Dark chocolate sour cherry festive cake

I was having a look on different festive chocolate cake recipes when I got stuck on one that was looking incredibly nice. I had a quick look, made my inventory of ingredients and decided that that would be the one. But I didn't look carefully of the quantity of ingredients. My heart stopped for a second when I saw that in that cake, there were 1250g of sugar. No way! This is neither healthy or normal. I haven't seen a cake before with such a big amount of sugar inside. Even for such a big cake of almost 3kg, to have 1/3 of sugar was for me no option.
I then had to trust my experience in baking and I went to adapt this recipe, reducing drastically the sugar inside. The sugar in the biscuit I reduced it from 650g to 100g. Yes, more than 6 times lower. The resulting biscuit didn't taste sweet almost at all but this was mainly due to the fact the the quantity of cocoa powder was also very high. If I do this cake again, it would definitively worth trying replacing a part of the cocoa powder with flour. Nevertheless, I do not like the biscuit to be too sweet because this is mainly the role of the filling cream for a cake for me. I baked 2 pans of biscuits with the quantity made. One of them was not raising enough, probably also because the 2 pans were different and because they were baked one on top of the oven and one under. The idea was to cut each biscuit in 2 to have a 4 layers biscuit cake. Well, because one of the cake was not really raising so much I ended up with 3 layers and a half. That half was devoured immediately by my kids, even if it looked not sweet at all.
As the biscuit was prepared in the evening, I left them in the fridge over night and continued the cake the next day.
For the cream, even for a sweet one, of course 600g of sugar inside was out of question. I initially put only 100g of powdered sugar but that was not enough and after tasting it, there was place for more. I went then to 200g and that was just perfect. That would be anyway a 1/3 proportion of the quantity in the original recipe.
Decoration went straight and the cake went quickly into the fridge for the butter to get its good shape.

I chose to add something extra to the initial recipe and that was the defrosted sour cherry fruits. This was mainly because my husband loves them very much. It was not just to make him a pleasure, it was mainly because this was ment to be his birthday cake.

Happy birthday my dear husband!


  • 450g all pupose flour (sifteed)
  • 100g sugar
  • 155g cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 17g sodium bicarbonate
  • 8g baking powder (sifted)
  • 10g salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 350g yoghurt
  • 350ml warm water
  • 115ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

  • 375g butter (room temperature)
  • 330g cream cheese ( Philadelphia style)
  • 125g cocoa powder
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 60ml milk
+500g frosted or fresh sour cherries.


For the biscuit:
  1. Mix all dried ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate, baking powder, salt.
  2. Add eggs, yogurt, warm water, oil, vanilla essence and mix.
  3. Divide this composition in 2 and pour it into 2 pans of 26cm as diameter. The pans need to be prepared first with baking sheets or if you have non-stick pans just butter them before pouring the composition. If you do not have 2 pans, bake one after another. 
  4. Bake in the preheated oven at 180ÂșC for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Let them cool completele on wire racks.
  6. Slice each biscuit in 2, so you get 4 layers of cake. I've got 4 layers but used only 3 in my cake as one of the biscuit didn't raise that much and my kids were very happy to eat it before the final cake was ready.

For the filling:
  1. Mix the butter with cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and mix.
  3. Add the milk and mix.
  4. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to mix.

Now lets assemble the cake:
  1. Pour one spoon of the filling on the plate on which you'll present the cake. This will help the biscuit to be stick on one place without moving.
  2. Place one slice of the biscuit.
  3. Sprinkle some sour cherries over. If you defrosted your sour cherries use the juice to wet your biscuit before laying the cherries.
  4. Fill in the gaps with the chocolate cream.
  5. Layer another biscuit slice and repeat the previous steps for the remaining biscuit(s).
  6. Keep aside some filling for the decoration of the cake and for the sides. As I had to use a lot of this cream to fill in the gaps, I used a lot of it and I remained with just enough to cover only the sides. There was not a lot left to completely cover the cake. Nevertheless, this didn't bothered me as I loved the final rustic look.
  7. Finalise the cake with decorations as you like. 
  8. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to insure that the butter cream based gets back to shape.

Recipe inspired from here.


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