Alejandra Ramos’ Seriously Sexy Cherry Chocolate Layer Cake!

The black coffee in this recipe makes the dark chocolate taste even richer and bolder, and contrasts nicely with the tart juiciness of the cherries. It’s a perfect celebration cake, but you definitely don’t need to wait for a special occasion to enjoy it.



For the cake:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup black coffee, cooled to room temperature

1 2/3 cups buttermilk

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon baking soda


For the frosting & filling

1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature

12oz cream cheese (about 1 1/2 packages), room temperature

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 teaspoons almond extract


1 cup chopped, pitted fresh cherries (such as Bing cherries)

1 cup whole cherries with stem



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment. Set aside.


In the base of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (5 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until fully incorporated. Stir in the coffee and buttermilk by hand.


In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.


Mix the dry ingredients into the wet by hand, until everything is combined. Divide evenly into three pans, and bake about 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.


Make the frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract.


Frost the cake alternating layers of cake, frosting, and chopped cherries. Top with the final cake layer and a generous dollop of frosting. Garnish the cake with whole cherries, and serve.