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Easy 2-Ingredient Cherry Chocolate Cake

This rich, moist 2-ingredient cherry chocolate cake is delicious and perfect for any special occasion. It not only tastes good, but it’s also super easy to make.

Some people call this a cherry dump cake or a chocolate dump cake because you basically just dump the ingredients into the pan, stir, and bake. People love the simplicity of this yummy dessert so much that it made my list of top 10 recipe posts in 2023!

Slice of 2-ingredient cherry chocolate cake on a plate beside a maraschino cherry

If you’re in a hurry and just want the recipe, click on the jump-to-recipe button beneath the title of this post. However, if you do this, you’ll miss some of the tips and answers to questions that can help deliver better results.

You can make a variety of flavors of this same type of cake. And you can make individual servings. Check out this mug cake recipe for some ideas on how to do this.

And don’t be afraid to experiment because you never know … you might create a new favorite recipe!

Easy Chocolate Cake with Cherries

I don’t know many people who don’t like chocolate. Chocolate is a universally preferred dessert, so you really can’t go wrong with this cake.

And of course the chocolate-cherry combination is a favorite. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate covered cherries, right?

Although you can leave the top of this cake bare to keep the ingredient list to 2 items, I like to frost it with chocolate and decorate it with cherries to mirror what’s inside.

I prefer dark chocolate frosting, but you can certainly use whatever topping you want. One reader mentioned that she only uses whipped cream and doesn’t frost it. That sounds really good to me, so I’ll probably try it that way next time.

Slice of cherry chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and cherries on top

This cake would be perfect for a special day, like Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, a birthday, or any other celebration. Or simply have it when you want it because the flavor turns any day into a special day. It’s a party in the mouth!

Different Texture

One thing to keep in mind when making this cake is that the texture is different from other chocolate cakes. It’s denser and more moist, sort of like a pudding cake. So don’t expect it to have a dry cake texture.

2-Ingredient Cherry Chocolate Cake Ingredients

As the name implies, you only need 2 ingredients—cherry pie filling and a box of chocolate cake mix. You can use either regular or gluten-free cake mix.

Cherry pie filling and chocolate cake mix

As someone pointed out with my 2-ingredient apple cake recipe, the mix has more ingredients built in. That’s a mere technicality that I’ve chosen not to worry about.

In my book, the cake mix is an ingredient, even though it has the flour, baking powder, and other ingredients that you don’t have to purchase separately. Most packaged or jarred foods (including ketchup) have a whole list of ingredients.

For exact measurements of each ingredient and full directions, go to the recipe card at the bottom of the page. You can even print out the card by clicking on the “print” button.

Although this cake is good as-is, you can add other ingredients if you want. For extra chocolaty flavor, toss in a few chocolate chips.

You can also swap out one of the cans of cherry pie filling for apple or pineapple pie filling. It will taste different, but it will still be delicious. My preference is the chocolate cherry combination, but all variations that I’ve tried have been good.

I like this cake just as much without the frosting and extra cherries. In fact, it’s absolutely delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on top.

How to Make a 2-Ingredient Cherry Chocolate Cake

First, preheat the oven and grease the pan or casserole dish. You can use whatever oil or grease you prefer. As always, I use nonstick cooking spray because that’s the easiest way to coat the pan. However, butter is just as good.

Next, dump the cake mix and cherry pie filling into a large mixing bowl.

Cake mix and cherry pie filling in a mixing bowl

Stir the mixture until it is well blended. The only lumps should be the cherries in the pie filling.

Cherry pie filling and cake mix blended

Then, pour the mixture into the pan. It will be extremely thick, so you’ll need to use a spoon or spatula to scrape it out of the bowl.

Spread it out until it is even all the way across.

Cake batter in a pan

Finally, put it in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes before serving. It should still be warm. Or let it cool to room temperature if you plan to frost it.

Baked cake cooling on the counter

I have a word of warning. Instead of using a 9”x13” pan, I pulled out the 7”x11” pan. I probably should have scooped the mixture into the larger pan when I noticed my mistake. But I decided to see what happened.

It turned out fine, but it rose over the edge of the pan. When I saw that happening, I quickly popped a pan on the bottom rack. If you choose the smaller size pan, I recommend placing a cookie sheet on the rack beneath the cake. You know, just in case it overflows.

Next time, I’ll be more careful and make sure I have the right size pan. It was still good, but I had to bake it an extra 10 minutes to make sure the center was done. As I already mentioned, I used a canned dark chocolate frosting because I love dark chocolate anything.

However, I think it would also be good with a white frosting. The contrast would add quite a bit of visual interest to this delicious dessert.

If you add cherries to white frosting, you’ll have to be extra careful, or the juice from the cherries might run. But you might actually like the swirl of pink if it does run. That’s completely up to you!

Cherry chocolate cake

Questions About Dump Cakes

Since dump cakes are so easy to make, you’ll probably want to have at least one of them in your dessert rotation. Here are some questions you may have, with answers.

How Do You Store a Dump Cake?

If you have leftovers, you can cover the pan of cake in plastic or carefully transfer it to an airtight container. Then stick it in the refrigerator. It should be good for 4 or 5 days … if it lasts that long.

Can You Freeze a Dump Cake?

Yes, you can freeze a dump cake. First transfer it to a freezer-safe airtight container. When you’re ready to serve it, allow it to thaw at room temperature for at least 2 or 3 hours.

Can You Eat Dump Cake Cold?

Yes, dump cake is still delicious when it’s cold. I’ve actually pulled it out of the refrigerator and eaten it right away.

Can You Heat Dump Cake?

Although you don’t have to heat dump cake, you can. The best way to do this is to scoop single servings into microwave-safe dishes or shallow bowls. Heat them one at a time for 20 to 30 seconds each.

Should Dump Cake be Gooey?

Dump cake is typically gooey but not runny. This gooeyness is what most people like about it, in addition to the fact that it’s so easy to make.

More 2 Ingredient Cake Recipes

If you’re looking for more ways to make 2 ingredient cakes, take a look at these recipes:

2-Ingredient Lemon Cake – Some of my 2 ingredient cake recipes might surprise you when you see the ingredients. If you don’t already know about this one, you might have to do a double take.

2-Ingredient Peach Cake – This 2-ingredient peach cake is one of my favorite desserts because I go absolutely bonkers over anything that’s peach flavored. It is also classified as a dump cake.

I make quite a few 2 and 3 ingredient dishes that make life so easy.

As I already mentioned, I make use of ingredients that are a blend of other ingredients so I don’t have to measure out so many things. Granted, I don’t always bake this way, but there are circumstances that limit time.

More Recipes

I enjoy cooking, but I don’t make anything that’s difficult. That’s why I love baking these flourless peanut butter cookies. Not only are they delicious, but also they’re super quick and easy to make, making them a favorite treat around our house.

Another recipe I enjoy is this super easy creamy lemon meringue pie. It’s the one like my mother use to make. When my older daughter was little, she wanted it instead of birthday cake!

This pound cake with cream cheese frosting from my friend Julie’s blog, Back to My Southern Roots, is good too! In fact, it’ll send you into orbit after the first bite!

If you like a blend of tart and sweet, you’ll love these lemon bars. I love the fact that the ingredients in this dessert are shelf stable, so I can keep them in my pantry for those times when I need a quick sweet treat.

For out-of-this-world tropical flavor, try making a pineapple dump cake. Don’t be surprised if your family request this one again and again!

Peanut butter lovers will enjoy these yummy peanut butter balls. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is whether or not to cover them in chocolate. My advice: have some both ways!

Slice of cherry chocolate cake on a plate

2-Ingredient Cherry Chocolate Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This 2-ingredient cherry chocolate cake is a delicious dessert or treat for any occasion.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of chocolate cake mix
  • Two 15-ounce cans of cherry pie filling
  • *See notes for optional ingredients

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a 9”x13” baking pan or casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. In a large bowl, combine both cans of cherry pie filling and the cake mix. Stir until well mixed.
    3. Pour the mixture into the greased baking pan. Spread it out until it is evenly distributed.
    4. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on a baking rack for at least half an hour before cutting it.

Notes

  • Please keep in mind that this is a dump cake and is much more dense and moist than a traditional cake.
  • You have the option of topping it with chocolate frosting and cherries or using something else. You can even serve it without any topping or serve it with whipped cream or ice cream.
  • For a thicker cake, use a 7” x 11” pan, but increase the baking time to 45 minutes because it’s deeper and takes longer to cook. Also place something beneath the pan in case the mixture overflows.

    ***If you frost the cake, it needs to be cooled to room temperature.
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 264Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 349mgCarbohydrates 57gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 2g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

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See this recipe shared at Full Plate Thursday.

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Connie

Tuesday 6th of February 2024

What about using a jar of Morello cherries with the juice they are jarred in? Aldi sells jars of wonderful Morello cherries.

southernhomeexpress

Wednesday 7th of February 2024

Hi Connie. You can add those, but you still need the pie filling to give it the gooeyness it needs for texture.

Eddy Hillsdale

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

What size cake mix?

southernhomeexpress

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

Hi Eddy. I use either a 15 or 16 ounce cake mix.

Gina

Saturday 15th of July 2023

My mom isn’t a chocolate fan… could I do this with other flavor cake mixes?

southernhomeexpress

Saturday 15th of July 2023

Absolutely! I make a variety of these "dump cakes" with different cake mixes and pie fillings. I hope she enjoys whatever you decide to use!

Cindy H

Thursday 15th of June 2023

Has anyone tried making it in a crockpot? How did you do it?

southernhomeexpress

Thursday 15th of June 2023

Hi Cindy. I've never tried this in a Crock Pot. I hope someone has and is willing to share the experience. Thank you for the question!

Kathy

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

I only had 21oz cans of pie filling so I used one whole can and measured out 9oz of the other can. Also used the triple chocolate cake. Came out great. Going to use the left over filling on top of frosting instead of the maraschino cherries. Thanks for the deliciousness!! 😊

southernhomeexpress

Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm a big believer in using what you have and making it work. Sometimes that's how you discover your favorite recipes.

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