“A Little Help from My Friends” Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.comYour Friends !!

I “invented” this a few years ago when I needed a dessert for some friends who were planning to drop by. I usually have a least one box of chocolate cake mix, walnuts and a can of cherry pie filling in my “larder” – so I made a simple and delicious cake which turned out so well I’ve been making it ever since.   I know most people don’t have lots of extra time, so it’s always good to have a little help from your friends – even if those “friends” come in a box, bag or jar!!

++ As an aside, if you ever see something on this idea – buy it!  It comes in so handy ’cause it’s not electric, it’s small – so it’s easily stored – and all the parts can go in the dish washer. I use mine all the time, even though I have electric “gadgets”.

Nut chopper

Oven at 350 F             9″ x 13″ pan           Bake for 40 – 45 minutes

Ingredients a.k.a “Your Friends”!

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix    (I like “Duncan Hines” Devil’s Food)
  • 1 (21 oz.) can of cherry pie filling   
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans

Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13″ x 9″ pan.

Spoon cherry pie filling on top of the cake batter.  (Many of today’s cherry pie fillings contain ‘more sauce than cherries’, which results in a bit more sauce in the ‘Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake’.  If you prefer a slightly less runny cake, use about half to two-thirds the ‘saucy’ part of the cherry pie filling.    ++ I used ALL the sauce.)

With a knife, swirl the cherry pie filling a bit, trying not to go all the way down with the knife. (Looks like peanut butter & jelly, doesn’t it?)

Choc. Cherry

Sprinkle on 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup nuts.

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Bake at 350 F for 40 – 45 minutes.

++ The cake is done when 1. it pulls away from the sides of the pan and 2. a knife put into the center of the cake comes out clean.

++ Don’t confuse the melted chocolate chips with the cake batter. If some chocolate does stick to the knife – taste it. You’ll know if it’s uncooked batter. (That’s what I do!)

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.comThere’s a cake called “Earthquake Cake” ’cause the top of the cake comes out with cracks.  My ‘Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake’ has a similar, cracked appearance.

Chocolate Cherry Nut Cake - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Barcardi Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling

Barcardi Choc. Cake2 - FIXED MARCH 2013

Some of my friends and family are “reaping the benefits” of me starting this recipe blog;  namely – being invited over to help me eat some of the food I’ve been cooking! They really loved this dense and incredibly moist chocolate cake. It can be prepared either with/or without the rum – it’ll still be wonderful !

You know, I’ve noticed boxed cake mixes have been making smaller and smaller cakes over the years, just as candy bar manufacturers have been making smaller and smaller candy bars.. So, to rectify this, and to have a lovely, huge and impressive chocolate cake, I made this recipe using TWO cake mixes. I’m very happy with the result of my experiment, and I think you will be as well !

Oven at 350 F    Grease two  /  8 1/2″  round pans

++ I’ve been thinking about this recipe and now realize that not everyone wants to make such a BIG cake. In that case, just use ONE CAKE MIX, 3 eggs, (still use 1 pkg. choc. instant pudding when you prepare the cake mix), 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup rum (OR replace the 1/4 cup rum with water) and 1/2 tsp. rum flavoring.   +++ Still use two  8 1/2″ greased cake pans

   Ingredients      ++ See above if you prefer to make a smaller version of this cake.

  • 2 packages Devil’s Food (chocolate) cake mix – I like Duncan Hines
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 pkg. chocolate instant pudding – will need 2 pkgs. pudding total
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dark rum – if not using rum, replace with 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. rum flavoring

   For Frosting

  • 1 package chocolate instant pudding
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 envelope Dream Whip whipped topping
  • 1 tsp. rum flavoring

For Glaze

  • 1 cup confectionery sugar
  • 1 Tbs. cocoa powder
  • ++  Pour in a little bit of milk at a time, until the glaze reaches a good consistency for pouring – it’s better to be a bit thick. And – if you find it’s too thick, just add a few more drops of milk!
  • about 1/3 cup chopped walnuts – to sprinkle on top

In a bowl large enough to hold two cakes mixes – add the cake mixes, eggs, chocolate pudding, vegetable oil, water, rum and rum flavoring. At medium speed, beat for 3 minutes.  (If you want a stronger rum flavor, substitute a bit more rum for some of the water.)

Pour batter into two greased 8 1/2″ round pans until the batter is about 3/4″ below the top of the pan. (You WILL have some batter left over.)  Bake at 350 – or until a sharp knife placed into the center comes out clean.

After baking, allow cakes to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto cake racks. (A good trick is to put a cake rack ON TOP of one of the cakes, then turn everything over & lift off the pan. If it seems as if the cake is sticking, with your hand, bang on the bottom of the pan a few times.) After cakes are cool – about 25 minutes – cut each layer in half horizontally using a serrated knife. You’ll end up with a total of 4 layers.

Make filling by placing the pudding, Dream Whip, milk and rum flavoring into a medium-sized bowl. Beat on high for 4 minutes. (It takes a while but it does thicken up in the end.) Place one cake layer onto a plate – spread 1/3 of the filling on top. Place the next layer on top, spread on another 1/3 of the filling – add the 3rd layer and spread the last 1/3 of the filling. Place 4th layer on top.

Make the chocolate glaze, and pour it onto the middle of the top of the cake. With a big spoon, gently spread the glaze until it covers the entire cake and a bit drips down the sides. Sprinkle on the chopped nuts – and – you’re done.  Refrigerate – enjoy!

FOR BLOG - Bacardi Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting-slice-fixed march