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4.91 from 11 votes

Fresh Cherry Cake Recipe From Scratch

This succulent fresh cherry cake is mindblowing incredible! The filling only takes 5 ingredients, and the moist cake is topped with a sweetened buttercream frosting that is delicious. 
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Chill Time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cherry cake recipe, fresh cherry cake recipe from scratch, how to make cherry cake
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 611kcal



  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp 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 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp 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 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2-4 tbsp 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 tbsp 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.



*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise with a sharp knife. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Just use the seeds.


Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 1.7mg