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This cherry chip cake recipe is a light and fluffy cake flavored with sweet maraschino cherry juice and filled with chopped cherry pieces. It’s topped with a smooth and creamy buttercream frosting that’s bursting with cherry flavor. The result is a decadent dessert that looks beautiful and tastes even better.
Cherry Chip Cake
Homemade cherry chip cake is a rich and delicious treat that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. It’s also surprisingly easy, since it uses a boxed cake mix as the base. Maraschino cherries and juice are the star ingredients in this recipe, flavoring both the cake and the frosting, and making this cake a bit more interesting than your average vanilla or chocolate cake. Great for special occasions, parties, and potlucks, this is the perfect cake to make the next time you need an easy treat that’s guaranteed to impress.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Boxed cake mix makes the preparation so easy, yet it still tastes homemade.
- Cherry cake is a flavor that you don’t often see, making this cake stand out in a crowd.
- It’s pretty enough to serve for company, but easy enough for a casual family dinner.
- It tastes like the popular Betty Crocker boxed cherry chip cake mix, but this homemade version is even better.
- It would make a fabulous recipe for Valentine’s day or other special occasions.
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- baking dish
- mixing bowl
- electric mixer
- rubber spatula
- icing spatula
For the cake:
- white cake mix
- maraschino cherries, divided (save the juice), plus extra for garnish
- salted butter, melted
- vanilla extract
- maraschino cherry juice
For the frosting:
- confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
- maraschino cherry juice
- stemmed maraschino cherries (a separate jar) for topping the cake
How to Make Cherry Chip Cake
Step One: Prepare the Cake
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Drain and save the cherry juice. Chop the cherries into fine pieces.
- In a medium-sized bowl, place the cake mix, chopped maraschino cherries, eggs, melted butter, water, vanilla, and 1/2 cup cherry juice.
- Mix until the cake batter is combined.
Step Two: Bake the Cake
- Pour the cherry cake batter into your prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cake from the oven. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
Step Three: Make the Frosting
- In a large bowl, place the confectioners sugar, butter, and a tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice.
- Mix with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed until well combined.
- Add the milk one tablespoon at a time, continuing to mix after each tablespoon until the desired consistency is reached.
Step Four: Frost and Decorate
- Put frosting over the whole cake after it’s cooled.
- Decorate the cake by placing the stemmed cherries on top.
- Slice and serve.
Tips and Suggestions
- Line your cake pans with parchment paper to ensure that the bottom of the cake doesn’t stick.
- If you’d like your frosting to have a brighter pink color, you can add a drop or two of red food coloring.
- If you can’t get enough cherry flavor, you can add a little cherry Jello mix to the cake batter. This will also produce a lovely pink cake color.
- Before adding the chopped maraschino cherries to your cake batter, it’s a good idea to place them on a paper towel and let them dry out a bit. That will prevent them from introducing extra liquid into the batter.
- You can also toss the chopped cherries in a little flour before adding them to the cake batter. This will help prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- You can substitute yellow cake mix for the white, or even try using chocolate cake mix for a cherry chocolate version of this cake.
- Top the cake with some mini chocolate chips along with the stemmed maraschino cherries.
- If making this as a layer cake, you can spread cherry preserves or chocolate ganache between the cake layers as a delicious filling.
- Substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract in the cake batter. Almond and cherry flavors are delicious together.
Can I Use Fresh Cherries in this Recipe?
You can use fresh instead of maraschino cherries, but you still need the maraschino cherry juice.
How do I Serve Cherry Chip Cake?
- This cake is pretty and impressive enough to be the centerpiece dessert at a fancy dinner or party. Serve it with some vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
- It makes a great afternoon snack with a cup of tea or coffee.
How Do I Store Cherry Chip Cake?
- This cake can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. For best results, place it in an airtight container, wrap in plastic wrap, or put it in a resealable plastic bag.
This old-fashioned cherry chip cake cake is a great any time of year, would be a great birthday cake, and is fun for Valentine’s day too.
Cherry Chip Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 box white cake mix
- 6 oz. maraschino cherries divided (save the juice), plus extra for garnish
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
For the Cherry Buttercream Frosting:
- 1 stick butter
- 1 lb. confecitoner’s sugar
- 4 Tbsp. milk
- 1 Tbsp. maraschino cherry juice
- Stemmed cherries for the top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Drain (and save) cherry juice and chop cherries into fine pieces.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the cake mix, chopped cherries, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, water, and 1/2 cup cherry juice. Mix until batter is combined.
- Pour cake batter into prepared baking dish.
- Bake 25 minutes until golden brown or a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool.
- While cake is cooling, make the frosting.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl of an electric mixer add butter, confectioner’s sugar, and a tablespoon of cherry juice. Cream together. Add milk one tablespoon at a time and mix after each tablespoon until desired consistency is reached.
- Frost cooled cake.
- Add stemmed cherries to the top of the cake for decoration.
- Slice and serve.
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