Semi-Homemade Cherry Cake

Cherry cake made easy with cake mix and pie filling
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Servings: 12 servings

A box of yellow cake mix makes this cherry cake a snap to prepare with cherry pie filling. The pie filling is swirled through the cake batter just before it goes into the oven. If you love fruit cobblers and cakes, this dessert will satisfy both cravings.

The cake is made with the cake mix, eggs, and oil as directed on the package, but with only 1/2 cup of water. This makes an easy, beautiful cake, and it needs no frosting. Serve the cake with ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped topping. Or simply dust the cake with confectioners' sugar. Frost it with a basic vanilla frosting if you prefer a frosted cake.

See the tips and variations below the recipe instructions for more flavor ideas.


  • 1 (15.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix (with oil and eggs as called for on package)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • Optional Garnish: powdered sugar (sifted)
  • Optional Garnish: whipped topping or whipped cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan or spray it with baking spray with flour.

  3. In a large mixing bowl with electric mixer, prepare the cake mix according to package directions, using oil or melted butter and eggs, but add only 1/2 cup of water.

  4. Spread the batter into a greased and floured 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Spoon cherry pie filling evenly over the batter, then swirl into the batter just enough to give a marbled effect.

  5. Bake the cake in the preheated 350 F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when lightly touched with a finger. 

  6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar or serve with ice cream or whipped topping. 


The oil and eggs are not included in the nutritional analysis.

Recipe Variation

  • Replace the cherry pie filling with blueberry pie filling.
  • Use apple or peach pie filling but chop the fruit coarsely before spooning it over the batter. Bake as directed.
  • Use a butter pecan, white cake, cherry chip, French vanilla, or a similar cake mix in the recipe.
  • For black forest flavor, make the cake with a chocolate or fudge cake mix. 
  • Sprinkle about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped pecans over the pie filling before swirling it into the batter.