Easy Cherry Cake {With Cake Mix}

Easy cherry cake recipe with cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft, moist and paired with whipped cream icing and topped with maraschino cherries.

This cake has a sophisticated simplicity that is perfect for brunch with your best friends or in celebration of the Mother’s in your life. The light and airy cake, paired with sweet whipped cream, and juicy bright cherries is a visual masterpiece. It is also so easy to make with the incorporation of a cake mix. This is different then my Easy Black Forest Cake {With Cake Mix} which is a chocolate cake with cherries. However, if you are looking for more cherry desserts try these Easy Cherry Turnovers {With Puff Pastry} or these Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes {With Filling}.

Easy Maraschino Cherry Cake With Cake Mix on Yellow Cake Stand And Marble Background

How to make easy cherry cake recipe with cake mix?

  1. Mix wet ingredients– Including eggs, oil, water, maraschino cherry juice, and pink food coloring.
  2. Add other ingredients– Including cake mix powder, and cherries.
  3. Bake– until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cool and trim– Placing one cake on a cake stand.
  5. Add whipped cream– between layers and on top.
  6. Add cherries– On top of the icing. Enjoy.
Collage Image With Step by Step Pictures on How to Make Cherry Cake

Key ingredients for maraschino cherry cake

  • Cake mix– A white or yellow cake mix will work.
  • Cherries– Maraschino and cherry juice.
  • Whipped cream– Or Cool Whip.

How do you keep cherries from sinking in cake?

This post, How To Stop Chocolate Chips From Sinking is so helpful when it comes to solving this problem. Coating them in flour definitely helps and also cutting them up very small. If it’s too big and heavy, it will sink even with flour.

Why is my cake dry?

This is often a result of over baking. Make sure to only bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Fresh cherries vs. Maraschino cherries vs. Frozen cherries

Yes, fresh and maraschino will work in this cake. For fresh cherries, pit them and use pure cherry juice that you find in bottles in the grocery store. If you are making the juice at home, make sure to strain it before adding it to the cake. Note that the color will be darker and more reddish/maroon instead of pink with fresh cherries. You cannot use frozen in this cake because they release too much juice during baking and will alter the end result.

Cherry Layer Cake Slice Cut From Whole Cake And Gently Pulled Out But Not Fully Removed

Variations for best very cherry layer cake

Make a sheet cake– I like to use a quarter sheet cake pan (9×13).

Make a loaf cake– This would make a great option for a brunch dessert.

Double the batter– Then make a tall double barrel cake with multiple layers.

Make a tiered cake– Make sure to use appropriate supports for this version.

Try other frostings– Such as Chocolate Whipped Cream {3 Ingredients}, American Buttercream Frosting Recipe, or Best Cream Cheese Frosting.

Decorate in a different way– I kept things simple and decorated with just bright red cherries. But check out my Easy Cake Decorating Ideas {Beginners} post for more ideas.

Add extracts– Such as almond or vanilla.

Add a filling– Such as chopped up cherries, cherry jam or preserves, Homemade Cherry Pie Filling {Fresh or Frozen}, How To Make Lemon Curd {4 Ingredients}, or a cheesecake filling would be divine too.

Use other flavors of cake mixes– Such as chocolate. I love the chocolate cherry combo! Red velvet would also be a great option.

Add chocolate shavings on top– This would add more decadence and even more visual detail.

Slice of Cake on White Dish With Marble Background

Tips and techniques

How to make a naked cake? Be sure to check out use my step by step tutorial on How to Make Naked Cake, if you have never made one before.

Must pat dry the cherries with paper towels– Because this removes excess juices so that when you decorate the top of the cake it won’t drip and make a sticky mess. 

I recommend using white cake mix instead of yellow– Because I feel the pink color is brighter than when I use yellow cake mixes. 

Use a cake mix that already has pudding added to it– Because this adds extra moisture. 

Cool cake completely before icing– Because this prevents the whipped cream from melting and sliding off the cake.

Trim the dome and sides of the cake– Because this makes an even flat surface for the cherries to rest on, and keeps them from slipping off the sides of the cake. Trimming the sides removes any browning that may have occurred while baking.

What size cake pan to use? I used 2 circular 8×2 cake pans for this cake.

Grease and flour the cake pans– Because this prevents the cakes from sticking to the pan and breaking when removed.

Another idea- Cherry Mango Cake

Make 2 different flavors of cakes and assemble them to make a colorful layer cake. In this picture, I have a cherry cake on the bottom and Mango Cake on top. I decorated the entire cake with purple and white American Buttercream Icing and a large round tip (Wilton Tip 12). Hold the bag at a 90 degree angle and squeeze the bag until icing comes out and then gently pull away to create frosting peaks. Finally, I tossed some pink and white sprinkles for added texture and color.

Colorful Layer Cake With Buttercream Icing on White Cake Stand


Refrigerate– In a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Freeze– I do not recommend freezing this cake because the cherries will become runny and messy when thawed.

More cherry desserts

Easy Cherry Cake With Cake Mix and Maraschino Cherries on Yellow Cake Stand With Marble Background
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Easy Maraschino Cherry Cake (With Cake Mix)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Decorating time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Easy cherry cake recipe with cake mix, homemade with simple ingredients. Soft, moist and paired with whipped cream icing and topped with maraschino cherries.
Yield: 9 Slices


  • 3 Eggs, Large
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 3/4 cups Water, Or milk
  • 1/4 cup Maraschino cherry juice
  • Pink food coloring, Optional
  • 1 box White cake mix, Or yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup Maraschino cherries, Finely chopped

Filling/ Topping/ Decoration

  • 2 cups Whipped cream, Or Cool Whip
  • 1 cup Maraschino cherries, Whole, Patted dry to remove excess juice


  • In a large mixing bowl, add eggs, oil, water, maraschino cherry juice, pink food coloring (optional) and mix until frothy and bubbly.
  • Add the cake mix powder and mix until just combined.
  • Fold in chopped cherries very gently until evenly distributed.
  • Pour this batter in two greased/ floured round cake pans (Dimensions: 8×2).
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool completely.
  • Trim the dome (if any) and sides of the cakes with a serrated knife to remove the subtle browning that occurs during baking.
  • Place one cake on a cake stand.
  • Use a spatula to spread whipped cream evenly on top.
  • Place the other cake on top the icing and press gently to secure into place.
  • Use a spatula to spread whipped cream evenly on top.
  • Finally, place lots of cherries (that have been patted dry) on top of the icing. Enjoy.


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 


Calories: 437kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 423mg, Potassium: 94mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 39g, Vitamin A: 185IU, Calcium: 166mg, Iron: 2mg
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 437
Author: Abeer Rizvi

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