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Chocolate Covered Cherry Devil's Food Cake

March 25, 2020

Slice of black forest cake
The most delicious from-scratch Devil's Food Cake recipe topped with cherries and chocolate mom's own take on the Black Forest Cake.

COOK + BAKE   |   Published March 10, 2020

Devil's food cake topped with cherries

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Are there any favorite desserts that stick out in your mind from childhood?

As strange as it seems, food really can be memorable long after you've eaten it.  Maybe it was the first time you tried a something that later turned out to be a favorite.  Or perhaps you associate that certain dish to an important event taking place or even where you ate it.  And then of course there are those foods that were just so good they are unforgettable.

slice of black forest cake on white plate

When I was growing up, for many birthdays I remember asking for my mom to make Black Forest Cake.  It was a recipe prepared with a boxed Devil's Food Cake mix baked in a pan that was produced exclusively for Duncan Hines.  The cake had a unique shape that allowed cherry pie filling to fill the top of it without sliding down.

The original recipe calls for a whipped cream topping, which I know traditional black forest cakes have, but I never remember my mom putting this on MY cake, just this recipe also admits that final topping.

It has been probably 15 years since I last had this cake, and I recently was really craving it once again.  I decided to try it myself, but this time, prepare the Devil's Food Cake from scratch as I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes as much as possible.

Aside from having a minor hiccup of the cake not wanting to budge from the pan, the dessert turned out exactly as I had hoped.  I wanted to share it with you just in case you have memories of this cake being baked many years ago as well.

Black forest cake on clear glass cake stand


Devil's food cake is a fluffy, moist chocolate cake.  It contains more chocolate that a traditional cake resulting in a richer flavor and darker color.  Although you can use ordinary baking cocoa to prepare the recipe, using Dutch processed cocoa gives it a deeper flavor.  This is thanks in part to Dutch cocoa having a higher percentage of cocoa butter.

Coffee is frequently added to the ingredients to further enhance the chocolate flavor.

Duncan Hines Tiara Tart Pan


The pan used for making this cake was a promotional product from Ekco created for Duncan Hines.  It was called a tiara pan and had short fluted sides with a dip in the center to hold a filling.  If you use an ordinary cake pan, there is nothing to keep your filling from sliding over the sides.

While the pans are no longer manufactured, they are available from individual sellers on Amazon or Ebay if you do a search for them. I also found a tart pan that has a similar dip in the center and there are Maryann cake pans that have higher sides, but are very similar.

Just keep in mind that the amount made in this recipe is specifically for the Tiara pan so I cannot confirm how your cake will turn out or if there will be enough or too much batter if you use the other pans.


With the original recipe using a boxed cake mix, there was always too much batter, so you'd also get devil's food cupcakes out of it as well.

However, this from-scratch devil's food cake recipe makes the exact amount of batter you'll need to fill your pan.  You just have to trust me because it may seem like too much as you fill the pan.  There is a tiny hole in the side of the pan and the batter will fall just below this hole.  As it bakes the cake will rise over the top of the pan, but only after it is solid enough to not run over the sides.

Once again, if you use something other than the Tiara pan, you will have to watch that the batter fills no more than 2/3 of the pan.


This is the best devil's food cake recipe I've found and you don't need to add the cherries or chocolate syrup if you're looking for just a basic recipe.  You can double or even triple the recipe baking it in ordinary cake pans and add your favorite buttercream frosting or chocolate ganache when it is cool.

Sliced devils food cake topped with cherries


Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brewed black coffee
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, straight from the fridge
  • 1 large egg yolk, straight from the fridge
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Chocolate syrup


STEP 1: Place oven rack in the lower middle position of your oven.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

STEP 2: Spray your baking pan well with cooking spray like Pam.

STEP 3: Combine the butter and coffee in a small sauce pan placed over low heat until the butter is melted.

STEP 4: Remove the pan from the stovetop and add the cocoa powder.  Stir to combine.  Then add the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt.

STEP 5:  Mix in the two eggs and egg yolk.  Then sift in the flour and baking soda.  Whisk to combine.  Then pour into your prepared pan.

STEP 6: Bake the cake for 30 minutes or until your cake springs back when touched in the center.

STEP 7: Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes before inverted it onto a cake plate to cool completely.

STEP 8:  When the cake is cool, mix the cherry pie filling and almond extract together and pour into the center of the cake.  Drizzle with chocolate syrup.  Cut and serve the cake immediately.

This cake can be stored in an airtight container for about three days.


Chocolate covered cherry devil's food cake

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