You don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to make this Heart Shaped Cherry Cake recipe. Moist white cake “coupled” with sweet dark cherries just bursting with flavor and the love you put into it is perfect for any occasion or any time.

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heart shaped cheery cake with butter cream frosting

Why You’ll Love This Vanilla Cake With Cherry Pie Filling

  • This heart-shaped cake comes together in no time, definitely a treat to be shared with those that you love.
  • There’s something so classic and still a little special about making a cake shaped like a heart.  
  • Easily adaptable to flavor preferences and variations, are you thinking chocolate
  • Uses basic pantry staples and cherry pie filling. (Some of you consider cherry pie filling a staple, so good on you!)
  • This cake is not only pretty but also easy, even for an amateur baker.

heart shaped cheery cake with cherry pie filling on top

Equipment Needed To Make Cherry Pie Filling Cake

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All you need to make this wonderful white cake with cherry pie filling on top is a heart-shaped cake pan or 9 x 13” cake pan, mixing bowls, an electric mixer, and a spatula!

For the buttercream frosting, you need an icing spatula or smoothing scraper/decorative comb, and a decorating bag fitted with a 1M tip.

slice of heart shaped cheery cake on white plate

Ingredients For Your Heart Shaped Cake Recipe

For Cherry Cake:

  • White Cake Mix – my go-to is usually a Duncan Hines cake mix, but you can use any brand you prefer!
  • Eggs – you always want to make sure your eggs are at room temp, around 70°F, before incorporating them into a mixture to be baked.
  • Baking Powder – Is used to create a lighter crumb and reacts with the cherries in the batter due to their acidity, which gives the batter the correct lift. 
  • Vanilla And Almond Extract – always use the best quality extracts you can work into your budget. Pure vanilla extract is going to give you the best flavor, real vanilla “flavoring” is an option if you need something that doesn’t contain alcohol.
  • Cherry Pie Filling 

For Buttercream Icing:

  • Butter – Should be softened but not melted. Allow butter to warm but not get shiny or start to melt. The butter should leave a small imprint when pushed with a finger.
  • Vanilla And Almond Extract – These extracts provide complex layers and aroma to your frosting, that mmm…  To make your own quality vanilla extract, click here.
  • Powdered Sugar – Using sifted powdered sugar makes for a smooth glide-like consistency and adds sweetness to the icing.
  • Milk – Whole milk creates a smoother and less watery consistency than skim. If you only have a low-fat version, use 2 tablespoons less and continue to add until you’re happy with the texture.
  • Food Coloring (Optional) – Create a pink or red hue with gel food coloring.

how to make cherry cake photo collage

How To Make Delicious Heart Shaped Cherry Cake

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

STEP ONE: Mix together all of the ingredients for your cherry pie filling cake, adding only 1/2 can of cherry pie filling until moistened. By hand, fold the rest of the cherry pie filling until combined. The batter should appear thick, so level with a spatula after pouring it into the lightly greased heart-shaped cake pan.

STEP TWO: Bake in a 325° F preheated oven for 65-75 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pan, then invert the vanilla cherry cake to decorate.

heart shaped cheery cake with bite missing

Why Add Extra Baking Powder To A Cake Mix?

There are two common reasons: One is to “freshen up” or boost older cake mixes because the baking powder has a limited shelf-life. 

The second and relevant to this recipe with white cake mix and cherry pie filling is to keep the cake from being too heavy yet provide a satisfying and pleasing weight. 

The extra baking powder is added to the cherry pie filling cake because the cherries increase the acidity of the batter. The additional baking powder will be enough to react and counteract the higher acid content so the cherry cake will lift properly.

Note – More is not better here. Too much baking powder will create a bitter taste, and the center of the cake will rise too rapidly, making it fall.

how to decorate heart shaped cherry cake photo collage

How To Make Velvety Buttercream Icing For Heart Shaped Cherry Cake

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

Cream butter and extracts until fluffy; add powdered sugar slowly and beat well. Add milk until mixed, adding more if needed for your preferred consistency and texture. If you add coloring gel, mix until the color is uniform throughout.

2 slices heart shaped cheery cake

Popular Substitutions & Variations For Your Heart Shaped Cherry Cake

Tips for Decorating:

  • Pipe some of the buttercream around the cherry pie filling on the top of the cake, as I did. This makes a pretty addition and helps to keep the luscious cherries from slipping.
  • Frost vanilla cherry heart cake, then top with mini chocolate chips or sprinkles.
  • Tint your buttercream pink, ice the whole cake, then sprinkle top with chocolate chips and cherry pie filling.
  • Add a bit of cherry liquor to the buttercream frosting and garnish with shaved white or dark chocolate.
  • Frost with chocolate buttercream (made with a dash of cherry liquor) for a black forest cake flavor twist.

Sweet Heart Cake Variations:

  • Add some mini or regular chocolate chips to the white cake mix and cherry pie filling batter for a creamy chocolate complement in each bite!
  • If you love black forest cake, try using a chocolate cake mix instead of white in this heart-shaped cherry cake recipe. Then cover with a simple chocolate ganache icing.
  • Make and decorate this heart-shaped cake with strawberry pie filling.

Like This Heart Shaped Cherry Cake? Pin It!


heart shaped cheery cake with buttercream and cherry pie filling


To me, Valentine’s Day is really about the simple gestures you make to show someone you love them. This heart-shaped cake definitely says “I Love You!”

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Originally posted in January 2010. UPDATED February 2022. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

heart shaped cheery cake with butter cream frosting

Heart Shaped Cherry Cake

Yield: 15 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

You don't have to wait for Valentine's Day to make this Heart Shaped Cherry Cake recipe. Moist white cake “coupled” with sweet cherry pie filling just bursting with flavor and the love you put into it is perfect for any occasion or any time.


  • 1 white cake mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling (*more if using as garnish)

For Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • food coloring (optional)


  • additional cherry pie filling (optional garnish)


Sweetheart Cherry Cake
    1. Preheat oven to 325° F. Lightly grease 9 x 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cake pan* (substitute heart pan for 9×13 pan)
    2. Mix together on medium speed, dry cake mix, eggs, baking powder, both extracts, and 1/2 can of pie filling until moistened. Fold in the remaining 1/2 can of cherry pie filling by hand until well combined (if you’d prefer cherry pieces instead of whole cherries, then just add the whole can and mix). The batter should appear thick.
    3. Pour the cake batter into pan, and level with a spatula.
    4. Bake for 65-75 minutes for heart shape pan, 40-45 for 9×13 pan, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. Invert cake onto a serving platter to decorate.
Buttercream Frosting
  1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, vanilla, and almond extract.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix well. If needed, continue adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  3. Mix in food coloring, if desired. like pink or red icing or you can leave it white. I colored a small amount with food color to pipe around the edges.

To Decorate:

  1. Frost all sides of the cake with white buttercream.
  2. Optional Garnishes: Evenly spoon 1/2 can of additional cherry pie filling over top (keeping the pie filling about one inch from the edge of the cake). Or use mini chocolate chips or sprinkles.
  3. Fill a decorating bag, fitted with a 1M tip with frosting and pipe around the cherry pie filling or whatever topping you used.


There are several options for decorating this heart-shaped cake. I like to cover it in white frosting, then add cherry pie filling, or mini chocolate chip or Valentine sprinkles to the top. Then pipe frosting around the edge for a cake that looks like it came right from the bakery.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 157Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

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vanilla cake with cherry pie filling