A rich, fudgy chocolate sheet cake studded with cherries! It’s super easy, just throw together a cake mix and some cherry pie filling. This fudge frosting is where it’s at, yo. Perfect for Valentine’s Day this weekend!

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

My cousin Lani was over the other day with her baby girl. Rowan was being a little fussy, so Lani asked if I had any straws, because that’s how Rowan usually drinks her milk.

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

“Oh shoot, I think we’re all out!” I started opening random drawers to jog my memory of where I might have put them if I did have any. I shut them all and headed across the kitchen to continue my search.

Lani stopped me, and with a strange look on her face, opened the drawer that I had just shut to show me this:

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

An entire drawer. FULL OF STRAWS.

I swear guys, this is how you know your life is weird. When you no longer think of items in terms of usefulness but in terms of prop value.

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

Do you see the straw in this photo? THAT POP OF COLOR WILL BRING ME TO THE TOP, GUYS. It’s totally making you want to eat this cake, right? RIGHT??

Eric thinks it’s ridiculous that I have a humungous straw collection but no one is allowed to use them for their drinks. But hello, have you seen how much they cost? Plus, they are freaking made of paper. Soggy much?

Plastic straws for drinking. Paper straws for random pops of color. I kind of hate myself right now. (P.S. I let the baby have a paper straw. I’m not completely heartless, okay?)

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

Do you guys love the chocolate cherry combo? I didn’t used to be a fan but I am all over it these days. It was these Buried Cherry Cookies that changed my mind. They are the best.

This cake is great for when you need to come up with something delicious but you don’t want to have to think too hard. I’ll be perfectly honest and say that I didn’t measure everything out exactly. I wrote 1/2 cup sour cream for the official recipe, but really I just slopped some in. It looked like about a 1/2 cup. Same with the mini chocolate chips. It was probably about 3/4 cup. But if you add 1/2 cup or 1 cup, no big deal.

I found this recipe in an old collection that my mother-in-law gave me. I doctored it up a bit. The original just called for “1 pkg. cake mix” and I’m sure this recipe is old enough that back then it was an 18.75 ounce cake mix. (Have you noticed cake mixes have been decreasing in weight? That and everything else…) But it worked just fine. My mom hates this trend and will measure out the extra 3 ounces from a new box when she makes a cake. But I haven’t really noticed a difference, especially for recipes like this.

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan

Are you guys eating at home for Valentine’s Day? We definitely are, and not just because it’s a Sunday this year. Valentine’s Day has got to be one of the worst nights of the year to eat out! Here are some ideas if you want to make a fancy but easy dinner at home:

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Asparagus

Pan-Seared Salmon with Maple Glaze and Pistachios

Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze (Slow Cooker)

Brown Butter Gnocchi with Prosciutto and Asparagus

Restaurant-Style Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Bread Dip <<< serve this as an appetizer and you will get 100 fancy points.

But dessert is kind of essential for Valentine’s Day. If you make this Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake, snap a photo and share on Instagram using #TheFoodCharlatan. I’d love to see it!

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Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting

4.80 from 5 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
A rich, fudgy chocolate sheet cake studded with cherries! It's super easy, just throw together a cake mix and some cherry pie filling.


For the cake:

  • 1 15.75-oz. box Devil's Food cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 can cherry pie filling

For the frosting:

  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate chips*
  • maraschino cherries, to garnish


For the cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 inch cake pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together cake mix, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Scrape the bottom and sides well.
  • Add the mini chocolate chips and the cherry pie filling. You can either fold this in with a spatula if you want your cherries to remain whole, or you can beat it with the mixer. Either way make sure the pie filling is incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake at 350 for about 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center with no batter on it.
  • Let cool 10-15 minutes, then make the frosting. If you want, use a fork to poke some holes all over the top of your cake. This is so that some of the frosting seeps down, but it's totally optional.

For the frosting:

  • Melt butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add sugar and milk.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring very frequently. Once it has reached a rolling boil, remove from heat and let cool 1 minute.
  • Add the dark chocolate and let sit for another minute.
  • Stir until smooth.
  • Immediately pour the frosting over the warm cake.
  • Serve warm or room temperature. With a tall glass of cold milk please! And don't forget to garnish each slice with some maraschino cherries.


*6 ounces is 1 cup. Don't stress about this measurement too much. Just dump a little extra on top of your cup.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 494IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 422
Keyword: cherry, chocolate, frosting, fudge, Sheet Cake
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Other cakes you will totally love:

The Best Chocolate Cake I’ve Ever Had << no lie.

The Best Chocolate Cake I've Ever Had from The Food Charlatan

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes << these are my favorite cupcakes! Can’t beat cream cheese filling!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

Strawberry Truffle Cake << this is another one that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry Truffle Cake

Other amazing cakes from friends!

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cake from Life Love and Sugar
Cherry Coke Poke Cake from Crazy for Crust
Chocolate Cherry Cake from Yellow Bliss Road

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  1. Your comment concerning cup measurements is displayed incorrectly.  It should say 16 ounces = 1 cup.  Not 6 ounces.  I caught that but the cake and frosting directions were very easy.  The frosting/icing came out perfect and so did the cake.

    1. Hi Sandee! 1 cup of chocolate chips is 6 ounces, and in this recipe I’m calling for a little more, about 7 ounces, or a mounded cup.

  2. Hi, I made this delicious cake. I even added maraschino cherries on top. The batter looked too dry, so I veered from the recipe and added some milk. Bad idea! Do not attempt to add more liquid to this recipe. What had happened was, after it came out of the oven, the center quickly sank into an oval pit, with the maraschino cherries saying, hey now, I didn’t sign up for this!
    Despite the sunken middle, we ate around the edges, which still gave us generous pieces, added ice cream, and enjoyed this delicious cake. Even with the sunken middle, no one complained, or snickered. Thank you!

    1. Oh no, I’m sad your cake fell Michele! But it does sound really good with the cherries on top. I’m glad you were able to make it work by eating around the edges. Thank you so much for taking the time to review.

  3. Can’t wait to try this recipe . . . I’ve been making this cake for about 45 years, but it didn’t have sour cream — which sounds delicious. My recipe also has 1 Tbsp. almond extract instead of 2 tsp. vanilla. I use the Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Cake Mix, which has only 12.75 oz., so I do add some from another box to make the 18.25 oz. of long ago cake mixes . . . I’m going to let my 6-year-old granddaughter make this next week — we’ll do a proper review then and let you know how your recipe with sour cream turns out! I’m sure it will be delicious!!!

    1. Ooh love the almond extract idea, that sounds delicious! And I hear you on the cake mixes. So sad that so many recipes have to be changed now because of the dumb box size! Enjoy baking with your granddaughter! Let me know how it goes :)

  4. This looks delicious, a definite keeper. I have a question about the icing … IS WHITE SUGAR GRANULATED SUGAR? Oh, just wanted to say I love your writing style as well as your recipes!

  5. This was a Pillsbury Bake Off winner many, many years ago! (oops, age showing :). Its a pretty fabulous cake and love what you did with it!

  6. Totally dying of laughter right now!! This happens to me all the time. When I’m like oh wait, I can use this prop for normal, non-blog related purposes! Love that cake too! The chocolate cherry combo is really nice.

    1. It’s a revelation EVERY TIME. What? I can actually use this gorgeous bowl for my guests and not just photos?? haha!

  7. Haha! Yes, props. I have a handful of white plates and bowls only used for photos and every once in a while I’ll leave it out while I get everyone else’s plates ready for dinner. Paul will innocently give the prop dish to one of the kids, and I’ll be like (in slow motion) “Noooooooo. That’s one of my prop plates.” And he’ll be like “Um. It’s a white plate. Looks like the others.” He has so much learning left to do. Sigh. We’re all crazy! Pass the chocolate cake!

  8. Oh the life and times of a food blogger! It’s so funny how we only think of these things as props! Lovin this cake!! Yum!

  9. I always buy like one or two glasses just for shoots- so we never have a complete set! It’s such a good blogger problem :) That frosting looks unreal!

  10. Bahaha oh that made me laugh!! I did the same thing a few weeks ago with my husband … he asked if we had any bourbon / whiskey glasses and I said no (why would we have that?). And then he goes looking on my prop shelf to in fact find such glasses. But I use them for smoothie photos so clearly they are smoothie glasses!!! Obviously. :)

    Anyway, this cake looks fantastic!!

  11. Oh my gosh, paper straws are just the least practical invention ever!! Cute? Yes…functional? NO. This cake looks SO good, and I love the pop of color your straws add to it ;)

  12. I can only imagine what people think when they see all my mismatched bowls, plates, silverware, etc. To anyone other than a food blogger they’re probably thinking “why can’t they buy a full set of dishes?” I don’t usually want chocolate for breakfast, but when I saw these photos all I could think about was eating a slice! It looks so good!

    1. Seriously though! Probably people think we are total freaks for all our dishes issues. haha. And I’m the opposite. I always want chocolate for breakfast, which is why I will probably die young. haha!

  13. What an awesome treat for that special someone! Love the cake mix shortcut. No one has to know…

    1. Oh I am all about embracing the cake mix Karen! Doctored cake mixes are so good! I’ve only found a few from-scratch cakes that are reliable. But then again I’m no cake expert, so there you have it :)

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