Triple Chocolate Cherry Cake — Loaded with juicy cherries and topped with an easy homemade chocolate frosting. I used a few shortcuts in this recipe to save time, but this cake tastes completely homemade!
Easy Chocolate Cake with Cherries
This chocolate cherry cake is the easiest cake ever. Oh, how I love baking shortcuts and timesavers!
It’s perfect for potlucks, picnics, or parties, because who can say no to chocolate cake, chocolate chips in the cake, and homemade chocolate frosting?
You make the cake by combining a box of devil’s food cake mix with eggs and cherry pie filling. You don’t need to add the water or oil that the mix calls for, just the eggs, pie filling, and almond extract to enhance the flavor.
The result is a supremely moist chocolate sheet cake that’s loaded with cherry chunks. The juicy cherries amidst the rich cake are perfect, and the cake is lightly flavored with almond extract, which perfectly complements the cherries.
The homemade chocolate frosting is wonderfully decadent and velvety smooth. You make it in the food processor by whizzing all the ingredients together, which is a new technique for me with frosting with showstopper results.
What’s in the Chocolate Cherry Cake?
I made this chocolate cake with cherry pie filling to save time, but it tastes completely homemade! If you’ve never used cherry pie filling in a cake before, just trust me when I say the result is phenomenal!
Here’s what you’ll need for the cherry cake itself:
- Boxed Devil’s Food Cake mix
- Almond extract
- Cherry pie filling
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
And for the homemade chocolate frosting, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Dutch process cocoa powder
- Light corn syrup
- Vanilla extract
Can I Substitute the Cherry Pie Filling?
No, I’ve only made this recipe using cherry pie filling. I know not everyone is a fan of cherry pie filling desserts, but trust me, this one is delicious!
Can I Use Fresh Cherries Instead?
To my knowledge, regular cherries won’t work here.
How to Make Chocolate Cherry Cake
This cherry chocolate cake is out-of-this-world delicious, and it’s so simple to make!
- Add the cake mix, eggs, and almond extract to a large mixing bowl and mix. At this stage, the mixture will be dry with pea-sized lumps in it. That’s what you want!
- Add the cherry pie filling and stir by hand to incorporate, then stir in the chocolate chips. Be careful not to over mix the cake batter, otherwise your cake will become tough.
- Spread the chocolate cake batter in a prepared 9×13-inch pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How to Make Chocolate Frosting From Scratch
I took some shortcuts by using cake mix and adding cherry pie filling in the cake, but I prefer homemade frostings over store-bought every time!
- Melt chocolate pieces in the microwave. Stop every 20 seconds to check and stir. Once the chocolate can be stirred smooth, set aside to cool.
- Add butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Blend on high speed until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add in the corn syrup and vanilla, and continue blending on high until just combined.
- Pour in the cooled, melted chocolate and process until the chocolate frosting is creamy.
- Spread the frosting over the chocolate cherry cake once the cake has fully cooled.
Can I Use a Different Frosting?
Of course! I absolutely adored the frosting, but if you’d like to try another one I would recommend this light and fluffy chocolate frosting.
Or if you want a boiled frosting like you’d find in a Texas sheet cake, I’d go with this chocolate icing. Or try this chocolate ganache, or just use canned frosting from the baking aisle. No judgment here!
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Absolutely! If serving to guests, I recommend making the cake no more than 24 hours in advance. But it’s so moist that you can probably stretch it to 48 hours in advance.
Can This Be Made Into a Layer Cake?
My gut says no since the chocolate cherry cake is so moist. I typically avoid making layer cakes anyways because they require too much effort!
Tips for the Best Chocolate Cherry Cake
I cannot stress how important it is to add only the ingredients I’ve listed in the recipe card below to the chocolate cake, and not the ingredients that are listed on the box of cake mix. If you add the additional ingredients listed on the boxed cake mix, this homemade chocolate cake won’t turn out right!
Also, know that this is a super sweet cake. If you want to tone down the sweetness, I recommend using dark or bittersweet chocolate in the chocolate frosting. Or make the ganache I linked above using chocolate with a high cocoa percentage.
Because this cake is so moist, it’s wonderful as leftovers. If you have company coming over and you want to make this cake a day in advance, I think it’d still be perfect when you finally cut and serve it.
Pin This Recipe
- one 15.25-ounce box devil’s food cake mix
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste
- one 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces chocolate, melted and cooled*
- 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder**
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch pan aluminum foil for easier cleanup and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the cake mix, eggs, almond extract and beat with a handheld electric mixer on low speed for about 90 seconds; mixture will be dry with pea-sized lumps and clumps.
- Add the cherry pie filling and stir by hand to incorporate.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir by hand to incorporate; batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Allow cake to cool in pan on a wire rack for about 1 hour, or until cooled completely before frosting it.
Make the Frosting
- To a large microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate (break it into pieces or roughly chop) and heat on high power to melt. Stop every 20 seconds to check and stir. Once chocolate can be stirred smooth, set aside to cool.
- To a large canister of a food processor, add the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and process on high speed until smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and process on high until just combined, about 10 seconds.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the melted chocolate, and pulse until smooth and creamy, 10 to 15 one-second pulses.
- Evenly frost the cake.
- *I used a mixture of Trader Joe’s 72% Pound Plus Bar and Dark Chocolate Pound Plus Bar.
- **Original recipe calls for Dutch-processed, but I used regular Hershey’s.
- You may have a small amount of extra frosting which will keep airtight in the fridge for at least 1 week. Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Cake adapted from Betty Crocker, Frosting from Brown Eyed Baker via Cooks Illustrated
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 403Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 3g
More Easy Chocolate Cake Recipes:
Coca-Cola Cake — One cake of Coke in the cake and another can of Coke in the frosting! Easy no-mixer cake that’s supremely moist! Tastes like a Texas sheet cake spiked with Coke!
The Best Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache – The best chocolate cake I’ve ever had and the easiest scratch cake to make! Nothing fussy or complicated and delivers amazing results every time!
Flourless Chocolate Cake — A classy, elegant cake that’s ultra rich, fudgy, and tastes better than what you’d get in a fancy restaurant and it’s so EASY!
Red Wine Chocolate Cake — Rich chocolate cake spiked with Cabernet and topped with a silky ganache that also has Cabernet in it!
The Best Triple Chocolate Layer Cake — Rich, intense, and everything you crave in decadent chocolate cake! Along with tender chocolate cake there’s chocolate cream cheese frosting, chocolate chips, and melted chocolate!
The Best and The Easiest Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes – One bowl, no mixer, so easy! The warm, gooey, fudgy chocolate center is heavenly! Better than any restaurant versions!
Slow Cooker Hot Fudge Chocolate Cake – Super soft, gooey, rich, and fudgy! The cake makes its own hot fudge sauce while cooking in the slow cooker! The easiest cake you’ll ever make and it tastes amazing!
Turtle Chocolate Poke Cake – The flavor of the famous candy in a decadent chocolate cake with tons of caramel and pecans! Easy, super soft and moist, and a crowd favorite!
Smores Poke Cake – A supremely moist and decadent chocolate cake topped with graham crackers, marshmallows, and hot fudge! Campfire not required for this fun and easy twist on smores!