Chocolate cherry gift cakes

The sweetest little gifts - with a cherry on top!
Makes 4
1H 20M
1H 55M

Flavoured with cocoa and Nutella, and covered with choc-hazelnut cream, these luscious little cakes make a gorgeous gift complete with a cherry – or three – on top!

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Preheat oven to 160°C fan-forced (180°C conventional). Grease four 10 x 4.5cm deep springform tins. Line bases and sides with baking paper, extending paper 3cm above rims. Place tins on an oven tray (this makes it easier to transfer to, and remove from, oven).


Stir cocoa and water in a small heatproof jug until cocoa dissolves. Cool for 10 minutes.


Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in small bowl of an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then cocoa mixture and Nutella, until combined (mixture may look curdled). Beat in sifted flours and buttermilk until smooth. Spoon mixture evenly into tins. Smooth tops.


Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Stand cakes in tins for 20 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.


For chocolate hazelnut cream, put cream cheese, icing sugar, Nutella and brandy, if using, in the small bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth and thick.


For decorating, reserve 12 whole cherries on stems. Pit remaining cherries, cut them into quarters and combine with 1 cup of the Chocolate hazelnut cream.


Cut cakes in half horizontally. Spread cherry cream mixture evenly onto each base. Return cake tops. Spread remaining hazelnut cream all over sides and tops of cakes. Press chocolate shavings onto side of 2 cakes to decorate. Top each cake with 3 reserved cherries, dust with icing sugar and glitter and tie ribbon around centre, if desired. Serve.

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