Chocolate Cherry Cake

5 from 4 votes

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Chocolate Cherry Cake is rich and moist and tastes just like biting into a luscious cherry chocolate candy. The perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day!

Chocolate Cherry Cake with a cherry on top on a white plate with red polka dots

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake is a delightfully rich and flavorful twist on a classic poke cake. Fudgy chocolate cake drizzled with cherry gelatin and topped with a creamy pudding frosting, this cake is best served chilled with a glass of ice cold milk. It’s so easy to put together, yet tastes like an Old Fashioned Chocolate Covered Cherries treat! This chocolate cherry cake recipe is a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen too; my children love to poke holes over the top! Read on to find out how to make this luscious dessert for yourself!

A slice of Cherry Chocolate Cake on a decorative plate with cake ingredients surrounding the plate

What Kind of Cake to Use in Chocolate Cherry Cake

For this recipe, we love using a devil’s food cake mix, to give it that extra fudgy texture and flavor. However most chocolate cake mixes will work just fine. You could also make a homemade chocolate cake, using this recipe here.

Unfrosted Cherry Chocolate Cake with holes poked in the top

How to Make Pudding Frosting

My very favorite part of this scrumptious cake recipe is the thick, creamy pudding frosting. Trust me, you’ve never tasted anything so velvety and rich! There are a couple of tips to making this the sweetest frosting ever:

Chocolate Cherry Cake with chocolate pudding frosting spread on top
  1. You’ll notice in the recipe card below, we use less milk than called for on the pudding box instructions. Using a bit less milk makes the pudding thicker, therefore allowing it to hold its consistency better when spread on the cake.
  2. Use at least 2% milk, preferably whole milk. This makes the pudding thicker and much creamier. It is so worth the few extra calories, I promise!
Mini Chocolate Chips sprinkled onto a frosted Chocolate Cherry Cake

Does the Jell-O Make the Chocolate Cake Soggy?

No! Drizzling the hot gelatin mixture over the chocolate cake will allow for extra moisture, sure, but it won’t get soggy. The Jell-O sets up quickly while the cake chills in the refrigerator and creates a layer of flavor that is out of this world!

Can Chocolate Cherry Cake Be Made Ahead of Time?

This chocolate cherry cake is so easy to make ahead. Because it needs to stay refrigerated, you can make it up to three days in advance and keep in the fridge until serving time.

Can You Freeze Chocolate Cherry Cake?

It’s best to freeze this chocolate cake after adding the Jell-O, but before topping it with the pudding frosting. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and store for up to a month in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, remove from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the fridge. Then frost as instructed.

Chocolate Cherry Cake with mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries on top and in bowls to the side of the cake

Variations on Poke Cake

We’ve tried many poke cake recipes over the years. The combinations of cake flavors, Jell-O gelatin and Jell-O pudding are endless! Here are a few of our favorites:

More Decadent Chocolate Cakes

While we’re on the subject of chocolate, try some of our other divinely rich chocolaty cakes. Romantic dinners topped with a sinfully sweet slice of cake? Your sweetheart will thank you!

A slice of Chocolate Cherry Cake topped with a maraschino cherry on a white plate with red polka dots

Chocolate Cherry Cake

5 from 4 votes
Chocolate Cherry Cake is rich and moist and tastes just like biting into a luscious cherry chocolate candy. The perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Chill in Refrigerator 2 hrs
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 box Cake Mix (Devil's Food)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 (3 ounce) box cherry instant Jell-o mix
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 2 3.4 (3.4 ounce) box chocolate Jell-o instant pudding mix
  • 3 cups milk 2% or whole
  • 12 Maraschino cherries


  • Mix cake mix, water, oil, and eggs well. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Pour mix into a greased 9×13 pan and bake according to package directions.
  • Let cake cool completely – about 1 hour. Using a fork, poke small holes all over the top of the cake.
  • Boil 1 cup water in a small saucepan and pour into a small bowl. Add cherry Jell-o mix and stir with a whisk until Jell-o is completely dissolved. Add cold water and stir.
  • Pour cherry Jell-o mixture over the cake. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan.
  • Refrigerate cake for 2 hours.
  • While cake is in the refrigerator, mix the chocolate pudding mixes with 3 cups milk (2% or whole). Blend until pudding is completely dissolved. Refrigerate pudding for at least 1 hour.
  • Frost the cake with the pudding and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  • Garnish the cake with mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries just before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 331kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 288mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 181IUCalcium: 101mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Echo Blickenstaff

Echo lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, Todd, who works in advertising, and her four kids: two girls and two boys. She deploys her accounting degree as the blog’s resident problem solver. In her time outside the kitchen, Echo loves to get away from the phones and busy schedules and spend quality time with the family. Anywhere’s great – but getting out into nature in the mountains or on the beach – is the best kind of getaway.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Loved this yummy chocolate cake. Really easy to make too. I’ll hold on to this one for the future.

  2. Would this work with cupcakes in place of the 9 x 13 pan? If so, how many holes should I make in each cupcake? Thank you in advance for your help! 🙂

  3. Can’t you add the cherry jello powder into the cake mix prior to baking? This would save a step and time, I would think.

      1. I substituted one egg using the devil’s food box cake mix directions and added 1/4 cup of cherry pie filling. Then I blended everything together with a mixer for 2 minutes. My cupcakes came out moist and had that delicious cherry flavor.