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Hi.

Welcome to Panza Baby, where you can find delicious recipes and my musings on the world through the lens of food.

Chocolate Cherry Cake(s)

Chocolate Cherry Cake(s)

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Today I am bringing you a chocolate cherry cake showdown. Box mix vs. homemade. The version from a box mix is a long time family favorite and honestly, I wasn't sure if a from scratch cake could beat it. So I had to try. And what I've decided is that I was wrongly assuming that from scratch cakes are ALWAYS the best. This comparison has allowed me to see that neither of these cakes are better than the other, they are just different. It's like that old adage about comparing apples to oranges, it just doesn't make sense.The recipe for the cake mix cherry cake combines a devil's food cake mix, eggs, oil, a whole can of cherry pie filling, and almond extract. And maybe you're doubtfully thinking something like - that stuff? cherry pie filling in a can? It is the key ingredient to this cake and boy does it add something special. Just trust.The from scratch cake is a dark chocolate cake recipe. I added about half a jar of morello cherries in light juice from Trader Joe's. I chopped them up small and added them at the end.The frosting for both cakes is the same - because it's that good. The frosting recipe you will find below is enough frosting for both cakes.The cake from the mix is much fluffier while the homemade cake is much denser and richer. Neither is better, each is perfect. These cakes can teach us a lot about life ;)

Two Chocolate Cherry Cakes

From a box mix Cherry Cake (but oh so good)

  • 1 devil's food cake mix

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 28 oz. can cherry pie filling

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

From scratch Cherry Cake

  • 1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 1/3 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Frosting

  • 5 ounces dark chocolate

  • 6 tablespoons butter

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup milk

For the cake mix cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 inch pan.

  2. Combine all ingredients and mix till combined. Pour into pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the scratch cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9 x 13 inch pan or two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.

  2. Combine dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and boiling water. Mix till chocolate is melted and everything is combined. Add buttermilk and mix.

  3. Add sugars and mix for 2 minutes by hand. Add eggs and oil and mix until combined. Add flour, baking, powder, and salt and mix till just combined.

  4. Pour into prepared pan/s and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

For the frosting

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together, butter, sugar, and milk. Stir until sugar is dissolved 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Pour on top of cakes.

Mini Cake Donuts

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