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Sinful Special Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Black Sweet Cherries

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Is there anything better than layers and layers of decadent chocolate cake? Why yes, yes there is as a matter of fact! My Sinful Special Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Black Sweet Cherries will send you straight into chocolate-cherry nirvana! 


This incredibly delicious, rich cake starts with a boxed mix, but you’d never know it after all the goodies that I add to make it absolutely sinful!

One of the secrets to this cake, is the use of special dark cocoa powder. Much more chocolate-y in flavor, and really helps to make this cake decadently rich!




The other more well-known trick, is adding instant chocolate pudding mix to the batter. But not just regular, use the chocolate fudge flavor! Even better!



Those are the simple, basic additions, and then the real magic happens! I add instant espresso powder, butter instead of the oil, vanilla and almond extracts, and a pinch of cinnamon!




All of these add up to making the cake extra special with an intense chocolate flavor!

And that’s just the cake!


(*This one is Pinterest-friendly!)



There are also two layers of black sweet cherry all-fruit spread, too! This is spread onto the cake layers while they’re hot, and some will seep seep into the cake, making it even more decadent and rich!

It will also help to keep the cake moist longer, too.




And now, my favorite part, that homemade special dark chocolate frosting!!


Prepare yourself by tying your hair back into a ponytail, because you will lick the bowl. (And the spoon and the beaters…)

Just warning you ahead of time.



Just like the cake, it has all of the goodies added as well! Melt-in-your-mouth creamy, rich and insanely delicious, special dark chocolate buttercream frosting… *sigh* …is there anything better?

Keep that ponytail a little longer….just saying.



Swoon-worthy! Absolutely divine!

You will need to keep this refrigerated in hot weather, though, because the buttercream frosting will melt in the heat. But an icebox-cold cake is the perfect treat on a hot and humid day, anyways!

This was made awhile back for my hubby’s birthday, but you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to make this. This cake will make unordinary day special, just when you need it the most!

So be sure to save this cake to your Pinterest boards for safe keeping! You don’t want to lose this Sinful Special Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Black Sweet Cherries! It really is amazing! Enjoy!



Special Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Black Sweet Cherries
Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Special Dark Chocolate Layer Cake with Black Sweet Cherries


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 [i]instant[/i] chocolate fudge pudding mix
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 Tbl. instant espresso powder
  • 1 stick plus 1 Tbl. melted butter, cooled
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon

For Filling:

  • 2/3 cup black sweet cherry spreadable fruit (I used Dickinson's Purely Fruit)

For Frosting:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup special dark unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, 1/3 cup on each, evenly. Let cakes cool completely.
  • To Make Frosting: In mixer bowl, cream butter and the 1/2 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.
  • 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.
  • Store cake in cake container in fridge so the buttercream frosting doesn't melt. Even better the next day! Enjoy!


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