The recipe I was afraid that I'd lost has miraculously reappeared, and my relief knows no bounds. So, to celebrate, I thought I'd share it as my holiday gift to you. Here is the recipe, exactly as printed in the LA Times approx. 20 years ago:
ALL-AMERICAN CHOCOLATE CHERRY CAKE
2 cups cake flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 21-oz. can cherry pie filling
1 6-oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup seedless raisins
3/4 cup chopped almonds
Sift together flour, cocoa, soda and baking powder. Set aside. Beat together sugar, eggs and vanilla until well-mixed. Add cream cheese, beating until smooth. Add flour misture, beating until well-mixed. Stir in cherry pie filling, chocolate chips, raisins, and almonds. Pour into a well-greased and floured 12-cup fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until cake tests done. Let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
1) I leave out the chopped almonds; they don't really seem to add anything to the overall yumminess.
2) Use dutch-process cocoa; it's much more flavorful than the standard stuff.
3) I prefer to mix together the cream cheese and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla; it helps to more thoroughly blend the cream cheese.
4) This cake is very moist, so don't bake until dried out and burnt.