This chocolate cherry cake recipe will show you how to make a boxed cake mix better simply by adding a few special ingredients. You will also learn how you can change the recipe to create HUNDREDS of unique cakes for any occasion.
How to make a boxed cake mix better?
There is no shame in using a boxed cake mix. As an avid baker, I reach for the boxed cake mix more frequently than I make from scratch. The key is the ingredients that you add to the mix to create that perfectly moist cake.
Here are the key ingredients you need to add to a boxed cake mix to make it extraordinary:
- instant pudding mix
- sour cream
- pure vanilla extract
- vegetable oil
Now you can use the base cake mix from above to create whatever cake you are wanting.
Box Cake Mix Recipes
Each cake can be customized by changing the flavor of cake mix and pudding mix. I have tried many combinations and I have yet to find one that I don’t like. Here are just a few examples:
- White cake mix with vanilla pudding (traditional, elegant).
- Chocolate cake mix with chocolate pudding (chocolate decadence at it’s best).
- White cake mix with cheesecake pudding (uhh, haven’t tried that but I may have to soon. That sounds amazing)
- yellow cake mix with dark chocolate pudding (combines the best of both world’s)!
My personal favorite combination so far is the yellow cake mix with dark chocolate pudding, which is what I used in this recipe.
Chocolate Cherry Cake [Black Forest Cake or sometimes called Black Forest Gateau]
Imagine a chocolate cake with that distinctive and addicting yellow cake flavor with juicy cherries thrown in for good measure. That is what this amazing chocolate cherry cake is!
Then, all of that is topped with a silky chocolate ganache and more chocolate. Oh my!
I never really got the whole chocolate and cherry combination prior to this cake… but now I totally get it. Chocolate and cherries are now like peanut butter and jelly in my book.
I have had so many people that don’t like cherries absolutely love this cake. However, if you absolutely can’t stand the thought of cherries, you could always leave them out.
Chocolate and cherry cake became widely known with the famous black forest cake, or black forest Gateau. Traditionally, this cake has several layers of chocolate cake that is filled with a whipped cream and cherry filling.
Maybe I need to make a cake using this cake batter with a whipped cream and cherry filling…hmmm.
My favorite box cake recipes
I have been a huge fan of box cake recipes for years and have made countless recipes. Here are just a few of my favorite box cake recipes from Missouri Girl Home:
- Holiday Celebration Cake with Vanilla Butter Custard Filling and Italian Buttercream Frosting
- Vanilla Bean Cake with White Chocolate Frosting
- Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cake
The Southern Living Ultimate Christmas Cookbook
I first discovered this chocolate cherry cake batter recipe 9 years ago when I bought my favorite cookbook of all time, The Southern Living Ultimate Christmas Cookbook (2010).
Usually, when I get a cookbook, there are are only a handful of recipes that I’m excited to try. This particular cookbook was loaded with recipes that I just had to make. Did you notice the little tabs sticking out of the top of the cookbook?
There were so many recipes in there that I had to make a list so that I could make sure I eventually tried them all. A very long list. Each year, I try a few but I haven’t made it through them all yet.
The recipe begins by using, of coarse, a store bought cake mix and a store bought pudding mix.
And did I mention how easy this recipe is?
How to make a chocolate cherry chunk cake:
Begin by placing the yellow cake mix in a large mixing bowl.
Add the pudding mix and sugar.
and the eggs.
Mix well with a hand mixer until well combined.
Then add the vegetable oil, water, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes)
Next, fold in the chocolate chips and cherries.
Pour into a well greased nonstick bunt pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.
Allow the cake to cool in the bunt pan for about 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto serving plate, remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
To make the ganache, place the cream and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for about 50 seconds or until it is very warm.
Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is silky and smooth.
Slowly pour the ganache over the cake and allow the chocolate to gently cascade over the sides.
Top with additional chocolate shavings, swirls, or chips.
Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cake
- 1 box 1 box yellow cake mix any size (I have used several different brands)
- 3.6 oz box dark chocolate pudding mix (a 3.8 oz box works as well)
- ½ cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- 8 oz sour cream
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 5 oz dried cherries
- 3 oz chocolate of choice (milk, semi-sweet or dark), chopped
- ¾ cup semi sweet chocolate chips, plus additional chocolate chips for topping.
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
Make the cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, and eggs. Mix well.
- Add the vegetable oil, water, sour cream, and vanilla.
- Beat on medium speed with hand held mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and cherries.
- Pour into a greased 10 inch bunt pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for about 20 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. Cool completely.
Make the chocolate ganache
- Once the cake is cooled, place the cream and butter in a small microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 50 seconds or until the butter is melted.
- Add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is shiny and smooth.
- Pour the chocolate ganache slowly and evenly over the cake, allowing the chocolate to cascade down the sides.
- Garnish with chocolate of choice (chips, shavings, swirls, or chopped).