Here’s a deep, dark secret to begin the year: I love a good, decadent dessert and am not a fan of most “store-bought” desserts, but I’m also sometimes just not in the mood for all of the ingredient-gathering and measuring and mixing details that go into baking a from-scratch cake.
Well, if you feel the same way, Happy New Year! I’m about to share how to make one of my favorite in-a-hurry desserts and it starts… *whispering* with a boxed mix. Shocking, right? Well, although it’s been my experience that “quick” and “good” are sometimes mutually exclusive in baking, thanks to some modern advances with cake mixes – and a bit of tweaking – this “doctored” box cake is a big-time exception to that rule!
So believe me when I say that this Black Forest Cake, besides being truly a breeze to prepare, is rich, moist, and delicious! And as an added nutritional bonus, the cherry pie filling baked into the cake (which makes it so moist!) also substitutes for the oil used in most recipes.
I’ve prepared this several times over the years, and I’ve learned that just about any kind of good chocolate cake mix – Devil’s food, Triple Chocolate, whatever’s on hand – will work, as long as it’s one with the pudding already in the mix.
The first time I made one like what I’m sharing today I was carrying it to a cast party and knew that a lot of my chocoholic friends would be there. So I started with a Devil’s Food Cake mix, added 1/3 cup of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup to the batter along with the other ingredients, and it was wonderful!
Actually, this recipe, as presented, provides a cake that actually is good without any icing at all. Sometimes I serve it warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or even with just a dusting of powdered sugar. It’s also delicious if you want to triple the chocolate and substitute a good, boiled chocolate icing. I have yet to have a complaint about any way of finishing off this cake, but I find that when I use the cream cheese frosting (recipe provided) it always gets raves.
If you can wait to eat it cold – as you’d have to do when using the cream cheese frosting – refrigerating it overnight seems to make the flavor of the cherries more thoroughly permeate the cake, which intensifies the entire experience.
I actually made it with the cream cheese frosting the first time because I couldn’t take it to a party warm and I didn’t have time for a thorough, overnight chilling. So when I took the cake out of the oven I quickly got it to room temperature, topped it with the cream cheese frosting, refrigerated it for a couple of hours, and TA DA! Everybody loved it!
This cake also is one of the reasons I always keep at least one can of Cherry Pie Filling on hand. Because, although I only make cherry pies with fresh cherries, the canned ones are such a great, quick and easy addition to many recipes!
And I’ve learned the hard way that this recipe is one place you don’t want to skimp on your cherry pie filling. You’ll likely find several brands in the grocery store, but in my experience, the bargain brands generally contain more “filling” than “cherry.”
So there you have it – a few tips and my (formerly) ultra-secret formula for a quick and easy and absolutely delicious (and Quick!) Black Forest Cake a la Queenie!
I will admit that were I expecting or royalty for dinner, I’d most likely dig out all the canisters and measuring devices and make something entirely from scratch. But I’ll bet your friends and family will love this one, and I can almost guarantee that even die-hard foodies won’t know that this cake is not made from scratch. I won’t tell if you don’t!
Black Forest Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package Devil's Food Cake Mix
(or any boxed chocolate cake mix as long as it has pudding in the mix)
4 large eggs
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Lightly beat eggs with a fork, add almond extract, then stir into cake mix. Stir in cherry pie filling and semisweet chocolate chips until just combined. Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35- 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz softened cream cheese
½ Cup softened butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat together cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla. Beat in confectioner’s sugar a little at a time. Frost thoroughly cooled cake and then refrigerate until time to serve.
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