Chocolate-Cherry Layer Cake with Simple Eggnog Custard
yoinked from the Publix (grocery chain) website in late 2021. This recipe sounds kinda weird but is so good, and it was super popular at our family Christmas get-together this past year.
• Cooking spray
• 1 (15.25 oz) box chocolate cake mix
• 1 ¼ cups pomegranate (or cherry) juice
• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 large eggs
• 2 cups eggnog
• 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
• 1 cup cherry preserves
• ¼ cup mini chocolate morsels
• ¼ cup pomegranate arils (optional)
• ½ gallon ice cream (optional for serving)
➀ Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with spray. Prepare cake mix following package instructions (using pomegranate juice¹, oil, and eggs). Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake 30–35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from pans.
➁ Meanwhile, prepare pudding following package instructions (using eggnog). Cover and chill until ready to assemble.²
➂ Place preserves in bowl and stir until spreadable. Cut each cake in half horizontally with serrated knife, creating 4 layers. Place 1 cake layer on serving plate or cake stand; spread 1/2 cup preserves on cake layer. Place second cake layer on preserve-topped layer and spread one-half pudding mixture over cake layer. Repeat with remaining 2 cake layers, 1/2 cup preserves, and one-half pudding.
➃ Sprinkle top of cake with chocolate morsels and pomegranate arils, if using. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with ice cream, if using.³
➀ Or cherry juice--I make it with cherry because I'm not overly fond of pomegranates.
➁ You'll want to stir it up good when you do go to spread it on the cake, otherwise it'll be kinda lumpy and unappetizing.
➂ Personally I left out the pomegranate arils, and skipped the ice cream. I'm thinking about including the pomegranate arils this year though, because they're very pretty on the cake!