I LOVE chocolate and cherries together. I definitely think it’s one of the best combinations out there. When I saw a recipe for a chocolate cherry cake using cake mix, it gave me an idea to try the cake from scratch. I started with a recipe for a basic sheet cake, and altered it to cut down on the liquid, fat and sugar, since I would be adding a can of cherry pie filling. Which, by the way, is one of my other favorite things in the world.
This cake has what you’d probably expect in a chocolate cake: flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, chocolate, instant coffee, eggs, vanilla, oil and sugar. Plus the cherries. I only added a half cup of sugar, so the cake isn’t very sweet. The cake only has 1/2 cup of sugar, so it’s not overly sweet. It goes perfectly well with sweet icing.
I decided to make this cake when my oven was broken, so I made it in my toaster oven. Surprisingly, it worked! I just had to bake each layer separately.
I chose to ice this cake with cream cheese icing, a favorite in our household. I think it would be just as good with chocolate or vanilla icing.
Even though there is a relatively little amount of oil added to the cake, the cherries help keep it nice and moist.
Careful! Before you know it, it will be all gone!
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant coffee powder
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 11/2 cups all purpose flour
- 11/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 21 oz can cherry pie filling
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x13" baking pan with vegetable oil and line the bottom with parchment paper (see note).
Melt chocolate chips in a large glass bowl over a pot of barely boiling water. Add the boiling water, cocoa and coffee. Whisk together until smooth and allow to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Whisk sugar, eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture, then slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Add half the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and gently whisk to combine. Repeat with second half of flour mixture. Gently stir in the cherry pie filling. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick, like pudding.
Scrape batter into prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs, 35-40 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through baking.
Let cake cool completely in the pan. Run a knife around the edges then turn onto a wire rack. Peel parchment off, and frost, if desired.