This Drunken Cherry Cake Roll is as luscious as it gets. This ultra-rich, sponge cake roll is the perfect dessert to make for your New Year’s party. It is a traditional Russian cake, made with vodka-soaked cherries, cream and rich chocolate.

Drunken cherry cake roll

Have you ever tried a “drunk cake” before? If you haven’t, get prepared to fall in love. I love using liqueurs to add depth of flavor to cakes. Baking with alcohol not only contributes to moistening your cake, it also adds a lovely boozy flavor perfect for the holidays.

If you fall in love with this Drunken Cherry Cake Roll (and I’m certain you will!), I will share some more recipes below that combine baking and liquor. I think the combination is perfect for the extravagance of special-occasion and holiday treats!

Drunken Cherry Cake Roll Video

Making the Sponge Cake

For this cake, I use my favorite sponge cake recipe as the base. It soaks up the cream and the juices from the cherries so nicely. And to be honest, that’s what this cake is about!

Make your sponge cake using a 10×15 inch sized sheet pan. It speeds up the cooking time and makes for a sponge cake that is super easy to roll up. It also ensures that your cake is not too thin and flimsy or too thick and unmalleable.

sponge cake on a baking sheet

What Can I Use Leftover Cherry Juice For?

We don’t like to waste anything! Especially when it can make the recipe even more decadent and delicious. Therefore, you are going to hang onto the cherry juice you strain out in “step “ and use it to soak into your fully-cooled down sponge cake later. Trust me, this takes your cake to the NEXT LEVEL of moistness. It also adds a beautiful flavor to your cake.

Which Cherries are Best for the Drunken Cherry Cake Roll?

Morello cherries are by far the best option for this cake roll. They absorb the vodka so well, yet keep their tart cherry flavor. Stray away from maraschinos, as they taste a bit artificial and won’t provide the depth of flavor you are looking for.

Don’t know where to find morello cherries? I typically purchase them from Trader Joe’s. They are fairly priced and delicious. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, search for your local Eastern European specialty store.

How to Make Drunken Cherries

This process couldn’t be more straightforward. Drain the juice from your cherries using a strainer or sieve. Make sure to save the juice! Place the cherries in glass bowl or container and cover them with vodka. Let them soak for at least 24 hours before you drain them and get to baking.

How Far in Advance Can You Make The Cake?

You can make this cake up to 5 days in advance. Since the cake needs to set in the refrigerator before serving, making it ahead of time is actually preferred. This will bring out the flavors and make sure that this ultra-creamy cake can stand up to a knife when it comes time to cut into it. I would recommend keeping the cake in a sealed container to prevent it from drying out.

Drunken cherry cake on a plate

Other “Drunk Cake” Recipes to Try Out:

  • Drunken Raisin Cake: Soaked in rum, this cake is covered in whipped cream and perfect for the holidays.
  • Drunken Cherry Cake: The cake version of this recipe is made with rum instead (I use clear Bacardi).
  • Chocolate Liqueur Cake: This cake is made with Irish cream liqueur and is sure to please even the most intense chocolate-addict!

About Author

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Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.