Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

Happy Valentine's Day! I made an Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake for you! (Is it ok if I eat it for you, too?)

Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

What are Amarena Cherries?

My friend Flavia (she has an incredible blog full of Italian eats called Flavia's Flavors) introduced me to Amarena cherries. I found them at Trader Joe's. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE.

Amarena Cherries from Trader Joe's

Amarena cherries are like Maraschino's very sophisticated aunt who lives on the Amalfi Coast, wears red lipstick, a scarf, and big sunglasses. These cherries are rich, they are decadent; they are the best cherries you'll ever eat. They come in a jar of thick, luxurious, sweet cherry syrup. I guarantee you'll never go back to maraschinos! Plus, they don't have all of the colorings...the cherries from Trader Joe's are colored with carrot and hibiscus extracts. (Before you mention natural maraschinos, I've tried them and was not impressed.)

We reviewed these Trader Joe's cherries as part of our Trader Joe's review series. You might guess that my review skewed towards favorable. 

Amazon has several brands of Amarena cherries available, all with good reviews. See here, here, and here for a few.

Amarena Cherries

As soon as I tried them, I knew that not only were they going in every cocktail and on every ice cream sundae I make from now on...they were going to flavor the inaugural cake made in my new heart-shaped Bundt pan.

Side note: this cake can be made in a regular Bundt pan...just make sure to stop filling it about two inches from the top.

Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

Cherries and Chocolate. The perfect pair.

I decided on a cherry and chocolate marble cake. Cherries and chocolate are a perfect pairing, especially for Valentine's Day. I can report that Mr. E REALLY loves this cake. ♥ This is one of those cakes that is BETTER on day two. Make it, glaze it, and store it on your cake stand with a dome until the next day if possible.

heart-shaped cherry in a cake

PLEASE tell me you see that little heart-shaped cherry in the corner!!!

The icing is made using the cherry syrup. It gives the glaze a light cherry flavor and a dusty rose hue. You could tint it pink with pink food coloring. Or, could glaze this with a chocolate glaze or ganache. You pick!

Amarena Cherries, drained

How to Make Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

You'll start off by draining the cherries, reserving the juice, and chopping them roughly. Melt some chocolate. I used Trader Joe's bittersweet chocolate.

The cake starts with a vanilla batter.

Then, you'll divide it and add the cherries and cherry syrup to one bowl,

...and melted chocolate and chocolate chips to the other.

Spoon the batters into the pan. This heart-shaped pan has tiers built in, so I spooned chocolate in the bottom (which eventually is the top),

...then cherry in the next section.

heart-shaped bundt pan

For the rest, I spooned the remaining dough in randomly without swirling.


Once cooled, make the glaze and pour over the top.

Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup milk, room temperature
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3/4 cup bittersweet (or semisweet) chocolate chips
3/4 cup drained, roughly chopped Amarena cherries (reserve syrup)
2 tablespoons reserved Amarena cherry syrup

1 pound powdered sugar
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons reserved Amarena cherry syrup
1 tablespoon corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a Bundt pan well, using a pastry brush to get every millimeter. Flour the pan and tap out excess flour.

Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Stop to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl occasionally. Mix just until combined.

Remove about 3 1/2 cups of the batter to another bowl. To one bowl, add the melted and cooled chocolate and chocolate chips. To the other, add the chopped cherries and cherry syrup.

Spoon the batters into the prepared pan. I use LARGE spoonfuls here for distinct marbling. Smooth the top.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Place a wire cooling rack upside-down on top of the cake. Invert the cake and let rest for 1 minute. Carefully lift the pan off of the cake. Let cool completely.

Make the glaze: whisk all of the glaze ingredients until smooth. Add pink food coloring if desired. Adjust thickness to your liking with more powdered sugar or milk. Place the cake on the rack onto a rimmed cookies sheet. Spoon the glaze over. Let the glaze set at least 30 minutes before serving.

Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake
Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Marbled Heart Bundt Cake

If you've tried Amarena cherries, please tell me all of the ways you use them!!! I'm obsessed! 

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