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Chocolate Fruit Cake for Kwanzaa


7 hours
Skill Level
1 cake

Fresh fruit and a bright citrus filling are the perfect partner for this rich chocolate cake. This recipe is an easy way to celebrate during  Kwanzaa.

Ingredients & Directions

Prep Time
50 minutes
Bake Time
40 minutes
18 minutes
Cool Time
2 hours 30 minutes
Chill Time
2 hours 32 minutes


  • 3/4 cup
    HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-3/4 cups
    sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup
    butter or margarine (1 stick), softened
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 3
  • 1-1/3 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp
    baking soda
  • 1 tsp
  • 2/3 cup
  • CITRUS FILLING (recipe follows)
  • 4 cups
    fresh fruit, sweetend (sliced peaches, nectarine, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, sweet cherries - halved)
  • 1/2 cup
    green grapes, halved
  • 1 cup
  • 3 Tbsps
    corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1 cup
    orange juice
  • 1/4 cup
    lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tbsp
    butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp
    freshly grated orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp
    freshly grated lemon peel

Step-By-Step Directions

Equipment Needed 
baking pan (2) 9-inch round pans
saucepan saucepan
measuring cup measuring cups
rubber scraper rubber scraper
baking pans mixer
mixing bowl mixing bowl
wire rack wire rack
refrigerator refrigerator

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.


Stir together cocoa, 1/2 cup sugar, water and shortening in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until shortening is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; cool.


Beat butter, remaining 1-1/4 cups sugar and vanilla in large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture, beating until blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans.


Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


Prepare CITRUS FILLING. With a long serrated knife, using a sawing motion, split each cake layer in half horizontally, forming 4 layers. Place 1 layer on serving plate; spread about 1/3 cup filling over layer. Top with about 1 cup assorted fruit. Top with second cake layer; repeat procedure until all layers are stacked. Arrange fruit on top layer in a decorative design. Top with remaining filling, if desired. Garnish with grapes. Refrigerate until serving time. Cover; refrigerate leftover cake. Makes 12 servings.


Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, orange juice, lemon juice and water in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils; boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter, orange and lemon peel. Refrigerate until cool. About 1-2/3 cups filling.

Additional questions?