Chocolate Cherry Creme Cake

Last weekend had me making several cherry pies to help celebrate our son, Cameron’s 30th. He is a cherry pie addict. I guess I had really never noticed recipes on the backs of Oregon Fruit Product Pitted dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup but for some reason, last Saturday I did. This recipe was written on the back of the label. I never thought I would be able to say that I didn’t have cream cheese in my fridge, ready to bake in an instant, but today, I have no cream cheese. As soon as I can get to the store, I am making this cake. I might even add a little hot fudge to the individual pieces when serving.

1 Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake Mix, baked according to directions on box for 9×13 using the eggs, oil and water.

1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 teas vanilla or almond extract

2 cans Oregon Dark Sweet Pitted Cherries, drained, reserve syrup

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cake according to directions on box and pour into prepared and greased 9×13″ pan. Bake as directed on box. Let cake cool completely. Make cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Filling

In small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in Eagle Brand milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and extract. Spread on cooled cake, leaving an edge of the dark cake showing all around for a nice presentation. Refrigerate until set.

Topping:

Drain cherries, reserving syrup. In small saucepan, combine syrup from cherries, cornstarch and sugar. Mix until smooth. Heat and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cherries. Let cool. with a small spoon, arrange the cherries only on top of the cake. Do not use the thickened syrup, only what stays on the cherries. Keep cake in fridge. When serving, use syrup to spoon over individual pieces and top with whipped whipping cream if desired.

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