The Easiest Black Forest Cake Recipe out there, and the tastiest as well.
Make your own foolproof, creamy, moist Black forest gateau.
Learn how to with my video instructions and process shots further below.
What is the Black Forest Cake?
The Black Forest Cake is moist layered chocolate Torte with a cream layer and whole cherries.
The cake is a light spongy biscuit batter, which is turned moist with Kirschwasser.
Kirschwasser (aka Kirsch) is a clear high percentage of Schnapps alcohol, native to the black forest area in Germany.
This is why the cake is called that way.
In German, the black forest cake is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.
Schwarzwälder means from the Schwarzwald area and Kirschtorte means cherry gateau cake.
The cake is a classic chocolate cake that makes an appearance all over the world but mainly prepared differently.
A proper German simple black forest cake is prepared with the following ingredients only and is not overly sweet.
Black Forest Cake ingredients
You will need the following ingredients in this authentic black forest cake recipe.
For the cherries, you can use only fresh cherries or fresh cherries to top the cake and canned cherries in the cake layer.
German black forest cake recipe is always prepared with sour cherries to give a flavor contrast to the sweet cake.
Only unpitted cherries are usually used but you can use pitted cherries in the cake layer.
To top the cake try to use only whole cherries and dark cherries look always better.
For the cake batter
The cake batter is a light biscuit cake turned dark with cocoa powder.
Other ingredients include separated egg whites and yolks, all-purpose flour, cornflour, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
We use 50:50 all-purpose flour and cornflour so that the cake turns spongy.
Vanilla sugar is most commonly used in Europe but you can use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean paste.
For the cream layer
The cream layer is simply high fat cream whipped together with powdered sugar to stiff peaks.
The sugar doesn’t only sweeten but helps the whipped cream to stiffen while turning the cream layer shine as well.
Kirschwasser or Cherry Liqueur
Kirsch, or so-called Kirschwasser, is alcohol.
Kirschwasser is distilled clear cherry Schnapps made with sour morello cherries and it’s native to the Black Forest area in Germany.
It is what gives the cake its name and it’s one of the most important ingredients in this cake.
So don’t skip it, the cake layer needs to be moist and Kirschwasser adds the desired flavor.
Alternatively, you can try to use other Cherry liqueurs or even Cherry Syrup to make it without alcohol.
Don’t use Cherry Juice because the cake turns soggy and off and other alcohols such as vodka and brandy are not the best option either but your last solution.
The cake includes cocoa powder but that’s not the only reason why this cake is known as a black forest chocolate cake.
Loads of shaved chocolate is used to decorate the cake top and cake sides and that’s what makes this cake all the more special.
An authentic black forest torte is made with at least +65% dark chocolate.
Just get a dark chocolate bar and shave off with a food processor or a grater.
How to make Black Forest Cake at home?
This is an easy black forest layer cake recipe
That means if I can make this cake, so can you because I’m not a huge cake baker.
I have broked up the making of this cake into 3 stages or so-called steps.
In step one, you get to make and bake the cake, step 2 involves preparing the whipped cream and keeping all the ingredients ready and step 3 is where you get to assemble your cake.
You start with the cake batter by separating the eggs.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and beat the egg yolks with the sugar to a pale yellow.
Add the stiff whites and flours alternatingly to the pale egg yolk batter, as well as the cocoa powder and the vanilla, to create a smooth airy well-blended batter.
Pour batter into a cake pan and bake your cake.
Prepare the whipping cream for the cream layer by beating the cream to stiff peaks.
Keep your cherries ready unpitted.
Cut your cake into two halves to create two cake layers.
Time to assemble the cake.
Place the bottom cake layer on a cake stand or similar and pour Kirsch liqueur/ syrup all over the cake layer.
Spread some whipped cream onto the bottom cake layer and drop in your fresh cherries.
Place second cake layer over the cream cherry layer.
Spread remaining whipped cream all around the cake, sprinkle with shaved chocolate and cherries to your liking.
Black Forest Cake Variations
You can adjust the recipe to your needs to create your favorite black forest Torte.
Turn this black forest cherry cake into a…
- Gluten-free Black Forest Cake by switching out the all-purpose flour with almond flour
- Blackforest cake for Children or a non-alcoholic cake by using cherry Kirsch syrup instead of cherry liqueur
- White Blackforest cake by using shaved white chocolate and powder instead of regular chocolate to decorate and in the cake
- or make Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
More Cake Recipes
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Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe
For the Cake Batter
- 6 Eggs
- 1½ cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ cup All-purpose Flour
- ½ cup Cornflour aka Corn Starch, *see Notes
- 3 Tablespoons Cacao
- 1 packet Vanilla Sugar *See Notes for substitute
For the Cream Layer
- 2½ cup Whipping Cream with more than 30% fat
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar
To assemble the Cake Layers
- 1¼ cup Cherry Liquere *See Notes
- 14 ounces Cherries fresh,*see Notes
- 2.8 ounces Shaved Chocolate
- Separate egg whites and yolks.
- Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks.
- Combine egg yolk with powdered sugar and beat to a pale yellow.
- To the egg yolk, add some of the stiff egg whites, cornflour (corn starch), and all-purpose flour and fold in to combine. Repeat adding these ingredients alternatingly until you have added all the stiff whites and flours.
- Also, fold in the cocoa powder and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract) and combine to a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan.
- Bake cake at 350° Fahrenheit/180° Celsius and let cool when finished baking.
- Beat the whipping cream with the sugar to form stiff peaks.
- Cut your cake into two pieces so that you are left with two same-sized cake rounds.
- Place the bottom of your black forest cake on a cake plate/board or another surface.
- Pour cherry liqueur equally all over the cake so that the alcohol gets soaked in.
- Spread some of the whipping cream mass over the bottom cake layer.
- Drop some of the cherries into the whipping cream layer.
- Fit the second and top cake layer over the whipping cream/cherry layer.
- Spread the remaining whipping cream over the top of the cake layer and spread around the cake too.
- Sprinkle all the shaved chocolate pieces over the cake and to the side of the cake or decorate as you like.
- Place remaining cherries on the cake to finish decorating.
- Keep the cake in the fridge until serving time.
- Cornfour is also known as corn starch or maizena or maize starch in some countries. This ingredient makes the cake fluffy but you can substitute it to 100% with all purpose four.
- In Germany, vanilla sugar is common. 1 packet makes almost 2 Teaspoon or 7 grams. You can also substitute vanilla sugar with plain vanilla extract and add about 2 teaspoon plain powdered sugar extra.
- The baked bottom cake layer needs to be soaked with cherry liqueur or so called Kirschwasser or else it’s not a Black Forest Cake. You can also use cherry syrup if need be or other cherry brandy varieties.
- For the cherries you can use fresh unpitted cherries in the cream laeyr and to top the cake. OR use canned pitted cherries in the creamy cake layer but whole fresh cherries to top the cake. Only fresh cherries look great to top the cake. Black FOrest Cake is usualy prepared with sour cherries such as Morello.
- I use round silicone molds which are FDA approved to bake the cake in.
- To prepare the whipped cream for the cream layer, use a cold mixing bowl and cold cream so that the cream gets properly stiff with the sugar.
- Watch the video for all the details. btw I forgot to mention the addition of vanilla sugar in the video but you can see it in the moving picture.
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