This black forest cake is made with rich and moist chocolate cake soaked in cherry syrup, layers of whipped cream and fresh sweet cherries. A stunning and decadent cake that is perfect for any occasion!
If you asked me for dessert ideas to make with cherries, it would be Black Forest cake. I have to admit that I used to think chocolate and cherry seemed like an odd combination when my friend told me about this German cake, but I was wrong. It was delicious and was a show stopper when I made it for my cousin’s birthday. So I’ve changed my mind 🙂
Black Forest Cake is simply a chocolate cake soaked in a cherry syrup then sandwiched together with a light and fluffy sweetened whipped cream with a thick layer of cherries in the middle. It’s then topped again with whipped cream frosting and garnished with fresh cherries. This cake looks divine and each bite will surprise you with rich chocolate and sweet fruit. And a right touch of sweetness. Trust me. It’s not overly sweet.
I use my chocolate cake as the base for Black Forest cake as it yields rich and decadent, full of chocolaty glory. I bake this cake in a 2 8-inch pan but you can use it for a 6-inch cake with 3 layers. You can also use a boxed mix or even the store bought one, make sure to follow the instructions.
As the cherry season is around here, I prefer to use fresh cherries and cook them in a saucepan to make the filling. However, I prefer to use canned cherries because they are available throughout the whole year, especially when cherry season is over and come in a pre-made cherry syrup that makes the process easier.
If you want to make the filling with fresh cherries, pit and chop cherries and place in a bowl. In a saucepan, add sugar, water and bring it to boiling then remove from heat. Stir in cherries and liqueur and let it cool down. When it’s cool, drain cherries in a sieve placed over a bowl and keep the cherries and syrup separate.
Traditional Black forest Cake has Kirsch, which is cherry-flavored liqueur and it’s not too sweet. Kirsch gives the best cherry flavor to Black forest cake, making it classic and authentic. If you are making this cake for children or you don’t want it, just leave it out and add more cherry juice.
More Cake Recipes:
Black Forest Cake
- 1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the pan
- 1 3/4 cups (225g) all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (75g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (8ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup (240ml) hot water/hot coffee
- 1 can of sweet cherries in syrup read my post if you want to make with fresh cherries
- 3 tablespoons kirsch substitute with another cherry liqueur
Whipped Cream Frosting
- 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream, cold
- 1/3 cup (40g) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the cake. Preheat an oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add buttermilk and mix until combined. With a mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Then add hot water/coffee and stir to combine. Keep whisking until the batter is fully combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter into prepared pans or your preferred cooking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. Wrap the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze them for several hours before adding filling.
- To make the filling. Drain 1 can cherries through a strainer set over a bowl and reserve cherry juice from the can. Place drained cherries and 1/2 cup of the reserved cherry juice in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and gently in order not to break up the cherries, until it comes to a simmer and slightly thickens about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in liqueur and let it cool down (you can omit the liqueur if you want to make cakes for kids). When it’s cool, drain cherries in a sieve over a bowl and set the cherries and syrup aside to cool to room temperature.
- To make whipped cream. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
- To assemble the cake. Place one cake layer onto your serving plate and brush with all the cherry syrup. Spread an even layer of whipped cream, about 1-inch thick (or use around 1/2 whipped cream frosting) on the top of the layer then add cherries on top of the whipped cream in an even layer. Place the second cake layer on top, followed by remaining whipped cream, then decorate the top with fresh cherries. Store cake in the fridge, covered, for up to 4 days.