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.
hi! I'm interested in making this but want to make some cherry puree and put it in to the cake batter itself. could I replace ½ cup of butter milk for the same amount of puree? thanks in advance!
Hi, yes, that would work fine!
Lovely cake with great cherry filling! I used 3/4 of the sugar (360 g) for the frosting , and also reduced the sugar for the filling and still found it much too sweet, I would do it again using half the sugar instead next time. Thanks for the recipe!
This cake was freaking amazing! The best cake I've ever made. It was so moist and delicious and not too sweet. I used a butter cream and cream cheese frosting, which really made a great cake even better. I made the cake on Thursday and by Sunday it was all gone. Simply wonderful.
I made this cake and it was amazing. It was so moist and delicious and not overly sweet. This is the best cake I've ever made. Thanks for the recipe.
I have made it 3 times always well loved, thank you for sharing.
I'm glad you like the recipe as much as we do!
What size baking pan did you use?
This looks AMAZING!! I plan to make the for my Father in law for Father's day, he has a garden full of all sorts of berries and Cherry's are ripe now. Can't wait to give this a go and see how it turns out. I've never make anything cherry flavored before so I'm looking forward to this
Alright, so I had to post another comment about this recipe! It was a huge hit for Father’s Day! I used my father-in-law‘s cherries for the filling and he absolutely loved it! Multiple people told me that it was one of the best cakes they’ve ever had. Make this cake now!
Thanks so much! I appreciate your feedback.
Hello Sabine! Let me say first that I only ever use your recipes for all of my baking. I'm serious. Any other recipe always falls apart I don't know why. Anyways, I looooove these vanilla cakes and have made them many times before. Now we're thinking of making these again for Father's Day coming real soon! But my sis is craving for an ALL VANILLA cake. Can I skip the fruit filling in this one altogether? Do you have any tips to make it "extra-vanilla-ly" or simply omitting the fruit filling should do the trick? Thanks so much, Sabine!! Your recipes are nothing short of spectacular!!!
Hi Kai, thank you so much very much for your nice feedback! I’m happy that my recipes work well for you. To your question. Yes, just skip the fruit filling and you have actually an incredible vanilla cake. The cake and frosting are rich of vanilla flavor with a total of 5 vanilla beans / 5 tsp vanilla extract. In my opinion, vanilla beans are so much more flavorful than the extract. So if you could get Bourbon vanilla beans then your sis’s mind will be blown away. Otherwise you could add 1 more tsp of vanilla extract to the frosting. I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂
Is the cherry filling tart or is it sweet
It's a balance of both. Though it's very much depending on the tartness/sweetness of the cherries you use.
I made this for the first time yesterday after my son requested a cherry cake for his birthday. I followed the recipe exactly (except I subbed regular milk with lemon juice in place of buttermilk) and it worked perfectly. It was delicious and he loved it. Next time I will chill or even part freeze the cut cakes before assembling and frosting to stop crumbs getting into the frosting. Thanks very much for the recipe; it's brilliant 🙂
Thank you so much for your nice feedback! I'm happy that you like this recipe as much as we do!