This cherry cream cake was made for my birthday. You see, my boyfriend and I have the same birthday. In fact, we were born 26 minutes apart – in different hospitals and different cities – but I think we were dating for about three months before we realised we shared our big day. Subsequently over the last three years, I’ve made us a birthday cake to share on the day. The first year, we ate my white chocolate pistachio cake – which you can find the recipe to here. Last year, during COVID times, I made a très leches cake. And this year, I made a cherry cream cake.

Cherry cream cake

The cake itself is a beautiful vanilla sponge, that’s not too heavy or dry. Rhe filling is what makes this cherry cream cake a dream. Firstly, I fill my cake with a mixture of homemade cherry compote and Bonne Maman pre-made compote. Otherwise, if you fancy a little less fuss you can just use Bonne Maman, simply up the quantity to 200g. Secondly, this is folded into a gorgeous vanilla whipped cream that sandwiches the cake together. Finally, I chose a vanilla meringue buttercream icing to coat the cake for a flavour that’s not too saccharine.

Cherry cream cake

Tips for making the perfect meringue buttercream:

Get rid of any grease residue

Wipe all tools that will touch the meringue with a little lemon juice or white vinegar – this includes your bowl, hand whisk and electric beater/whisks. Grease or fat will prevent your meringue from whipping up properly.

Buy cartoned egg whites

This ensures you get absolutely no yolk {fat} in your meringue mixture – which can prevent it from reaching stiff peaks.

Don’t let your bowl touch the water

When you set your bowl with the egg whites and sugar over a saucepan filled with simmering water, do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.

What if I don’t have a sugar thermometer?

To test that your meringue mixture is ready and it’s time to take it off the heat, you can lightly dip your finger into the mixture and rub it between your thumb and forefinger {be careful, as it may be hot!}. You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules. If you do, it needs to be heated a little longer. If using a thermometer, the temperature should read 160°F (71°C).

What if my meringue isn’t reaching stiff peaks?

Stop whisking and pop your bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes. Remove the bowl and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Make sure the bowl is cool before adding the butter

Make sure your butter is still cool, and the bowl containing your meringue has also cooled completely – otherwise your butter will melt! Add 1 tablespoon / 1 large cube of butter at a time and wait for each addition to full mix in before adding more.

You can make the cake, cherry compote and buttercream a few days in advance and store them in the fridge wrapped / covered in clingfilm ready to assemble when you want to make it. I suggest whipping the cream fresh and folding the cherries in just before you construct the cake so it doesn’t leave your layers soggy at all.

Things you’ll need for this recipe

Cherry Cream Cake

Cherry Cream Cake

A fluffy vanilla sponge, filled with cherry cream and finished with Swiss meringue buttercream.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert


For the cake

  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 250 g self-raising flour sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100 ml full-fat milk

For the filling

  • 350 g pitted fresh cherries
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 100 g cherry compote I like Bonne Maman
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar or caster sugar

For the Swiss meringue buttercream

  • 115 g egg whites about 3 eggs
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 175 g unsalted butter softened but still cool, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch fine sea salt


To make the cake

  • Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F. Grease two 20cm cake tins, and line with baking parchment.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with an electric whisk and beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each one is incorporated before you add the next.
  • Sift in your flour and baking powder, and mix for 1 minute. Add the milk and beat again until everything is nicely combined.
    N.B. Make sure you don’t over-beat the batter as this will result in a heavy cake.
  • Divide the mixture between your two tins evenly and smooth the tops with the back of a spatula.
  • Bake for ~35-40 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tins, before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cold, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge overnight.

To make the filling

  • If you’re making your own compote, pit your cherries and add them to a small saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Over a low heat, allow to bubble away for 10-15 minutes until softened, sticky and juicy. Mix this with 100g Bonne Maman cherry compote, then set aside.
  • Whip your double cream with the tablespoon of caster sugar until you get stiff peaks.
    N.B. Be careful not to over-beat!
  • Fold the cherry mixture into your cream so that you have streaks of cherry juice but it’s not fully combined. Pop in the fridge until ready to use.

To make the Swiss meringue buttercream

  • Squeeze some lemon juice onto a piece of kitchen towel, then make sure your bowl and whisks are completely clean, dry and wiped down with lemon juice {you can also use white wine vinegar}.
  • Remove from the heat and begin whisking your whites immediately using an electric whisk or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and the bowl is no longer warm to the touch. This will take at least 10-15 minutes.
    N.B. If you’re having trouble getting stiff peaks, stop whisking and place your bowl – uncovered – in the fridge for 10 minutes, then remove from the fridge and whisk again. This has always worked for me!
  • If the bowl and meringue still feel warm, wait until both cool to room temperature before adding any butter – otherwise it’ll melt! Add the butter 1 cube / 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure you wait for the butter to be fully incorporated before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, add the vanilla and salt and mix again.
  • Your meringue buttercream should be thick, creamy, and silky smooth. Pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to solidify a bit before assembling your cake.

To assemble the cake

  • Level out the top of your cake, the slice both in half horizontally, so you have four layers.
  • Sandwich the layers together with your cherry cream.
  • Now you want to crumb coat your cake. Firstly, pipe a small amount of buttercream onto your board or card and place the first sponge on top. This acts like a “glue” to make sure your cake doesn’t move or wobble as you ice it, or slide all over the place.
  • You can either pipe or use a tablespoon to add buttercream around the cake. Using a palette knife, spread it out across the sides and top, making sure the cake is completely covered.
  • Now you need to neaten things up a bit: place your scraper so it is only just touching the edge and carefully pull it all the way around the cake to get a uniform finish. You don’t want to remove lots of the buttercream here, just even it out.
    N.B. This is where a turntable is really useful, but you can do this without one.
  • Use your palette knife to remove any excess off the top by bringing it from the edge to the middle. It doesn’t have to look perfect as you will be covering it up with another layer. Chill the cake in the fridge or freezer until the crumb coat has set hard {around 30 minutes to 1 hour}.
  • When it’s set, cover your cake in the remaining icing, using your scraper to even everything out until you’re happy with how it looks. You can choose whether you want a more “naked” look, or a thick layer of buttercream.
  • Top with cherries to decorate, then slice and enjoy!


I like to use Bonne Maman’s Cherry Compôte for this recipe. If you don’t want to make your own compote from scratch, then up the quantity of a pre-bought version to 200g. 
Keyword cake, cherry, cream, sponge, vanilla

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