To make the cake:

2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

The cherries:

1 can (20 ounces) cherries, drained – reserve 10-12 for decorating or however many you want. Put the reserved cherries aside and marinate the cherries in 1/4 cup good quality brandy.

Make some fresh whipped cream:

1½ cups heavy cream, chilled
½ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whip all 3 of the ingredients until soft and stiff or to the consistency which you like. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready for use.


Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Divide batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until thin knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool the cakes completely.

Once the cakes are cool, level the tops and place one layer on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cherries and place on the cake layer. Top with about ½ to ¾ cup whipped cream, spreading over cherries evenly. Place the second layer on top, and frost the entire cake with the remaining whipped cream. Decorate as desired.

*NOTE: If you do not want to use alcohol in the cake, or don’t have any on hand; reserve ¼ cup of the juice/syrup from the canned cherries before draining and substitute it for the brandy.

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