Packed with cherry flavor and topped with sweet, tangy cream cheese frosting, this homemade Cherry Cake recipe is easy to make thanks to the use of cake mix!

two plates with square slices of cherry cake.

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The Best Easy Cherry Cake Recipe

I have always loved maraschino cherries. I have been eating them straight out of the jar for as long as I can remember! Cherry desserts like Cherry Pie and No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake always remind me of my childhood.

So, I wanted to create a cherry cake that captured my love for cherries but was also easy enough to make in a hurry. I think this cherry cake recipe captured it all! 

While I’m all for making a cake from scratch, I don’t always have the time. So, I use a few shortcuts to make this recipe super fast. Don’t worry, though. This recipe is still full of flavor because we use maraschino cherries and cherry juice.

So, go grab a jar of maraschino cherries right now so you can start making this cake. You might want to get two jars of cherries while you’re at it—you will want a few extra to use as a garnish (or to just eat plain!). 

plate of a square serving of cherry cake and a baking dish in the background with cherry cake.

Ingredients for Cherry Cake

To print: see recipe card below

ingredients to make cherry cake.

For the Cake Batter

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil – Any other natural-tasting oil will work.
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice – One 10-ounce jar of cherries will have about ¼ – ½ cup of juice which, is plenty for the cake and frosting.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) white cake mix – Any brand will work, but I love Betty Crocker Super Moist White.
  • 20 maraschino cherries – Cut the cherries into quarters to get cherry pieces in every bite of the cake. One 10-ounce jar will have about 20 cherries. Do not substitute fresh cherries or frozen cherries. The taste and texture won’t be the same!

For the Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese – Look for block-style cream cheese, not cream cheese from a tub. Also, make sure to use full-fat cream cheese and not lite cream cheese, which tends to separate when whipped into a frosting. 
  • 1/2 cup butterUnsalted butter is best for baking.
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) – Powdered sugar melts into the frosting. As a result, it’s smooth and creamy, never gritty.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice


  • Bake this cake in two 8-inch round cake pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely. Then, remove them from the pans, and use the cherry frosting to seal them together, creating a stacked cake.
  • Replace the vanilla extract with the same amount of almond extract.
  • Try using chocolate cake mix to make a chocolate cherry cake. 
  • Skip the cream cheese frosting, and use whipped cream instead.
  • Stir cherry pie filling into the frosting for even more flavor.

Directions for How to Make Cherry Cake

  1. Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare the cake mix: Add the eggs, oil, milk, cherry juice, and vanilla to a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to combine the ingredients at medium speed. Add the cake batter, and stir until smooth. Then, fold the chopped cherries into the batter.
  3. Bake: Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading it out evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake is fluffy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
  5. Prepare the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Scrape down the sides a few times to make sure the ingredients incorporate evenly. Add the powdered sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Then, stir in the vanilla and cherry juice.
  6. Frost: Spread the frosting evenly over the cherry cake, slice, and serve!
close up image of a square serving of cherry cake served on a speckled beige plate with a silver fork.

How to Store + Freeze Cherry Cake

  • Store leftover cake at room temperature for three to four days or in the fridge for up to one week. To keep it fresh, loosely wrap the cake in plastic wrap.
  • Freeze this cherry cake for up to three months! Leave off the frosting. Then, wrap each slice of cake in plastic wrap, and transfer them to a sealable bag or airtight container.
  • Thaw leftovers in the fridge overnight, and bring the cake to room temperature before serving. Add the frosting, and it will taste good as new!

Quick Tip

Be careful to combine the ingredients just until the batter is smooth! For easy mixing allow the ingredients to come to room temperature before mixing. This keeps the cake moist and tender.

A slice of frosted cherry cake topped with a cherry on a plate.

Cherry Cake

This cherry cake is sweet, fruity, and pretty easy to make. Each bite is bursting with cherry flavor that will make you want a second slice!
No ratings yet
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • Small mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • 9×13 baking dish
  • Offste spatula or knife


Cake Mix

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice (from the jar of cherries)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box (15.25 ounces) white cake mix
  • 20 maraschino cherries, sliced into quarters


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (from the jar of cherries)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×13 baking pan.
  • Start by making the cake. Add the eggs, oil, milk, cherry juice, and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and mix together with an electric mixer.
    3 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice (from the jar of cherries), 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add the cake mix to the bowl and stir to make a smooth batter.
    1 box (15.25 ounces) white cake mix
  • Fold in the chopped cherries then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread it flat within the pan and then bake for 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean.
    20 maraschino cherries, sliced into quarters
  • Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes.
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times so there are no chunks.
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and cherry juice and stir.
    2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 Tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (from the jar of cherries)
  • Spread the frosting over the top of the cake then slice and serve!


Save a few whole maraschino cherries for the top to garnish each slice.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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About Kasey Schwartz

For over 15 years, Kasey Schwartz, the mastermind behind All Things Mamma, has been the ultimate go-to for mouthwatering family recipes. Her work has been featured on, Buzz Feed, Better Homes and Gardens, and more, making her your go-to mom next door for all things delicious and family-friendly.


  1. Eileen Parr says:

    I was hoping to make a vanilla cake with cherry pie filling. I saw a receipe for chocolate cake 2 cans of cherry pie filling. Your opinion if vanilla cake mix can be substituted ?

    1. Shyanne - ATM Team says:

      Hi Eileen! We haven’t tested it, but it should work. 😊

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