vegan dark chocolate cherry layer cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This Vegan Dark Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake is a total stunner for Valentine's Day! Vanilla cake is studded with fresh cherries and chocolate chunks, sandwiched with a fresh cherry filling, and crowned with a dreamy chocolate ganache.
Serves: 12
  • *for the cake*
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup nondairy yogurt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen & thawed
  • 3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • *for the filling*
  • ⅓ cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen & thawed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (dissolved in some water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ¼ cup vegan butter
  • ¼ cup vegan shortening
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened nondairy milk, as needed
  • pinch of salt
  • *for the frosting*
  • ½ cup vegan butter
  • ½ cup vegan shortening
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened nondairy milk, as needed
  • *for the ganache*
  • 3 oz dark chocolate
  • 2-3 tbsp nondairy milk, more or less as needed
  1. First, make the cake. Preheat oven to 350F and spray two 6" round cake pans with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseed with the water and set aside to thicken.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  4. Add in the vegan butter, and beat on low until it's incorporated and has a sandy texture.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, flaxseed mixture, nondairy yogurt, almond & vanilla extracts, and add them to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
  6. Pour in the unsweetened nondairy milk, and beat on medium-low until smooth and creamy.
  7. Cut the fresh or frozen cherries into quarters, and stir into the prepared batter along with the chocolate pieces.
  8. Divide batter evenly among the 2 pans, and bake for 45 minutes until cake is set in the center and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. While the cake bakes, prepare the compote for the filling. In a small nonstick pot, combine the cherries and granulated sugar. Heat over medium and cook, stirring often, until sugar has started to dissolve and cherries are jammy and soft.
  10. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, followed by the dissolved cornstarch. Bring mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens. Set aside to cool completely.
  11. When ready to assemble, make the small batch of frosting for the filling. With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together ¼ cup of vegan butter and ¼ cup of shortening until creamy.
  12. Add in the cooled off cherry mixture, then add in powdered sugar as needed to create a thick frosting.
  13. Next, prepare the frosting for the cake coating. Using a stand mixer, beat together the rest of the vegan butter and shortening. Add in the vanilla and almond extract, and add in powdered sugar as needed to create a thick frosting. You can add a few spoonfuls of nondairy milk if it's too thick.
  14. To assemble the cake, divide the 2 cake layers in half to create 4 thin layers.
  15. Place one cake piece on your cake stand or platter, spoon some cherry frosting in the center, and spread it to create a thin layer. Repeat with all.
  16. Frost the outside of the cake with the prepared white frosting as desired. Place cake in fridge while you prepare the ganache.
  17. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 15-20 second increments until melted. Add in nondairy milk as needed, stirring well, until ganache is smooth and creamy. If it appears lumpy or grainy, don't worry! Just add more milk and keep stirring. It will come back together!
  18. Drizzle the ganache on top of the cooled cake, and decorate the top with fresh cherries. Enjoy!
Recipe by The Baking Fairy at