Chocolate-Cherry-Cream Cheese Swirl Cake

Meet your new favorite summertime dessert: moist buttermilk-chocolate cake loaded with fresh cherries, a swirl of cream cheese filling and a thick blanket of cream cheese frosting. This big cake makes enough to feed a crowd of picnickers.


2 cups cake flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 cups pitted sweet cherries, chopped
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
16 sweet cherries with stems

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Spray paper. Whisk cake flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

2. Melt chocolate in small heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch almost simmering water (bowl should not touch water). Let stand until chocolate is almost melted, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat; stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Cool slightly.

3. Beat brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup of the sugar in large bowl at medium speed 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla; beat 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in melted chocolate until blended. Beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in chopped cherries; pour into pan.

4. Stir 6 oz. cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon flour in medium bowl until blended. Drop spoonfuls over batter; swirl in gently with knife.

5. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean with some crumbs attached. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove parchment paper. Turn top-side up. Cool completely.

6. Beat 6 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla in large bowl at medium speed 1 minute or until smooth. At low speed, beat in 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, adding additional powdered sugar to desired frosting consistency. Spread over top of cake; garnish with whole cherries. (Cake can be made 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.)

16 servings

PER SERVING: 560 calories, 25.5 g total fat (15 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 82 g carbohydrate, 95 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber

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