine. I now tried two of your cakes - the first one was blueberry-lemon, and now this one and both are so indulgent!
Is the perfect sugar 4 cups after it’s been sifted? Or 4 cups, then sift?
Measure it before it's been sifted.
Where can I find the video for FRESH CHERRY CAKE RECIPE FROM SCRATCH? I'm making it for my husbands birthday and am nervous as it'll be my first time. I saw the video previously- but unable to locate it now.
Hi Rita, please check your browser settings. If you have an ad blocker, you won't be able to see the video. I hope that helps!
HiSabine have always wanted to make a cherry cake so this is perfect for my freinds birthday.
Can I bake this in a 9 by 13 pan? Would you recommend a non stick one or it doesn’t matter?
Hi Carm, Yes, that works well. I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper. Since you bake it in a different pan, the baking time will be a few minutes shorter. Check doneness with a toothpick. I hope that helps.
Can I bake this in 1 12 inch round instead of 2 8 inch pans?
Yes, but the cooking time will be different. Check with a toothpick to be sure that it is baked properly. Be aware that with such a huge pan you won't have that many layers and the edges could dry out a little during baking. Hope that helps.
Hi Can I use canned cherry pie filling and if so would I cook as follows with cornstarch lemon and water? Thank you very much.
The filling is actually a homemade cherry pie filling, so that means you can replace it with a canned one 1:1. The syrup should be of the same thickness. Hope that helps!
Hi! Am I able to use frozen cherries?
Yes, absolutely. Just thaw them before you use them.
I made this for my daughter's birthday as it's exactly what she requested. It's only the second cake I've ever baked, and she loved it so much she asked for seconds! Coming from my picky eater, that was a huge win. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely recipe.