Cherry Chocolate Cake

Happy birthday Chocolate Cherry Cake just because

Into every life must come a little bit of cake. This time it’s mighty good cherry chocolate cake. With a wee bit of frosting (kidding).

I was making a birthday cake for a certain Mr. Canteen photographer and might have gotten carried away with the icing part. Trying my hand at piping roses on something other than the top of a cake was actually kind of fun. I might put a smaller layer of crumb coating on the cake if I’d planned it a bit better.

But sometimes planning is over rated. Fortunate events, like a big fat mighty good cake can happen if you make a giant bowl of icing because the egg whites whipped up really well and more than doubled in volume. Since someone I know really loves frosting, why not?

Use a piping tip if you like to make the roses – Amanda from has a great rose making tutorial. Or just use a big spatula and go to town.

The cake, and the icing are dairy-free. The icing is light on the traditional amount of sugar and while sweet enough, is not tooth cracking sweet. You’ll notice that the icing never really gets that hard outside layer because of the sugar reduction, but it works out just fine. Think meringue that stays soft. Fully cooked, but without all that sugar (the egg white to sugar ratio), the outside won’t crunch. Totally fine-o.  It’s usually referred to as 7-minute frosting or White Mountain Frosting, but it’s just Swiss Buttercream sans the butter. Easier to do and avoids the dairy.

Cherry juice can be found at most grocery stores. Even store brands are carrying it now. Look for a brand that has cherry juice or juice concentrates and not additives or extra sweeteners for the best flavor. Knudsen is the brand I like to use (nope, no sponsors) because it has the fewest ingredients and tastes like cherries. Whole Paycheck and some fancy markets charge too much for it while Safeway is usually reasonable. Even the Safeway brand, Open Nature, is not bad in a pinch.

I call this having your cake and eating it, too.

Big fat cherry chocolate cake

Cherry Chocolate Cake
  • 195 grams Canteen flour blend (1 ½ cups) (see notes)
  • 35 grams unsweetened Hershey’s Dark cocoa, sifted (1/3 cup)
  • 150 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 120 grams neutral vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 160 grams black cherry juice (Knudsen, preferred) (2/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon Kirsch (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cherry Frosting
  • 140 grams egg white (4 extra large eggs)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 300 grams baker’s superfine sugar (1 ¾ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 120 grams black cherry juice (1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined. In a small bowl whisk together oil, eggs, cherry juice, Kirsch and vanilla extract until combined. Add to flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth.
  2. Divide batter evenly into pans and bake 20-24 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Be careful not to over bake the layers. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes and then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer whip room temperature egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. In a small, deep sided saucepan over medium low heat, mix together sugar, corn syrup and cherry juice. Without stirring heat mixture until it is 250°F.
  2. Whip the whites to remix them (they separate a little when sitting) and slowly pour the very hot liquid into the mixer while it is running. Keep pouring in a slow stream until all the liquid is mixed into the whites. Beat on high until mixture is well blended and stiff. Beat in vanilla. The frosting will still be quite warm but use it immediately or it will get too stiff and set.
  3. Frost cake generously – makes enough to do a thick crumb and top layer or a crumb layer and a piped layer. If you like, divide the frosting recipe in half – it will still frost the cake but not as generously.
right sidebar, About Flour for Canteen blend


Cherry Chocolate Birthday Cake




  1. I can’t wait to try this! I love the idea of adding cherry juice to the cake and frosting. Thanks for providing instructions for a simple GF flour blend too!

  2. This cake is a “Work of Art”. You are a phenomenal Gift to all of us who are Celiacs. I live in the Rockies & have to “fiddle” with recipes, due to the elevation, but because of your inspiration & humor, YOU make it worthwhile. I will be making this today! Thank you for your dedication & making our lives easier.

  3. I cannot wait it dig in, it is awaiting my husband’s arrival home for his birthday! I opted for a star tip though, not roses. My beater lockers (10 and 5) think the frosting is awesome!

    • GlutenFreeCanteen says:

      Sounds terrific, Karen. Hope you guys have a great birthday celebration!