Our delicious Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake is bursting with outrageous flavor thanks to a unique ingredient, Cherry Dr. Pepper!
This cherry chocolate cake is super moist and crazy easy to make with just a cake mix and 5 other ingredients (including the homemade frosting!)
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Chocolate Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake (Uses a Cake Mix!)
This is a chocolate cake unlike any other chocolate cakes. It is super moist, and bursting with rich cherry flavor, thanks to the addition of Cherry Dr. Pepper soda. The chocolate and cherry combo makes for a decadent dessert that is totally irresistible!
You will be shocked at how moist and delicious this chocolate cherry Dr. Pepper cake is. The secret is none other than the added can of soda! That’s right, the addition of Dr. Pepper is not only what gives this cake it’s delicious flavor, but also it’s amazing texture.
Adding soda to cake is an old trick. Doing this eliminates the need to add eggs, oil, or water. The soda is what ensures that the cake still rises by adding the liquid element that the powder needs to turn the mix into the perfect batter.
This recipe was inspired by The Slow Roasted Italian. Check out her site – she is an amazing cook!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Rich and delicious flavors
- Super moist
- Quick and easy to make
- Easy cake mix hack recipe
- Only six simple ingredients needed
- Offers a totally unique, homemade chocolate cake
For the Cake:
- 1 box devil’s food chocolate cake mix, dry
- 1 ½ cups cherry Dr. Pepper
- 1 – 10 oz maraschino cherries (Remove the stems from 15 of the cherries)
For the Frosting:
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar (+ ½ cup extra, if needed)
- ¼ cup chocolate shavings (either store-bought shavings or using a vegetable peeler and a plain chocolate bar)
How to Make the Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake
This cake is easy to make, thanks to the use of boxed cake mix. The important thing to keep in mind while making it, is the use of your cherries and cherry juice! Make sure to save some for the frosting and garnish.
- Mix dry cake mix and Cherry Dr. Pepper on low until combined.
- Stir in sliced cherries.
- Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Frost and top with cherries. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- OPTIONAL: Sprinkle shavings of chocolate on top.
How to Make Homemade Cherry Frosting
- Cream together softened (not melted) butter and extra cherry juice (from the jar of cherries)
- Add the 3 cups of powdered sugar ½ cup at a time (mixer on low)
Variations & Add-ins
- CAKE MIX: You can use chocolate cake instead of devil’s food cake, if you don’t like such a rich flavor.
- FROSTING: If you prefer to use store-bought frosting, you can definitely do so! Making your own allows you to add the cherry flavor, but since the cake is already bursting with cherry flavor, sometimes a basic frosting for the top is all you need.
- Do not substitute for diet soda! You will not get the same results!
- Although you will be using a box cake mix, you won’t need any of the other ingredients it calls for on the box. This means no water/milk, eggs or oil will be used in this recipe.
- A good way to test if your cake is finished baking is to perform a toothpick test, by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake and seeing if it comes out clean.
- When making your frosting, you want it to be a firm frosting consistency, like canned frosting. If the frosting is thin, add up to ½ cup additional powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. However, be careful to not make the frosting too thick that it will not spread easily. Also be sure to soften and NOT melt the butter.
- Be sure to allow your cake to cool completely before frosting it. It’s easy to get impatient with this step, but it will make for a melty mess if your frosting goes on the cake while it is still warm.
- If the amount of stemmed cherries for your garnish is not enough to cover the number of servings you have in your cake, remove the cherry stems and slice them in half. Then garnish the tops of the pieces of cake.
How to Store Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake
Leftovers can be stored covered for up to a week. To keep this as fresh as possible, you will want to store this cake in the fridge vs. leaving it out at room temperature.
It is okay to leave it out while serving, but when you are finished you should place it back in the fridge right away.
Other Cake Mix Hack Recipes
3-Ingredient Cake Mix Cookies|Cake Mix Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars |Apple Cider Doughnut Cake |Gooey Caramel Apple Dump Cake Recipe | Ding Dong Cake | Cinnamon Roll Poke Cake | Hawaiian Wedding Cake
Cherry Dr. Pepper Cake
- 1 box devil’s food chocolate cake mix dry
- 1 ½ cups cherry Dr. Pepper
- 1 – 10 oz maraschino cherries Remove the stems from 15 of the cherries
- 1 cup butter 2 sticks, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar + ½ cup extra, if needed
- ¼ cup chocolate shavings either store bought shavings or using a vegetable peeler and a plain chocolate bar
- Preheat the oven to 350*.
- Lightly spray a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray (Baker’s Joy or Wilton’s Bake-Ease)
- Remove the cherries from the jar, reserving the liquid in the jar to be used in making the cherry frosting . There will be 25-30 cherries in the jar. Remove the stems of 15 of the cherries. Slice the cherries in half, then slice the halves in half again. Keep the remainder of the cherries in the jar with the stems on to garnish the tops of the frosted pieces of cake.
- Using a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer and a large mixing bowl, add the dry cake mix and the cherry Dr. Pepper. No water/milk, eggs or oil will be used in this recipe. Mix on low until the dry cake mix and Dr. Pepper are just combined.
- Using a large spoon, stir in the sliced cherries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 28 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set the cake aside and allow the cake to cool completely.
- Using a stand mixer, or a handheld mixer and large mixing bowl, on medium speed, cream together softened butter, reserved cherry juice (about ¼ to ⅓ cup). NOTE: Make sure the butter is softened, not melted
- Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the 3 cups of powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. This should be a firm frosting consistency, like canned frosting. If the frosting is thin, add up to ½ cup additional powdered sugar. Be careful to not make the frosting very thick that it will not spread easily. Again, the consistency should be like canned frosting.
- Spread the frosting evenly on top of the cake.
- Next, gently score the size of the serving pieces of cake.
- Place one of the reserved cherries with stems in the middle of each piece of cake. If the amount of stemmed cherries is less than the number of servings, remove the cherry stems and slice them in half and garnish the tops of the pieces of cake.
- To help the frosting set before cutting the individual pieces, place the cake in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- If using store bought chocolate shavings, sprinkle the shavings evenly over the top of the frosting. Or using a vegetable peeler and a chocolate bar, gently scrape down the sides of the chocolate to make the shavings. (Scrape as you would when peeling the skin of a carrot, but gently).
Would cherry coke work. No where near me has dr pepper cherry 🙁
I’m not the owner of this site, but there is no reason cherry coke shouldn’t work. It might have a slightly different taste, but that would be it. =)
I don’t have Cherry Dr Pepper where I am either, I was thinking of using Dr Pepper and just adding a couple tbsp of maraschino cherry juice
This cherry frosting did not turn out. It is a separated mess with tiny bits of butter suspended in the juice and sugar mixture. I followed your directions and the butter would not combine with the cherry juice. The butter should have been creamed with the powdered sugar first prior to adding the cherry juice so all ingredients would combine to form a proper frosting. Very disappointed and a waste of ingredients.
Mine did the same thing, it was a mess and a disappointment
Can you tell me if you used softened butter or was the butter melted at all? This method has worked fine for me and other readers as well.
Turned out perfect!!! Was definitely a winner in my books and so simple I was really worried if I mess the frosting up but it was actually pretty easy!
So glad you liked it!
Thank you Jenna, for posting this recipe. I will try it soon and get back to you with a rating, etc. As an avid DP fan (and collector), I just have to give you one small correction: Dr Pepper does not have a period (.) – Just wanted to let you know so you can fix your references; and so other DP fans won’t ride you about it. 🙂 Take care and thanks again 🙂
I’m making this tomorrow and I’ll let you know how my frosting turns out! Excited for this one 🤤
It turned out perfectly and I’m so proud of it! Had no problems with the frosting.
This recipe looked amazing in pics…it was so rich and sweet…it needed something to off sit the sweetness. Sugar overload
I used Cherry Dr. Pepper Zero and mine turned out perfect…I left the salted butter out on the counter for at least 2 hours for the icing. It came out fluffy, soft, and easy to spread. Highly recommend and it looked very festive.