My middle son Abe just turned 19 and came home from college for his birthday dinner. I wanted to make a special cake for him with cherries. I've tried some other cherry chocolate cake recipes but this one is extra moist and gooey the way he likes desserts. The cake was a hit on my first try and Abe wanted me to name it after him.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13”x9" pan with nonstick spray and lay a small sheet of waxed paper in bottom of pan. Spray top of waxed paper and set pan aside.
In large bowl, combine soft butter, milk, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract, and eggs. Mix until blended. Add cake mix and pudding mix. Beat until well mixed.
If you want your cherries in smaller pieces like I do, add 1 can of cherry filling now and then beat 1 minute at medium speed. If you want the cherries intact, beat the mix for 1 minute at medium then fold in the filling.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-40 minutes or until cake is set-and inserted knife will come out clean, Cake will be soft.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then turn cake over onto a serving tray or, as I do, a plastic 13x9 storing/serving container. (You’ll have to shove the sides down to fit in with your hands if using a container. This makes a higher wall on rim of cake to hold the filling.) Peel away the wax paper from top of cake.
Spread another can of cherry pie filling over the top of the cake. Drizzle ¼ cup melted white frosting (in microwave for 20 secs and stir well) or room temp chocolate syrup over the cherry filling. Serve warm or chilled. Do not leave out at room temp. Cover after cooled completely in fridge.
Variation: instead of adding the ½ cup milk to the batter, substitute ½ cup strong cold coffee.