Chocolate & Cherry Cake (Dairy-Free)

Course Dessert
Cuisine Australian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Author Sally


For the cake

  • ¾ cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¾ cup dairy-free spread*
  • 4 eggs

For the syrup

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cherries ,pitted

For the buttercream

  • ¼ cup dairy-free spread*
  • 2 ¼ cups icing mixture
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tbsp water optional


For the cake

  • Preheat oven to 180C and grease 2 x 20cm round cake pans with dairy-free spread* and flour.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together caster sugar and dairy-free spread* using an electric beater until it just comes together smoothly.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing until each has been completely combined within the mixture before adding in the next.
  • Sift flour and cocoa add add slowly to the mixture, again mixing until completely combined.
  • Pour the mixture evenly into the 2 pans and bake in the preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes or until the top is firm to touch.
  • Leave in the pan to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.

For the syrup

  • Place sugar, water and pitted & halved cherries into a small saucepan and place on a high heat.
  • Stir to until all sugar dissolves.
  • As mixture comes to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Syrup will thicken slightly and the cherries will soften.
  • Strain and set aside to cool.

For the buttercream

  • Beat dairy-free spread* in a large mixing bowl with an electric beater, slowly adding in sifted icing sugar ¼ cup at a time ensuring it is completely mixed in before adding more.
  • Add sifted cocoa powder, vanilla, and water if the mixture is a bit stiff and continue to beat until combined.
  • Mixture should be a good consistency for spreading. Use more icing sugar or water if needed.

To assemble the cake

  • Place one of the cakes on a serving plate. Drizzle with sugar syrup, a little bit at a time letting it soak in before adding more until cake is covered.
  • Place a layer of the buttercream over the cake and sit the second cake on top, upside down so you have a flat surface on top.
  • Again, drizzle sugar syrup onto cake allowing it to soak it up. You will not use all of the syrup you made, just use what you need.
  • Spread the remainder of the buttercream over the top and sides of the cake until covered. Tip: dip a metal spoon in water and use it to spread the frosting on the sides of the cake. It will make it easier as well as giving a smooth and even appearance.
  • Top the cake as you wish with chopped dark chocolate, fresh cherries, and a light dusting of icing sugar.


*This cake is easily made dairy-free which is how I make it, using a dairy-free spread such as Nuttelex Lite in place of butter, however this recipe will still work with regular butter or margarine depending on your preference.