Chocolate Cherry Cream Birthday Cake

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I was asked to make a birthday cake for my brother-in-law…I made him a chocolate cherry cream cake – chocolate and cherries are the perfect combo!

Here is what you’ll need to make this chocolate cherry cream cake.

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 80ml milk
  • 100ml double cream
  • 300g plain flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
For the chocolate frosting (as I made it)
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50ml double cream
  • splash of milk to adjust consistency
For the cherry cream filling
  • 250ml double cream
  • 150g cherry jam
  • 1 can black cherries
As always, pre-heat the oven.  Mine is a fan oven and got set to 150C, but if you have a regular oven, it’s 180C/350F or gas mark 4.
Grease and line an 8″ cake tin.  I used a silicon cake tin and brushed cake released over the bottom and sides and lined the bottom with greaseproof paper.
Melt the butter and add to a mixing bowl.

Add the oil and sugar…

…cocoa powder and vanilla extract.

Beat well.

Mix in the eggs.

Then mix in the milk and cream.  Blend until smooth.

Sift the flour and baking powder into the chocolatey batter and mix well.  The mixture is runnier than a normal cake batter, but all the same is thick and gooey.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake tin and cover with foil to protect it during the baking process.  Bake for 30 minutes with the foil on, then remove the foil from the tin and bake, uncovered for a further 20 minutes.

To test if the cake is cooked, the top should be springy and when you insert a skewer it should come out clean.  I had to cook the cake for an extra 10 minutes (I re-covered the top to stop it from burning).

The smell from the cooked cake was divine!  Chocolatey, fudgey and eatable!

Allow the cake to cool completely before turning out.  If not decorating straight away, you can store it in an airtight container until you are ready.

When icing a cake with sugar paste, I don’t tend to level the cake by cutting off the dome – it’s a waste of cake!  I would use sugar paste and roll out a long sausage shape and then place around the dome to level it off when turning it upside down.  When I next make an sugarpasted cake, I’ll show you what I mean.

So, the dome of this cake did get chopped off – down to peer pressure…I’m looking at you dear sister and hubby!  Had to have the taste inspection, which I’m happy to say it passed :)

To fill the middle of the cake, you’ll need to cut it in half.  I’ve got a cake cutter tool which I used, but you can do the same job with a long knife.  Hold the top of the cake steady with the palm of your hand as you cut through.

Set the two halves to one side whilst you make the filling.

Measure out the double cream and pour into a mixing bowl.  Using a whisk, either hand held, stand alone mixer or hand and whisk until stiff peaks form when you remove the whisk.  Be careful not to over beat as you’ll end up with butter!

Put the bottom half of the cake onto a cake stand or board, and dollop the cream on top before spreading out to cover the layer.  You don’t have to worry about how pretty this looks since you won’t be seeing this.

Whilst I was making the cherry filling, I popped the cream layer into the fridge to firm up a little.

Take the jam and pop into a bowl.  Use a spoon to break it up a little.  Reserve some cherries to decorate around the edges of the cream layer, then stir the rest into the jam.  I had to pit the stones from my cherries, so make sure you do the same if you need to…you don’t want someone cracking a tooth on a cherry stone!

Spoon the cherry filling on top of the cream and spread out gently to not quite the edges.

Then place cherry halves along the edges all around the cake.  You don’t have to do this step, but I thought it would look pretty when the top layer went on.

Put the cake back in the fridge to continue firming whilst you work on the chocolate frosting.

Sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl.

Melt the butter and pour into the sugar and cocoa mix.  As I was beating the mixture as directed by the original recipe I realised that this wasn’t going to turn into frosting and needed to be thinned out to make it spreadable, so I added some milk.  Add splashes of milk and beat in between to get a smooth spreadable consistency.  If it becomes too runny, just add some more icing sugar back in.

Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, before placing it onto the cream layer – you don’t want to be messing up the cream underneath!  You can smooth the frosting out with a palette knife giving it any finish you like – smooth, peaks…depends on how you plan to continue decorating – if at all!
I made chocolate curls by using a vegetable peeler and pulling it across a chocolate bar.

You could sprinkle the chocolate curls over the top of all the cake.  Or you could pipe words on, like I’ve done as it was a birthday cake for my brother-in-law and add the sprinkles round the edges.  You could leave the top clear, or add on chocolate buttons or mini eggs – the possibilities are endless!

Once the top is decorated, carefully lift the layer with a palette knife slide underneath and place gently onto the cream layer.  I would leave this until the last moment as you don’t want the weight of the top layer to squish out the cream from the bottom layer!

Cut and serve…

Like this cake needed more cream!!  But it got a dollop of it…

My brother-in-law loved his cake!  The family all enjoyed eating it, and whilst it is rich and calorie laden, it doesn’t count because it’s a birthday cake!


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