Special Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Black Sweet Cherries
Serves: 8 - 10 servings
  • For Cake:
  • 1 (15.25 oz.) super moist chocolate fudge cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 3 Tbl. special dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 (3.9 oz.) box instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
  • 1¼ cups hot water
  • 1 Tbl. instant espresso powder
  • 1 stick plus 1 Tbl. melted butter, cooled
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
  • For Filling:
  • ⅔ cup black sweet cherry spreadable fruit (I used Dickinson's Purely Fruit)
  • For Frosting:
  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup special dark unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • ½ tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  1. To Make Cake: Preheat oven to 350º F for shiny pans, or 325º F for dark or non-stick pans.Grease and lightly flour bottoms and sides of 2 - 8" or 9" round pans. Set aside.
  2. In heavy glass measuring pitcher, add water and microwave until just to a boil, add instant espesso powder, and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool. When cool, add butter to microwave safe dish, and melt, set aside to cool, but not re-harden.
  3. In mixer bowl, add cake mix and rest of cake ingredients. (From my ingredient list above/do not follow the box.) Mix on low to get it started, then switch to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, beat again until all is incorporated and thoroughly mixed. Pour into prepared baking pans.
  4. Pop into the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes for 8" pans, or 25 - 30 minutes for 9" pans. Test with a toothpick inserted into center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cakes are done. Remove from oven to a wire cooling rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and immediately spread tops/flat sides with black sweet cherry fruit spread, ⅓ cup on each, evenly. Let cakes cool completely.
  5. To Make Frosting: In mixer bowl, cream butter and the ½ cup cocoa powder. Add extracts, espresso powder, cinnamon and milk. Beat until mixed. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, beat again. Add powdered sugar, and beat until creamy, scrape again, then beat again to make sure all of the ingredients are incorporated and frosting is creamy.
  6. Place one layer (fruited side up) onto a cake plate, frost top of layer. *If fruit spread is too soft, pop layers into fridge for 5 - 10 minutes, then frost. Place the other cake layer, fruit side up also, onto first layer. Finish frosting top and sides of cake any way that you'd like.
  7. Store cake in cake container in fridge so the buttercream frosting doesn't melt. Even better the next day! Enjoy!
Recipe by Wildflour's Cottage Kitchen at http://wildflourskitchen.com/2017/08/26/sinful-special-dark-chocolate-layer-cake-black-sweet-cherries/