The Mailbox: Teri Watson

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2D

Chocolate-covered cherry cake

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves 20

Liz Sucht of Manteca was looking for a chocolate cake recipe made from a cake mix and cherry pie filling, along with variations for other cake mix and pie filling recipes.

This recipe comes from Jim W. Reed of Sacramento, who says it makes a great cake that is really delicious. It comes from "The Cake Mix Doctor" cookbook (Workman, $15.95, 454 pages) by Anne Byrn.

Bill Cox of Orangevale shared some variations that he's tried using the same recipe. He omits the almond extract and uses a spice cake mix and apple pie filling, or a white cake mix and blueberry pie filling, which will give you a blue cake.

Try topping the spice cake-apple pie filling cake with caramel ice cream topping or powdered sugar.


For the cake:

One 18.25-ounce box plain devil's food cake mix or devil's food cake mix with pudding

One 21-ounce can cherry pie filling

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

Chocolate glaze:

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup whole milk

One 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with vegetable spray; set aside.

Put the cake mix, pie filling, eggs and extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides of the bowl again if needed. Batter should look thick and well-blended.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack while you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, place the sugar, butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips. When the chips have melted and the glaze is smooth, pour it over the warm cake so it covers the entire surface. The glaze will be thin but will firm up.

Cool the cake for 20 minutes before cutting it into squares and serving. Store the cake, covered in foil, at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze the cake, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.

Per serving: 266 cal.; 3 g pro.; 43 g carb.; 10 g fat (5 sat., 3 monounsat., 2 polyunsat.); 27 mg chol.; 231 mg sod.; 1 g fiber; 33 percent calories from fat.

Quick beer bread

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Makes 1 loaf, 12 slices

Dorothy Hurd of Sacramento was looking for a beer bread recipe. Last week the Mailbox featured the basic beer bread recipe using self-rising flour, sugar and beer.

This recipe comes from Ervin Blocher of Modesto, who says it's good and easy to make.


One 12-ounce bottle or can of beer

3 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, divided use

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 tablespoons caraway seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix beer and 3 cups of the flour in a mixing bowl. If using an electric mixer, mix on slow for 3 to 4 minutes. If mixing by hand, mix for 5 to 6 minutes. This takes the place of kneading to develop the texture of the bread.

In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and all of the remaining ingredients. Add to the batter slowly. Just as soon as all the flour is incorporated, transfer to a greased 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until loaf makes a hollow sound when removed from pan and thumped on the bottom.

Per slice: 162 cal.; 5 g pro.; 31 g carb.; trace fat; 0 mg chol.; 300 mg sod.; 1 g fiber.

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