Go Back
+ servings

Chocolate Cherry Cake (dairy-free)

An incredibly rich, moist, and dairy-free chocolate cake made with juicy cherries. The flavors are unbelievable and no special equipment is required! Top it with chocolate ganache and you'll be in chocolate cake heaven.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
YIELD 8 -inch cake*


  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot water
  • cup (30g) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable/canola oil**
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (230g/8 oz) fresh cherries, pitted and halved (for other options, read above post)***
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips or chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and grease an 8x8-inch pan.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together hot water and cocoa powder until smooth. Set aside to let cool slightly until warm.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another medium bowl, mix together eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and water-cocoa mixture. Add egg mixture into flour mixture and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. Do not overmix—the less you mix, the lighter the cake will be.
  5. In a small bowl toss cherries with 2 teaspoons flour in order to prevent cherries from sinking during baking. Add cherries and chocolate chips to cake batter and fold just until combined.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (repeat testing if your toothpick runs into a cherry). Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Dust the top with powdered sugar or top with chocolate ganache. Serve at room temperature.
  8. Cake can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

*To make a bigger cake, multiply the recipe by 1.5 and use a 13x9-inch pan. You may need to bake the cake a few minutes longer.

**I used oil to keep the cake moist for longer, but you can replace half of it with 50g melted butter for flavor if you prefer. However, this cake is already so flavorful that I don’t find it necessary.

***Fresh sour cherries are my favorite option, but you can use any type of fresh cherries you like as well as frozen or canned. If using frozen, use them straight from the freezer, without thawing, mixing them with some flour and then immediately folding them into the batter. Canned cherries can also be used as long as you make sure to drain them well and dry them with paper towels, or else the juices will seep into the cake and affect its texture and taste.