Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8” round cake pans.

  2. To make the cake: In a large bowl whisk together the oil, water, and eggs. Stir in the contents of the mix package. Divide the batter between the two pans.  

  3. Bake the cakes for 25 to 35 minutes, until their centers read 205°F when measured with a digital thermometer. 

  4. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the pie filling with the water and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Heat until warmed through and the sugar dissolves.  

  5. Pour the mixture through a strainer, reserving the cherries and juice separately. Stir the Kirsch and almond extract into the juice and set aside to cool.

  6. Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla and remaining tablespoon of sugar until stiff peaks form.

  7. To assemble the cake: Split the cake layers horizontally to make four thin layers. Place a layer on a serving plate and brush generously with the reserved juice.

  8. Spread a 1/2”-thick layer of whipped cream on the cake. Place one-third of the cherries on the whipped cream and center a second cake layer on top.

  9. Repeat the process of brushing with juice, spreading with whipped cream, and adding cherries twice more, placing the last cake layer on top. You’ll have juice left over; it makes an excellent sundae sauce.

  10. Spread the top cake layer with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle generously with chocolate shavings or curls. Top with cherries, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  11. Store leftover cake, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to five days; freeze for longer storage (see “tips,” below).

Tips from our Bakers

  • For those not following a strict gluten-free diet, it's possible to assemble and freeze this cake for later; you’ll need to stabilize the whipped cream filling with Instant ClearJel (which isn't packaged in a gluten-free facility). Mix 1 teaspoon Instant ClearJel with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar; add this to the cream after whipping it to soft peaks. Assemble cake as directed, wrap securely, and freeze for up to one month