Valentine’s Day Dessert – Sweet Chocolate Cherry Bombs

Cordial Cherries remind me of childhood. Not that I ate a lot of them as a kid, but I sure wanted to.  When I was in 4th grade, I attended a Christmas party with my group of  friends. Everyone in attendance purchased one gift for the gift exchange.  I honestly don’t remember how we chose who got what gift, all I remember was being so jealous of the girl that got a box of cordial cherries and two big candy canes in her package. Oh, how I wished that were my gift.

I received a beautiful glass jewelry box, which didn’t thrill me in the moment, but I soon came to realize it was a wonderful gift.  I held onto that box for many years.  It always reminded me of my grade school friends.  I’m sure had I gotten the box of sweets, as I had hoped all those years ago, I would not ever have given this a second thought. Isn’t it funny what we remember?

My love of chocolates has grown even greater in my adulthood and I’m always trying to find new ways to create something fun. I have been seeing lots of cake pop recipes floating around the web this Valentine’s Day and it got me thinking about other things to do with the gooey cake/frosting mixture that is in the center of the pops.

So with this thought swimming around in my head, I opened my refrigerator and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the flaming red of maraschino cherries and inspiration hit – combine a cake pop recipe with a maraschino cherry and make it look like a big cordial cherry. YUM!

My Sweet Chocolate Cherry Bombs are coated in tempered pure chocolate and they are delicious.  If you aren’t comfortable tempering chocolate, you can simply use dark confectionery coating/candy melts.  Click here for detailed instructions about melting chocolate/confectionery coating.

I used a Pillsbury Devil’s Food cake mix and blended it with Pillsbury Classic White Frosting.  Change it up a bit if you’d like.  Try using chocolate frosting blended with the chocolate cake or perhaps a white cake blended with vanilla frosting.  That white version would actually look more similar to a cordial cherry once cut open. Any way you decide to make them, I’m sure they will be sweet!

Sweet Chocolate Cherry Bombs – Cake Balls with Cherry Centers

 (makes 30-48)*


1 Pillsbury Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/4 cup – 1 tub Pillsbury Classic White Frosting*
30-48 Maraschino Cherries with stems*
16-22 oz. tempered semi-sweet chocolate (or
  dark confectionery coating/candy melts)

Special equipment needed:

2 – 8″ or 9″ cake pans or 1 – 13″x9″ pan
no-stick cooking spray
hand held mixer
paper towels
parchment paper or non-stick foil
baking sheet

*UPDATE: When I first made this recipe I just went on-line and found a recipe for cake balls and they used the whole tub of frosting. I did that to make these and they worked out well. I really liked the flavor which reminded me of a HoHo. A few people have commented that their cake balls weren’t holding together well with this much frosting

Recently, I have experimented with using less frosting and mixing my cake and frosting with my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, as I’ve read where some people use as little as 2 tablespoons for a whole cake.  I used that idea to make my Warm Fuzzy Cake Balls and used 1/4 cup of frosting. The texture is great and the flavor is very chocolatey. So, to make these you may want to start with a smaller amount of frosting and add more until you find the flavor and texture you like best.

Mixing in an entire tub of frosting by hand produces a lighter more airy cake ball and you end up with more of them. If you use less frosting and mix in a Kitchen Aid or food processor the mixture becomes more dense and you will end up with fewer cake balls. Both are very good options. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake pan/s by spraying with no-stick cooking spray. Blend cake mix, water, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl until moistened.  Using a hand held mixer , beat on medium speed for two minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan/s.  Bake for 29-35 minutes (see package for specific times for each pan size). Cool cake completely.

Oxo 1055893 Good Grips Medium Cookie ScoopCrumble cooled cake into a large mixing bowl.  Add 1/4 cup frosting and mix until well combined. Add more if needed. Scoop mixture out by the tablespoonful.  I use a small ice cream scoop to make easy work of this task.  Roll each scoop into a ball.

Drain maraschino cherries and pat dry with paper towels.  Press one cherry into the center of each cake ball.  Bring the cake mixture up and around the cherry.  Roll in between your two hands to form a nice ball.

Melt and temper semi-sweet chocolate or melt confectionery coating/candy melts.  Click here for detailed melting instructions. Dip cake covered cherries in chocolate.  Set on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate if using tempered semi-sweet chocolate until set, about 10 minutes.  If using dark candy melts, place your cherry bombs in the freezer until set, about 5 minutes.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

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– Beth

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  1. says

    I was thinking about making these and was wondering if you could dip the cherries in the cake batter and bake them? Would that screw up the cherries? Thanks for thinking this up and sharing it with us!! Even if I can't take a short cut I will be making these for my hubby's Birthday!

  2. says

    Hi Heather, You could definitely bake a cherry in the cake, but I'm not sure how you'd get a cake ball unless you used a Babycakes maker. I just love the flavor of the chocolate cake with the vanilla frosting. It reminds me of a HoHo or Swiss Roll, but better.

  3. says

    Thanks! The part about it actually turning out in the shape of a ball didn't occur to me lol! But I may just give it a go and see how it turns out!

  4. Jenn says

    Um. I just found you randomly on a search. I am in LOVE with this site. I do theme birthday parties all the time with my three little girls. WOW Amazing. Can't wait to explore this whole site!!! Thanks for posting these.


  5. says

    Thank you, Beth! The idea is really interesting and delicious! In Bulgaria, much liked by the visitors to my blog! I am happy that you liked my performance! With best wishes!Candy

    • says

      Hi Sara, I would store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. A tin works best, but a plastic container with a tight fitting lid is good too. I don't ever refrigerate anything dipped in chocolate, but I know others do. If you need to keep them longer, you can refrigerate or freeze the, just allow them to come up to room temperature slowly. Place frozen cake balls in the refrigerate overnight, then set the cake balls on the counter, leaving whatever container you froze them in closed for a few hours. Then you can open them. The chocolate may bloom (turn white) but it is safe to eat and will taste fine.

  6. Holly says

    Hi! I was psyched to find this recipe and I am definitely going to improvise on it for valentines day. I was just wondering if you had any tips to make it a little more natural? I am slightly uncomfortable using both a pre-made cake mix AND frosting and wondered if you had any ideas on substitutions. I assume that I can just make a chocolate cake and some buttercream?
    Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Holly. I'm glad you found this recipe before Valentine's Day. You can certainly use any homemade cake and frosting for this recipe. You can even use less frosting; a 1/4 cup will work well enough to bind the cake together so that you can form balls. I just happen to like the taste of it with more frosting, but less is fine. You can use Nutella instead of the frosting to give it a really rich chocolate flavor. If there is a healthier alternative to that, I'm sure it would work too. You just need something moist and a bit sticky to help bind the cake together. Have fun and have a sweet Valentine's Day.

    • Holly says

      Hmmm…nutella? Don't plant that wonderful idea in my head, hah! Thanks so much for your response :) Have a nice holiday!

  7. Anonymous says

    I'm really sad. I tried your recipe and when I dipped them in the chocolate they just fell apart. I even froze them before dipping and the same thing happened. What am I doing wrong,.

    • says

      I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble with the cake balls. There are two things I can think might be the issue. Your chocolate may be so thick that it is pulling on the cake ball as you dip it. If you think that might be the problem, add a small amount (1-3 teaspoons) of vegetable oil to the chocolate to thin it out. Otherwise, you may need to try squeezing the balls a little bit to compact them a bit more. Just a note about freezing them, your cake balls will be so cold that when dipped in the candy coating/chocolate they may end up with cracks in them. I don't recommend it. You could also let them sit for a few hours to harden a bit. That might make them easier to dip. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'll do my best to come up with a solution.

    • Anonymous says

      I am having troubles getting my cake balls to stay together. Do you always add the whole container of frosting or is there a better combination?

    • says

      Ya know, when I first made this recipe I just went on-line and found a recipe for cake balls and they used the whole tub of frosting. I did that to make these and they worked out well. I really liked the flavor which reminded me of a HoHo. Since making these, however, I have read were a lot of people use less frosting, as little as 2 tablespoons for a whole cake. They put their cake in the bowl of a stand mixer and blend it with the frosting. I used that idea to make my Warm Fuzzy Cake Balls. It has a wonderful texture, but tastes much more chocolatey. So really you can use any amount of frosting that works for you. If you have your cake and frosting mixed together already and it's not sticking together, try mixing it with an electric mixer or food processor. It will compact the mixture more and should help. Let me know if you have any more questions or problems.

  8. says

    Found your site through Pinterest, so excited to try these! I rarely comment on blogs, but I got nostalgic reading your story about the cordials from your childhood, everytime I see a box of those, it takes me back, I LOVED those!!! Can't wait to try these at my next party!

  9. Jennifer says

    I always look at the reviews…but sometimes all you find is "wow cant wait to make this" rather than "i did make it and yes…it was awesome." so here I am giving the awesome review…we put them together which was pretty cheap and easy and they look professional. I said "even if they dont taste good they look like the bomb!" and when we did get to eat them mmmmmmmmmm they were SO good. thumbs up all around over here!

  10. rebellllll says

    I made these for my fiance's bday and they were. so. freakin. good!!!! I did half with chocolate cake and chocolate frosting, and the other half with cherry chip cake and whipped cream frosting. YUM!

  11. Chevette Girl says

    I made these for my OWN birthday today (this way I know I get something I want and can justify spending this much time on something)and the hardest part was finding stemmed maraschino cherries. Apparently nobody in this city that I've found carries them any time other than Xmas. Finally found a bottle of Tipsy Cherries (with whiskey), got sixteen of them for my $5. Yeah. So. I am happy to report that in the event of lack of stem, a toothpick through a glace cherry seems to hold together fine if I kept the toothpick horizontal. The next hardest part was mashing the stuff all together by hand. Spatula in the nonstick cake pan worked well, once I took half the cake out. I may have overheated my chocolate coating a little on the double boiler, but oh well, I always seem to do that. I really oughtta do some research on what temp to stop at so I don't un-temper it, it wasn't hot enough to burn my fingers but it's making rather large puddles around each bomb, they look more like cherry splats. I expect they'll still taste good though! I'll try one once they've set… and I'm drooling at the cherry chip cake idea… and wondering if this would work with fresh cherries, that was my next plan if the toothpicks didn't work. Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      I hope you enjoy them once they are ready to eat! I bet the typsy cherries will add a nice adult flavor to the bombs:) I found my stemmed cherries at GFS. They come in a big bottle, but have a long shelf life. If you don't have a GFS, I would recommend a liquor store. They sell them to put in drinks, and they always have stems. I usually mash up my cake in a large bowl or in a Kitchen Aid mixer. As far as the chocolate coating goes, if you are using confectionery coating/candy melts you don't want it to go above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. I try to keep mine below 110, actually. If it gets too hot it will get thick and wont coat nicely. If you do get it too hot, you can pull it off the heat and add some un-melted coating. Stir it until it melts and gets the temperature down. If you have a cherry pitter, and can get the seeds out without taking off the stem, you could use fresh cherries. Enjoy.

    • Chevette Girl says

      I ended up using toothpicks and glace cherries from the bulk food store after I ran out of tipsy cherries (thread the cherries onto the toothpick, hold the toothpick sideways until after it's coated then pull it out and use a spatula to cover the hole), and I was kind of surprised that I couldn't really taste much difference, certainly couldn't taste the whiskey. I'll be making these again for Xmas and will get out the candy thermometer so I don't overheat the coating, thanks for the recipe and the suggestions!

  12. Wendy Wotring says

    Oh my! I, too, loved chocolate cherry cordials growing up (still do). I could always count on a box from Grandma at Christmas! I have been wanting to make cake balls and cannot wait to try these! I can see a definite benefit in having the stem (handle) when dipping the balls into the chocolate. But I was thinking…. without the stem, the cherry would be a most delicious surprise! I am so excited by this recipe — thank you, Beth!

    • says

      These do take a cake ball to the next level, and the stem is a great handle but does give away the secret inside. You could certainly make these using cherries without stems and keep that little gem hidden. I hope you enjoy making them and eating them!

  13. Ashley says

    These were so good! I made them for some friends on Thanksgiving, and they demanded I give them the recipe. I make cake pops all the time, and would have never thought to try this so thank you!

  14. says

    Thanks for posting, I found it on pinterest and can't wait to try them. What you do think about a brownie instead of the cake, just curious, I think my husband would like that better. Gonna try to make them for Valentine's Day. Thanks a bunch.

  15. says

    Thanks for posting this yummy looking recipe. I found it on Pinterest. What do you think about making them with brownie mix instead of cake? I may try that, will let you know how it works. Thanks a bunch!

  16. Courtney says

    I made these for V-day this year. OMG….AMAZING!!!! I ate about half all by myself so next time I make them it will be to take them somewhere! haha I tried the white cake mix like you said we could try too…tasted just like Choc Covered Cherries I buy at Christmas. Again, AMAZING!!!

  17. Anonymous says

    Hi Beth,

    I very much enjoyed reading your cherry bomb blog. I used to make a similar bomb many moons ago as a means of using up staled cake. It was a recipe handed to me by my husband's great aunt who was very frugal with food, nothing was ever wasted! We also enjoyed her stale bread puddings, the likes of which I have never tasted since. Thanks for sharing your take on 'chocolate bombs', brought back some lovely memories for me too.

    • says

      How wonderful to have such fond family food memories. Sounds like your husband's great aunt was a clever woman. I was just shopping with a friend yesterday at an international grocery store and she was looking for day old croissants to make bread pudding. She didn't want to spend more money on fresh ones only to let them sit and get old. I love a good bread pudding!

  18. Anonymous says

    I made these for a Beau-Sweetheart event my son attended and they were a huge hit. There was not one left and the kids requested that he bring them again next time. Your directions are perfect and these are so much easier to make than normal cake balls. I love having the stem–it makes coating them in chocolate so easy. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It's a keeper!

  19. Anonymous says

    My granddaughter repinned and I saw this resipe. I plan on making them for her in the next few days. They soundvery easy to make.

  20. Anonymous says

    Just got done making these cake pops. They are very delicious. I do feel like I got the wrong type of chocolate because it was very thick even with heating it to the correct temp. I used tooth picks because i carelessly forgot to grab sticks at the store. My pops would fall off the toothpick and Id have to spoon it out. Needless to say they look a MESS but are very delicious!

    • says

      I'm glad you enjoyed their flavor even though you had trouble. You may have gotten the right chocolate, but due to several reasons it could have been thick. When chocolate is exposed to different temperatures it changes and can become very thick once melted. You can't ever know when you buy chocolate in the store where it has been kept and at what temperature. If using confectionery coating or candy melts, some brands are just thicker than others. Wilton Candy Melts tend to be thicker than Peter's White Caps or Merken's Ultra White. If you find you are using thick candy melts, you can add paramount crystal or a small amount of Crisco or vegetable oil to thin it out. Read my Chocolate Making Tips page for more information.

  21. Anonymous says

    I thought u could use ice cream instead of frosting? Would that b possible. Also if u use the frosting wouldn't the cake pops be extra sweet

  22. Anonymous says

    I want to make these for an adult party. Do you think I could put the cherries in alcohol? like vodka maybe?

  23. says

    I make these or something similar every year for my annual GIRLFRIENDS weekend ONLY I buy my cheeries in July and pit them and soak them in brandy until a few days before we meet. THEY LOVE THEM AND ASK ME TO BRING THEM. Vodka is good too but brandy is best-if you like a punch.

  24. Anonymous says

    When I make my Cake Balls, instead of using frosting I use 1 an 1/2 bars of soft cream cheese.. Holds together well and isn't as sweet

    • says

      That sounds like a great option. I love sweet, but love cream cheese too, so I'm sure I would like the cake balls either way. I'll have to give it a try.

  25. says

    What do you think about using red velvet cake? Just for that pop of color on V-Day? :)
    Thank you for the great-lookin' recipe. I'm so excited to try these out. I was reading some of the comments, and I really was loving the idea of the tipsy cherries, but then I saw the gal who posted said she didn't really notice a difference. Bummer. Thank you!

    • says

      I think red velvet cake would work great. It would add a nice color to the inside of the cake balls. I think if you made your own tipsy cherries and liked the flavor of them alone then they would work well in this recipe. I've never tried a tipsy cherry, so I'm not really sure how strong the taste is and how pronounced the flavor would be in these cake balls.

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