Southern Diner Cake

Southern Diner Cake is one of those cakes that will make whomever you made it for feel extra special! Who wouldn’t love sweet, cherry syrup soaked layers of cake covered in a luscious and creamy cream cheese frosting?

This post is sponsored by Workman Publishing Company in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC. All opinions are my own.Southern Diner Cake

This cake was perfect for a celebration that was very special to me. My first full year at the Law Firm! I made this cake and took it to work to share with all my co-workers to remind them how thankful they can be to have a food blogger as an office administrator. 😉 After all, I like to bake my own cakes and share them!

Southern Diner Cake

I recently received an opportunity from Workman Publishing through Weekday Supper to review Caroline Wright’s new cookbook Cake Magic!. When I received the book I was completely drawn in by all the photos. The first section of the book shows a photo of every single cake combination recipe she shares in her cookbook. Then the concept of using 3 elements to come up with endless varieties of cakes just blew me away. I loved her concept and her recipes!Southern Diner Cake

Each cake starts out with a basic recipe. You have 8 different basic cake recipes to choose from, one being the Brown Sugar Cake I made for this particular post. Each cake has the element of the Cake Magic! Cake Mix as it’s base for the recipe.

Southern Diner Cake

Then there is the syrup! There are so many choices of syrup flavors that my head started spinning! The Southern Diner Cake uses cherry syrup which is simply made with water, sugar, jam, and kirsch (a cherry brandy).

Southern Diner Cake

I love the tips and suggestions that she gives in her book, and this is the first time ever that I used the crumb method (see the crumb layer below) to frost a cake. It worked perfectly!

Southern Diner Cake

Layer and frost with the delicious cream cheese frosting recipe in the book and you have just made a cake that is going to make someone’s day!

Southern Diner Cake

Whatever the occasion, you are bound to find a cake that fits in well for your celebration. Even if it is just a stay at home celebration! As a part of #Weekday Supper, 9 other bloggers along with myself are sharing recipes from this amazing cookbook with you. Be sure to check out the links below the recipe for their tasty creations!

Southern Diner Cake

But wait! That is not all! You also have a chance to win this cookbook on your own. 10 lucky people will be chosen from the rafflecopter below so be sure to get your entries in!Cake Magic Book Cover

Read more about Caroline Wright and her cookbook, Cake Magic!, HERE!


Southern Diner Cake #WeekdaySupper
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Caroline Wright – printed with permission from Workman Publishing
  • Brown Sugar Cake
  • Makes one 8 or 9-inch two layer cake (or one 10-inch bundt cake, one 13×9-inch sheet cake, or 24 cupcakes)
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for preparing the pan
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting the pans
  • 4-cups dry Cake Magic! Cake Mix (see below), whisked well before measuring
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup full fat plain yogurt (preferably not Greek yogurt-see note for substitutions)
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Cake Magic! Cake Mix
  • 2-½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1-½ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt (see note)
  • Cherry Syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cherry jam
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cherry liqueur or Kirsch (optional but recommended)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • GF Makes 4 cups
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 cups (one 16-ounce box) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
To Bake the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and side of the pan(s). Dust with flour to coat, then invert and tap out any excess. (If making cupcakes, use liners instead of greasing and coating the tins.)
  2. Whisk together the cake mix, baking soda, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the butter, yogurt, water, molasses, vanilla, salt and eggs until moistened and no lumps remain (be careful not to overmix). Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  3. Bake until the layers are domed and a few moist crumbs cling to a skewer inserted in the center of the cake. 40 to 45 minutes (40 to 50 minutes for a 10-inch Bundt, 25 to 35 minutes for a 19 by 9-inch cake, and 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes).
  4. Remove the cakes from the oven and pierce in one inch intervals the top of the cakes with a skewer or knife. Pour or generously brush the cherry syrup over the hot layers, dividing it as evenly as you can. Transfer the soaked layers (while still in their pans) to a wire rack to cool completely. When they are cooled and no longer wet to touch, one or two hours, carefully turn them out of their pans and assemble and frost.
For the Cake Magic Mix
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together well to combine. Whisk the mix again before measuring
  2. NOTE: It’s important to use table salt in the cake mix; other types will eventually settle out of the mix.
To make the syrup:
  1. Combine the sugar, water, jams, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then stir in the vanilla and liqueur, if using. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep, covered, for at least 20 minutes. Strain the syrup, use the syrup warm or at room temperature.
  2. Cherry syrup will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week. Reheat in a small saucepan over low heat before using.
To make the frosting:
  1. Combine the butter, cream cheese, salt, and 2 cups of the sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the remaining sugar and beat on medium speed until the frosting is pale and no longer grainy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until the frosting is very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Cream Cheese Frosting will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 1 week. Before using, bring it back to room temperature and stir it vigorously or beat it again for best results.
If you don’t have full fat yogurt, you can substitute buttermilk or sour cream. Greek yogurt can be used as a substitution but should be thinned with milk or water to the consistency of regular yogurt.

Week One:

Week Two:

Be sure to follow our Cake Magic! Cookbook Pinterest Board!

Want to learn more? Follow Workman and Caroline Wright across social media!




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Pin it! – Southern Diner Cake

Southern Diner Cake

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Sandi September 2, 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

    What a beautiful cake. I have several cook books with cakes, they are the thing I like to bake the best. Never tried cake magic but might be a new good thing..

    • Shelby September 2, 2016 at 5:58 am - Reply

      Thanks Sandi! I promise you will love the endless combinations you can create from this cookbook! Good luck in the draw!

  2. Claudia September 2, 2016 at 6:06 am - Reply

    Great looking cake amazed by the light texture

  3. Renee September 2, 2016 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Brown sugar + molasses + cherries +cream cheese frosting = one scrumptious cake!

  4. […] Malted Chocolate Stout Cake from Dizzy Busy and Hungry Strawberry Lemon Cake from Magnolia Days Confetti Cake {Gluten-Free} from Desserts Required Peanut Butter Pretzel Cake from Meal Planning Magic Southern Diner Cake from Grumpy’s Honeybunch […]

  5. PJ September 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    This would be the perfect cake to make for a Monday. Just Because! You need something to get you through the day…this beautiful cake would certainly work!

  6. Hezzi-D September 2, 2016 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    This looks amazing! I like the brown sugar cake with the cherry syrup combination!

  7. Jeff September 3, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    This is a really beautiful looking homemade cake!

  8. Southern Diner Cake - Yum Goggle September 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    […] GET THE RECIPE […]

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    […] – Southern Diner Cake by Grumpy’s […]

  11. cheri September 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    I bet your co-workers love you….your cake looks delicious and what a wonderful way to celebrate.

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  17. Anonymous September 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm - Reply


  18. […] other cakes that deserve mentioning here are Banana Layer Cake with Lemon Frosting and Southern Diner Cake. I have made these two recipes many times and they go over […]

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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