Midwest Prairie Cake

Midwest Prarie Cake - a play on Black Forest Cake
Midwest Prairie Cake is a variation on Black Forest Cake – with more chocolate and cherries!

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Give Me The Recipe, Dammit is officially a year old!

Midwest Prarie Cake - a play on Black Forest Cake

Midwest Prairie Cake

A Missouri twist on Black Forest Cake. Chocolate and cherry is always a winning combination.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup HOT water (not boiling, just hot from the tap)
  • 2 21-ounce cans cherry pie filling


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar until well combined.
  • Add in eggs, oil, vanilla extract and water and beat by hand for 2 minutes or with a stand mixer until combined with no lumps.
  • Spread cherries on the bottom of an ungreased 9×13" pan, and pour the cake batter on top of the cherries.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake portion comes out cleanly. Cool completely before frosting.
  • Frost with chocolate frosting (sign up for email updates to get my recipe, or use store bought, either works!)


Hot water makes the chocolate flavor more intense, but the specific temperature also affects the bake time so keep an eye (and a nose) on the cake while it’s baking. 
If you decide to make this without cherries, reduce the baking time to 18-22 minutes.
Keyword black forest cake, chocolate cake, homemade chocolate cake, midwest prarie cake

Obligatory Fictional Backstory

The year was 1978, and bellbottoms and Black Forest Cake were the two biggest trends in the fashion and culinary worlds, respectively. I was a young child, dragged along to a Tupperware party, when I had my first taste of Black Forest Cake. Chocolate and cherry had always been favorite flavors of mine, but then when someone combined them? It was as if the heavens themselves opened up and shone down upon that Tupperware cake plate.

Sadly, my family had embraced the hippie “sugar free no processed foods” lifestyle, so that would be my last taste of cake for many years.

At last when I was in college, a friend of mine attempted to make a Black Forest cake. I say attempted, and that’s probably not fair, because I think it was actually a good cake, it just didn’t live up to the legend that lived in my memory. I had forgotten, for instance, that the topping has a lot of whipped cream, and not as much chocolate frosting as I recalled.

I decided to recreate the cake as it lived in my memory. It seemed silly to call it Black Forest cake when I lived so far from the actual Black Forest, and this cake was so different from its inspiration, so I renamed it to Midwest Prairie Cake. Enjoy it at your next Tupperware party!

Real Talk

I can’t believe it’s already been a year of blogging!!! What better way to celebrate than with cake?? While it’s in the oven, check out My Creative Manner for more great recipes – they share a blogiversary with us!

Special shoutout to my sister-in-law Wendi, without whom I would not have made it this far. She’s always been a voice of encouragement and my top fan. I would also like to thank my mom, who taught me how to cook and gave me my warped sense of humor; my husband, for eating all the random stuff I make “for the blog”, and my children, for always being brutally honest about my cooking.

I would also like to say THANK YOU for reading, commenting, and cooking! Give Me The Recipe, Dammit would not exist without you, the reader. I hope to provide good food and entertainment for years to come!

Sadly, I am poor, so no giveaways this year. Maybe next year!

But if you’d like to give me an anniversary present, would you consider subscribing to email updates? Subscribers get notifications when I post a new recipe, as well as periodic SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE recipes (including one for homemade chocolate frosting that goes beautifully with this cake)!


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