Double Cherry Chocolate Cake – A delectable chocolate cake with subtle cherry flavors topped by a creamy cherry-studded fudge frosting.
Because it can’t be possible to have too many cherry/chocolate desserts in your repertoire, I’m following up last week’s Black Forest Dessert Dip with this amazing Double Cherry Chocolate Cake. Rich and fudgy with delicate cherry flavor, it’s a cake recipe to stand the test of time.
And when I say this Double Cherry Chocolate Cake stands the test of time, that’s no lie. So, back in December, my mom came and visited for a couple days so we could bake Christmas cookies together. With her, she brought a very old cookbook of my grandma’s for me to look through. (Very cool, and more on that in future posts!)
One of the recipes my mom could not find in the cookbook was a cherry chocolate cake that my grandma used to make. It was a big time fave of my mom’s, and she hadn’t had it in years. I’ve looked through my grandma’s cookbook several times since then, but I haven’t really thought twice about the cherry chocolate cake.
Until a couple weeks ago, that is. Literally, the day after I made the Black Forest Dessert Dip (more chocolate and cherries, anyone?) for the blog, I got a text from my mom with a picture of the famed Double Cherry Chocolate Cake recipe! Of course, I had to make it!
Easier said than done as it turned out. So, this is the photo my mom sent. Seems like a simple recipe, right? (Obviously a Pillsbury recipe based upon the blatant references.) Seven ingredients total? Cake mix. . .frosting mix. . .easy peasy! Except, not so much.
First, Pillsbury no longer makes a chocolate fudge cake mix. Not the end of the world, though, as other brands do offer a chocolate fudge cake mix. Okay, crisis number one averted!
The bigger challenge came with the Pillsbury Creamy Fudge Frosting Mix. Not only does Pillsbury no longer make this frosting mix, evidently no one makes a fudge frosting mix! So much for easy! (BTW, when I did a search for this Pillsbury frosting mix, I found several disgruntled posts begging Pillsbury to resurrect it. That must have been one damn good fudge frosting mix!)
No frosting mix? Okay, not to worry. While the frosting mix would have been super duper easy, we can also make a fudge frosting from scratch using chocolate chips without a whole lot of effort. So, that’s what I did, and I have to say I was pretty happy with the results.
I should point out that this cherry fudge frosting is not quite like what you may be used to from the can. It’s a bit thinner than “normal” frosting when you frost the cake, but it sets up very nicely as you can see.
Finally, I was able to make the famed Double Cherry Chocolate Cake! Another thing that apparently has changed in the last 40-50 years is the amount of time required to bake a cake. I can only think that cake mixes themselves have changed over the years. The 40-45 minutes listed in the recipe my mom sent is not even close to being right. Mine baked for about 25 minutes, and it was perfect. My suggestion is to shoot for around 25 minutes or go by the instructions on the cake mix box.
I can see why this Double Cherry Chocolate Cake was one of my mom’s favorites. It’s moist, and the cherry flavor is a wonderful complement to the rich chocolaty goodness of the cake. So glad this treasure wasn’t lost to the ages!
- 1 package chocolate fudge cake mix
- 1 package cherry flavored gelatin 3 ounce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup water divided
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup drained finely-chopped maraschino cherries
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup maraschino cherry juice
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pats
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons drained finely chopped maraschino cherries
- 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds optional, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans on bottoms only.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cake mix, gelatin, vegetable oil, and ½ cup of the water. Beat for 1 minute on low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Add the third egg, ¼ cup cherries, and the remaining ½ cup water. Beat at medium speed for 1 minute.
Divide batter among the cake pans. Bake for time according to cake mix box instructions.
Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
Place sugar, cherry juice, and butter in a medium sauce pan and combine.
Over medium heat, stir mixture constantly until it comes to a consistent boil.
Remove pan from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until chips are completely melted.
With a hand mixer, beat the frosting until creamy and cooled.
Stir in the chopped cherries.
Frost the top of one cake layer with about ¼ of the frosting. Top with about half of chopped almonds if using.
Place second cake layer on top of first and then frost entire cake on top and over the sides.
If using, sprinkle top with remaining chopped almonds.