Today is an extremely important and special day…. It’s my 23rd birthday!! And what better way to celebrate my birthday than to bake myself a cake! And even better, a drunken cherry chocolate cake! This was the best birthday preset I have ever given myself. It is truly delicious and perfect for summer. I would highly recommend it for any future birthdays you are planning on having. I think it would also be perfect for next year’s Canada Day celebration, as it is all red and white.
For those of you who didn’t know – I just got back from a month long road trip around British Columbia, Alberta and Washington. During the trip, Andrew and I got engaged! What an exciting day that was! Anyway I am back and very excited to be in the kitchen again baking/cooking up a storm.
Throughout our trip, I got to visit so many farmers markets and farms around BC and now have an even larger desire to use as many local ingredients as I possibly can. These cherries are all grown in BC and were even on sale for 1.99/lb – score!! If you are looking fr more boozy desserts, check out Rhubarb Raisin Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, Rum Raisin Cinnamon Buns, or Whiskey Apple Sauce
Boozy Cherry Chocolate Cake
For the Cake Batter:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
1½ cups white granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
For the Cherry Filling:
3 cups (.75 lb) fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup golden rum
For the Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 block cream cheese, softened to room temp
4 Tbsp of the reserved cherry/rum syrup
Chunk of chocolate to create shaved chocolate (I used Milk Chocolate)
A handful of fresh cherries for the top
Preparing the cherries:
Rinse, drain and pit your 1 lb of cherries. Chop your pitted cherries into 4 pieces and place them in a medium bowl with the golden rum. Let sit at room temp for 2 hours then drain the cherries in a sieve over a bowl. Keep both the cherries and the syrup.
Making the Chocolate Cake Layers:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare 2 9-inch cake pans by either lining the bottom with parchment paper or buttering and flouring the pans. Set pans aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together soft butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat mixture on high speed for 7 min until light and fluffy. Whisk in milk until smooth.
Sift together 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa, 1/8 tsp salt, and 2 1/2 tsp baking powder. Fold the sifted mixture into the batter just until combined. Transfer to your prepared cake pans and bake at 350˚F for 25-30 min or until toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and once the cakes are cool enough to handle, transfer to wire racks for them to cool completely.
Making the Frosting:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the butter with powdered sugar and salt on low speed or until combined (1 min). Once combined, increase speed to high and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy (5 min).
Add cream cheese in little pieces and mix until combined. After the cream cheese is all combined, continue to beat for another 3 minutes.
Add 4 Tbsp of the rum/cherry liquid, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix until combined. Reserve the remaining cherry syrup.
Assembling the Cake:
Once you are ready to assemble the cake, place the first cake on a cake stand to be iced. (You could also cut the cakes in half at this point to make 4 layers rather than 2).
Generously brush the first cake layer with the cherry rum syrup. Cover the top with frosting and top with the chopped boozed-up cherries. Now add a “crumb coat” to your cake (this just means a very messy and VERY thin layer of icing on the cake to fill in all the uneven patches). Freeze your now crumb-coated cake for 15-20 min to let it rest, then apply more frosting to the top and sides. Doing this method will ensure your frosted cake is free of little cake crumbs. Decorate cake as desired. (I used chocolate shavings and fresh cherries. To shave chocolate, just use a peeler and run it along the edge of the chocolate!)
I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did! You could totally also cut the cakes in half and make it a 4 layer cake, but I like having bigger pieces of cake 🙂