Pass the cherry goodness.
Poke Cake Cheerwine
Credit: Cheerwine

We love baking. As Southerners, a penchant for all things cookies, cakes, and cornbread is practically in our blood. Now, especially, amidst the unsettling coronavirus pandemic, we feel particularly grateful that whipping up a cake, cupcake, loaf of bread, or the like, can help our minds escape from the stress of the current global crisis.

And as Southerners, especially those who grew up or reside in North Carolina, nothing spells comfort like Cheerwine. That's why we were glad when the kind folks at Cheerwine shared their recipe for Cheerwine Poke Cake, a delightful explosion of cherry-infused deliciousness in every bite.

“For generations, Cheerwine fans have been creatively using our soft drink as a featured ingredient in many sweet and savory recipes, and we're excited to share one of our favorites for everyone to try at home," Joy Ritchie Harper, vice-president of marketing for Cheerwine and fifth-generation founding family member, shared with Southern Living. "This fluffy cake is packed full of cherry flavor and is one of many recipes we've collected on our website," she added. You can check out more recipes online here.

Best of all? This tasty dessert is a breeze for even beginner bakers and comes together with only a handful of ingredients. Scroll down for the full recipe.

WATCH: 10 Things To Know About Cheerwine, the Beloved Southern Soft Drink

Cheerwine Poke Cake


  • 1 box white cake mix, plus ingredients needed on back of box, replacing the water with Cheerwine
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries

  • 1 1/2 cups Cheerwine
  • 1 3-oz box cherry-flavored gelatin

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid from Maraschino cherry jar
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using the 1 cup of Cheerwine in place of the water, and stirring in the chopped cherries. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for recommended time on cake mix box. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of Cheerwine to a boil. Remove pan from heat and stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Using a straw or handle of wooden spoon–poke holes in the cake about every 2 inches. Pour the gelatin mixture evenly over entire cake.
  3. Cover and refrigerate cake for at least four hours. Using an electric mixer, beat heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and cherry juice until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream on top of cake and garnish with cherries. Keep leftovers refrigerated. Enjoy!

This year, we hear this delightful cake pairs especially well with the virtual Cheerwine Festival on May 16th, which was moved online in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Share the recipe with your loved ones, and gather round ye olde FaceTime for a slice, You may be apart, but your taste buds will be together in spirit.