Back of Berry Tempting: Chocolate-Cherry Firehouse Birthday Cake When I was little, one of my favorite dishes was my dad's firehouse birthday cake. He was a fire chief, and like most firefighters, a great cook. His dessert specialty was a boxed chocolate cake that he jazzed up with a whipped cream cheese frosting and syrupy cherry topping; it was called firehouse birthday cake. Since he retired, I haven't had firehouse birthday cake, so with the original recipe in hand, I recently set out to bake an updated version of the dessert. Instead of a boxed mix, I made a devil's food chocolate cake from scratch and I replaced the canned cherries with fresh bing cherries. The resulting cake has all the delicious flavors I remember, but with a more sophisticated appearance. It's a rich and wonderful pairing of chocolate and cherries, cut with smooth, fluffy, thick cream. If you've got a birthday coming up, I highly recommend this cake. Here's the recipe. Chocolate-Cherry Firehouse Birthday Cake Modified from Martha Stewart IngredientsFor the cake: 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans 1/2 cup boiling water 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 1/4 cups sugar 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup whole buttermilk For the cherries: 2 1/2 cups pitted fresh cherries 1/4 cup sugar For the whipped cream frosting: 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup powdered sugar 1 pint heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup creme de cassis, optional for assembly Directions Make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment. Dust with cocoa powder; tap out excess. Set aside. Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl; whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until creamy. Gradually mix in sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, a bit at a time, mixing well between each addition; mix until well blended. Mix in vanilla. Whisk buttermilk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans; smooth tops with an offset spatula. Bake, until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks; remove parchment and re-invert. Let cool completely. While the cake cools, prepare the cherries. Stir together the cherries and sugar in a bowl. Set aside. Make the frosting: Whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy, 2 to three minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the powdered sugar and whipping cream. Beat on high speed until slightly thick. Add the whipped cream cheese and continue beating until mixture is thick and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. To assemble cake, place one cake on a serving platter. Brush with creme de cassis, if desired. Top with a generous scoop of frosting. Top with half of the cherries, leaving a 1/2 inch border. Place remaining cake on top. Brush with creme de cassis. Cover the top and side with frosting. Pour the rest of the berries in a mound on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 14-16. Information Category Desserts, Cake Cuisine North American View 20 Photos › Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4 Photo 5 Photo 6 Photo 7 Photo 8 Photo 9 Photo 10 Photo 11 Photo 12 Photo 13 Photo 14 Photo 15 Photo 16 Photo 17 Photo 18 Photo 19 Photo 20 Comments AlexisSF 7 years oh wow — YUM. looks so good. i love cream cheese frosting! GlowingMoon 7 years This cake looks good. I imagine the flavors would be delicious. chiefdishwasher 7 years I see in your photos you included the original recipe for me to use.....thanks for the easy way out to make this!