A tender chocolate cake studded with morello cherries, swimming in a satiny chocolate sauce and topped with whipped coconut cream, more morello cherries and chocolate shavings. Oh my goodness. And one of the best things about this vegan Saucy Cherry Chocolate Fudge Cake? It’s dead easy to make. Perfect for a last minute Valentine’s Day treat, or anytime you need a simple but decadent dessert!
This dessert is a type of self-saucing cake and behold its mystery: We pour a thick chocolate cherry cake batter into a baking pan, sprinkle some sugar and cocoa powder over the top, and then gently pour boiling cherry juice over everything. It bakes for about 35 minutes, and then let it cool for 15 minutes or until it’s no longer molten. The magical result is a cake with a delicate crisp crust and tender crumb which is now *on top* of a luscious chocolate cherry sauce. It’s actually the best kind of lazy dessert because 1) it’s impressive as heck for something so easy, and 2) it’s best served warm, fresh from the oven.
Tips for a Perfect Saucy Cherry Chocolate Fudge Cake:
- I tested this recipe using jarred dark morello cherries in a light syrup. The syrup was not super sweet, and had the consistency of juice. I would not recommend using other types of jarred cherries, like maraschino or amarena cherries as these are usually bottled in a much sweeter, thicker syrup. I haven’t tested this recipe with fresh cherries yet. My thoughts on using them, though: they may release a lot of water during baking so the cake could end up a bit gluey and the sauce a bit thin. Plus, you’d be missing the juice from the jarred variety which really makes the lovely cherry chocolate sauce.
- Sift your dry ingredients. This one step makes such a difference. It’s especially important when baking with cocoa powder as it tends to have small clumps (unpleasant and bitter to bite into). The same goes for leavening agents like baking powder. Sift them altogether and the results will be nice and smooth.
- The instant espresso powder is optional, but I do recommend using it if you have it on hand. Coffee has an amazing ability to deepen and enrich chocolate’s flavor without anyone noticing any actual coffee flavor. The instant espresso powder is perfect as it blends in perfectly and provides that depth we’re after.
- I use a touch of almond extract in this recipe because it’s such a nice compliment to the cherries. I find it enhances the cherry flavor without being over top. If you don’t have any, I think that the recipe will still be delicious!
- The jars of morello cherries I bought all had 1 1/2 cups of light cherry syrup/juice in them. If the jar you have doesn’t have quite 1 1/2 cups, you can add a bit of water in to make up the volume. So for exle, if you only have 1 1/4 cups of cherry juice, you can add in 1/4 cup water.
If you make this Saucy Cherry Chocolate Fudge Cake, please let me know in the comments below and feel free to give it a rating! Also, I love connecting on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes. I love seeing what you’re up to in the kitchen! Thanks for reading along and I hope you love this recipe!
Vegan Saucy Cherry Chocolate Fudge Cake
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetend cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder, optional
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- ¼ cup avocado oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1 ½ cups dark morello cherries in light syrup, jarred (drained and divided)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups reserved cherry syrup, boiling (add water to make 1 1/2 cups if needed)
- whipped coconut cream or vanilla vegan ice cream, for serving
- vegan chocolate shavings, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10" baking dish (round or square.)
- In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa sweetened, baking powder, salt, and instant espresso powder together. In a small bowl, combine the plant-based milk, oil, vanilla extract and almond extract. In another small bowl, sift the remaining sugar and cocoa powder together.
- Mix the flour mixture with the milk mixture until barely combined. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cherries, mixing just until combined. It will be thick – spread it evenly in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar and cocoa powder mixture evenly over the batter, and then slowly pour the boiling cherry juice over the top being careful not to have the pot held too high so you don't splash it or create a crater. Do not stir.
- Bake 35-40 minutes on a piece of foil in case of boil over. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Top with whipped cream, the remaining cherries and chocolate shavings.