The Speckled Palate
October 6, 2019

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies

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This post has been sponsored by Dr Pepper. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Bake up Dr Pepper Brownies any given gameday for a scrumptious sweet treat! Easy to make, these from-scratch Chocolate Cherry Brownies are the perfect dessert for sharing. Makes 15 large brownies.

Close up of a Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownie sitting on top of other brownies in a baking pan

College football season is here! 🎉

Our team is off to a strong start, and it’s just been a fun season so far. While we still haven’t had a chance to go to a game (hello, we have two small kids and don’t live near our alma mater), it’s been a blast cheering ‘em on via the TV.

It’s also been a blast sharing our team with friends, who attended other schools.

One of my favorite things about football season is how people come together to watch a sport, whether or not they attended a certain school.

It’s exciting to get together and cheer for someone else’s team—so long as they’re not playing YOUR team—and it’s exciting to host people for dinner, a game and dessert. (C’mon—y’all knew I was going to throw in the dessert. How could I not?)

That’s where these Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies come in.

More gameday recipes that are great for sharing: Caramelized Onion GuacamoleInstant Pot + Slow Cooker Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Apple Cabbage SlawBlack Bean DipChicken and Sausage Jambalaya

Looking for a dish that’s great for sharing, but don’t know where to begin? My Entertaining collection is a great place to start.

Ingredients for the brownies are laid out on a marble background

What you’ll need to make Chocolate Cherry Brownies

  • A can of Dr Pepper
  • 9” x 9” baking pan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk and rubber spatula for stirring

Overhead of brownies studded with cherries, from above, stacked on top of each other

How to make Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Purchase your ingredients from Dollar General

I headed on down to my local Dollar General to pick up the supplies for this recipe and was able to find everything there.

From the flour, to the maraschino cherries to the Dr Pepper (in the classic College Football Packaging!), they had it all and were so affordable. If you’re feeding a crowd like I do sometimes, this is a great place to get bang for your buck.

And once I grabbed the ingredients, we headed on home to bake.

Brownie batter in a bowl, with maraschino cherries and Dr Pepper in the background

Make the Homemade Brownie Batter

First and foremost, you’re going to preheat your oven. Also, you’ll need to spray your pan with nonstick cooking spray so your brownies can get out of the pan. These are really important steps—nobody can bake brownies if the oven isn’t on, and if you can’t get the brownies out of the pan… well…

Next up, you’re going to pour your chocolate chips into a bowl and heat ‘em up in the microwave to melt. Do this in 30-second increments, and stir after every round to check on your chocolate. If you heat them up for 1-2 minutes straight, you run the risk of burning your chocolate.

Pro Tip: When the chocolate is almost melted, take it out of the microwave, and let it sit before stirring that final time.

Brownies in a pan, before baking

When the chocolate has melted completely, add the vegetable oil and the brown sugar and granulated sugars to it. Use a rubber spatula or whisk to stir it well, until smooth.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Break the yolks with a fork, and then pour the eggs into the chocolate mixture.

Pour in the Dr Pepper, vanilla extract and maraschino cherry juice, too, before stirring vigorously to combine.

Add the dry ingredients—the flour, cocoa powder and salt—into the wet ingredients. Gently stir them into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. (It’s OK to have a few lumps in the batter, too, so don’t fret about that.)

Pour the brownie batter into your prepared pan.

Close up of baked brownies in a pan

Bake the Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Once your brownie batter is in its pan, place the halved maraschino cherries on top of it. You can do this artfully or you can line them up nice and pretty—you do you!

Place the brownie pan in the preheated oven, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the edges of the brownies have firmed up and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let the brownies cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing.

Enjoy with a can of Dr Pepper while cheering on your team to victory!

Three Dr Pepper Brownies are stacked on top of each other, before consuming

Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

Football watch parties, especially those featuring your favorite team, are the best kind of gathering because they’re laidback and everyone has something in common.

Whenever we host friends, here are a few things I like to do:

  • Make the Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies in advance. The beauty in a recipe like this is it doesn’t have to be served straight out of the oven. I like to make them a few hours in advance and slice them just before guests arrive. Serve on a platter (or your favorite game day plate) when the time is right.
  • Choose an easy dinner or appetizer recipe to share. Nobody wants to be stressing out in the kitchen while your team is on the TV, so give yourself a break and make something simple… or something that cooks up in advance.
  • Serve your favorite gameday drinks, like classic Dr Pepper, from a cooler. It just brings in the gameday feel without requiring anyone to tromp over to the fridge to get a drink.

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies in a pan, after being sliced

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these homemade brownies fudgey or cakey?

These Chocolate Cherry Brownies tend toward gooeyness because I spent a lot of time making them that way. (You can also remove them from the oven when they’re still super soft to make them extra gooey, so long as they’re not raw in the middle.)

I’m more of a cakey brownie person (I know, I know), but I wanted to make something different for y’all.

Why? Because when I polled my Instagram audience, I was told by 99% of people that gooey brownies are way better than cakey ones.

Do these brownies taste like Dr Pepper?

These homemade brownies are infused with the Dr Pepper, so it adds sweetness and a hint of cherry.

I added maraschino cherry juice, as well as maraschino cherries, to dial in those cherry flavors for this recipe, too!

What are some dishes I can serve with these Chocolate Cherry Brownies that wouldn’t clash with the flavors?

Good question! These brownies will pair with anything since they’re dessert, but if you’re looking for dishes to serve before these brownies hit the table, here are a few delicious ideas:

A Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownie sits on top of others in a pan, with Dr Pepper in the background

Quick tips for making Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies

  • Makes these homemade brownies dairy free by swapping out those semisweet chips with a dairy free variety.
  • Store these brownies in a food storage container at room temperature for up to a week. (The real question is: Will they last that long? Probably not.)
  • If you don’t have vegetable oil (or can’t eat it), you can use melted unsalted butter or a different kind of flavorless oil instead.

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies are stacked on top of each other, with Pinterest text

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies
Yield: 15 large brownies

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Bake up Dr Pepper Brownies any given gameday for a scrumptious sweet treat! Easy to make, these from-scratch Chocolate Cherry Brownies are the perfect dessert for sharing.


  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Dr Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 15 maraschino cherries, halved


Prepare the Oven and Pan

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9"x9" square baking pan parchment paper and spray with cooking spray (or forgo the parchment paper, and butter and flour the dish.) Set aside.

Make the Brownie Batter

  1. In a large bowl, pour in all the chocolate chips. Heat the mixture in the microwave in 30-second increments to melt the chocolate, stirring after each session. Once all the chocolate is melted, the mixture is good to go.
  2. Add the vegetable oil and measure the sugars into the melted chocolate. Stir until combined.
  3. Crack the eggs in a small bowl, and break the yolks with a fork. Pour the eggs the chocolate and sugar mixture, along with the Dr Pepper, vanilla extract and maraschino cherry juice.
  4. Sprinkle the flour, cocoa powder and salt into the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
  5. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish.

Decorate, Bake and Serve Brownies

  1. Place the halved maraschino cherries on top of the brownie batter in the pan. (Make a design with them or simply sprinkle them—I personally like lines because then every slice gets a bite or two of cherry!)
  2. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges are firm and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  3. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before slicing, and enjoy with a can of your favorite Dr Pepper.


This recipe is adapted from my well-loved Guinness Brownies recipe.

To make this recipe dairy free, use a dairy free chocolate chip in place of the semisweet ones. Also read the labels of the rest of your ingredients to ensure they don’t have any hidden dairy, too.

What is the maraschino cherry juice? It’s the liquid inside the jar of maraschino cherries! You can easily measure it out to pour into the brownie batter.

Nutrition Information:


15 large brownies

Serving Size:

1 large brownie

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 286 Total Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 104mg Carbohydrates: 34g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 23g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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