Chocolate cherry cake, 2 ingredients plus icing

This is Chef Peter’s cake from Elkhart’s Wild Hare Cafe. My recipe will get you close!

My facebook post about a lovely Sunday afternoon in Elkhart is how I wound up discovering this delicious cake. The rest of the story is … I came home, tried successfully to recreate it, shared it with friends, and tucked away a set of ingredients for the next rainy day that called for chocolate.

Little did I realize that “rainy day” was later that same week when I’d agreed to attend, but promptly forgot, a church potluck and needed a quick dish to make and take after work. I pulled the ingredients out of the grocery bag still waiting to go into the pantry, whipped up the cake for the second time, used my leftover frosting from Clifton’s Brookdale zucchini cake, and enjoyed the serendipity.

The “recipe”

Stir together one rich chocolate or chocolate fudge or dark chocolate box cake mix with one large can (I think mine was 30 ounces or more) of cherry pie filling, pour into lightly oiled 10×13″ glass baking dish, and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean when the cake is done.

Now, I did read online that just these two ingredients make an excellent, moist, heavy cake. However, I added 1/8 cup of vegetable oil and one egg both times I made the cake. No complaints at the potluck! 🙂

For the frosting, either use Clifton’s cream cheese icing or this approximation of a later icing I liked a lot. You may need to experiment just a little with this as a starting point.

Mix 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons softened cream cheese, about 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and 2 cups powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and add a little cream (1-2 tablespoons) or additional powdered sugar for the desired consistency and taste. It should be smooth and creamy, not a stiff frosting. Be sure to cool the cake completely — seriously, completely — before pouring and smoothing the icing.


Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto on


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