Cheerwine Cake

First of all, let me just apologize now for introducing you to this cake. I’m usually not a fan of sheet cakes – but this one is in a stratosphere all it’s own. It’s totally a cake that your Southern grandmother would have made, that is – if you had a Southern grandmother. But with this cake, you can totally pretend you did, and say it’s a recipe that was handed down from her!

Our friends Jamie & Alex came over for dinner a couple weeks ago, and Jamie brought this as dessert.  I’d heard her rave about it before, so I was excited to try it. She said an old woman who used to come to her mom to get her hair cut would bring this cake, and she loved it as a little girl. Then, thanks to Pinterest – she found a recipe and gave it a whirl. I was enamored – rich, gooey, sweet deliciousness.

The traditional version is make with Coca-Cola, but when I made my version I used Cheerwine. It’s a cherry-ish flavored soda that hails from North Carolina (or “Cackalacky” as we like to call it). We rarely drink soda, but I’m always looking for an excuse to buy some Cheerwine! There’s also a bit of soda in the glaze/frosting (it’s kind of somewhere in the middle) and I added some maraschino cherry juice to bump up the flavor a little bit more. It always stays a little bit soft, but forms this awesome glaze-like slightly crunchy top layer.

This will be the moistest chocolate cake you’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying. And, it’ll be the easiest chocolate cake you’ve ever had the pleasure of making. Do you see why I apologized in advance? Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. Posted April 5, 2013 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    I’ve never made a sheet cake (no idea why), but this one looks amazing!! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Cheerwine up here in New England though, I might have to run with the coca-cola 🙂

  2. Posted April 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

    This sounds awesome! I’ve never had Cheerwine but I love the idea of cherry and chocolate together in this cake.

  3. Posted April 7, 2013 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    I didn’t know you could get Cheerwine in MD. I don’t remember ever seeing it until I lived in NC. This sounds amazing. Told my daughter we would make a chocolate cake today and I might try to convince her to make this one (think we even have some Cheerwine in the garage:-)

  4. Robin
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    Cheerwine is the best! It has its own unique flavor–not like other black cherry sodas you might have tried. If you try this cake (and it looks very similar to what my South Carolinian relatives make) you will probably love it…..

    Thanks for posting the recipe!

  5. elaine
    Posted April 18, 2013 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    Cheerwine is sold in the south. I never saw or head of it before till we moved to MS. It is a very interesting flavor, I cannot describe it, but it taste pretty good.

  6. Bridgett
    Posted December 15, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Making this tonight! The cinnamon and cocoa together just smell like Christmas. Majorly excited. I’m a Kansas girl and I just moved here to Kentucky with my husband and saw Cheerwine in the store and talked him into getting it! I’ve never had it before but I loved it andknewthere had to be some sort of cake recipe for it- although I might add my surprise at a chocolate cake recipe. I was totally thinking something like a 7up cake.

  7. prissymissy14
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Yum!!!!!!!! Do u make buttermilk or buy it?

    • Posted January 7, 2014 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

      I usually just buy it, because I use it so often. But, you can make your own by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 Tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. You can also buy it in powdered form (you just add water to hydrate it) in the canned/powdered milk aisle. Stays good forever that way!

  8. Kerri
    Posted July 10, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    For those who haven’t had Cheerwine, it can be found in more places than the South — I know there are some places in Washington and Oregon that have it now. (I’m in NC, but know a transplant or two in the PacNW.)

    • Posted July 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

      I know you can find it in Cracker Barrel locations nationwide too.

  9. Kerri
    Posted February 6, 2016 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    I don’t see this mentioned above, but heads up that the ingredients list is missing the 4 cups confectioner’s sugar needed for the frosting. Thankfully, I seem to hoard confectioner’s sugar, so I had enough on hand, but an update might be good for anyone coming to this recipe in the future.

    I’m making this cake for a Super Bowl party tomorrow — Go Panthers! #keeppounding

  10. Debra
    Posted April 14, 2016 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    This is my go to cake for every occasion .
    It’s loved by all !

  11. Kristin
    Posted May 18, 2018 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    I special ordered some Cheerwine off Amazon specifically for this recipe, as well as a special sauce ingredient for some baby back ribs. A friend of mine who grew up in N.C. was raving about the stuff & it had me intrigued. I live in Aspen, CO so I’d never heard of Cheerwine before. Let me tell you—your cake recipe was a ginormous hit, as were the ribs! Friends are begging me for the secret ingredient, but I may just have to keep it under wraps ?

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