Black Forest Cake

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one tall 9" layer cake

Recipe photo

Chocolate and cherry are a classic pairing in this traditional cake from the southwest region of Germany, which has inspired our own mile-high rendition.

Black Forest Cake

star rating (8) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one tall 9" layer cake
Published: 12/20/2011




  • 28.5-ounce jar Sour Cherry Pie Filling, or 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1/8 teaspoon cherry flavor, optional
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons whipped cream stabilizer, optional*
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces grated dark chocolate
  • *If you don't use stabilizer, whip the cream to stiff peaks, rather than soft.


see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9" cake round cake pans.

2) To make the cake: Combine the cocoa, flour, sugar, buttermilk powder, cake enhancer, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, oil, and vanilla. Gradually beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

5) Bake the cakes until a tester comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely.

6) To make the filling: If you're using a jar of sour cherry pie filling, strain the cherries from the syrup and reserve both; add the cherry flavor to the syrup. If you're using canned pie filling, don't drain; if you're using cherry flavor, simply stir it into the pie filling.

7) Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and whipped cream stabilizer.

8) Whip the cream, slowly adding the stabilizer/sugar, and then the vanilla. Whip just until soft peaks form.

9) To assemble the cake: Cut each layer in half horizontally. Place the first layer on a cake board or plate and brush a coating of cherry syrup over the surface. If you're using canned pie filling and don't have cherry syrup, skip this step.

10) Spread a 1/2" layer of cream onto the cake, and top with 1/3 of the cherries. Repeat with two more layers of cake-syrup-cream-cherries, and top with the final layer of cake.

11) Use the remaining cream to coat the sides and top of the cake. Decorate with the grated chocolate. Refrigerate the cake until you're ready to serve.

Yield: one tall 9" layer cake.


  • star rating 04/01/2015
  • Maxine from Miami
  • This recipe has been in my arsenal of BEST Cakes and that has been a distinction since 1977. I found this recipe in another well known Publication/Book and it is the cake my children dream of as the perfect chocolate cake!!! Bols Kirsch Liqueur and this cake with Black an orgasmic experience with full cream whipped cream, with an added tablespoon of Appleton Jamaican Rum included in the whipping process!!!!! The recipe here includes an emulsifier...good adds an extra moistness to the cake that is undeniable...however the recipe can be reworked with butter too and it is just as moist and yummalicious. I am a professional Baker.
  • star rating 07/06/2014
  • Cookie Munster from KAF Community
  • Have made this twice, to a resounding, "do it again!" Once with Trader Joe's Morellos and this time with Zergut's from Cost World Mkt (smaller drupes, eliminating layer slippage). Reducing the juice (no added sugar or thickener) then adding the cherry flavor made a remarkable difference from first effort. A silicone pastry brush is excellent for moistening cake layers without dispersing crumbs. Substituted scant 1/4 tsp clear jell for stabilizer and cake held beautifully without weeping. The LorAnn Cherry flavor is a must (far less expensive than using Kirsch) to achieve an exceptional vs ordinary confection.
  • star rating 06/10/2014
  • Katy from St. James, NY
  • Used a jar of Trader Joes Dark Morello Cherries. I used the light syrup to flavor the cakes and used about a half jar for the middle layer ( I cut the cake recipe in half). I thickened the cherries on the cook top w a little cornstarch and about a tablespoon of sugar. I also used regular buttermilk, not powder. The cake was bit like a sponge cake. I will not hesitate to make this again.
  • star rating 01/24/2014
  • Susan from Upstate NY
  • Very nice cake. Followed recipe exactly. Next time I think I would prefer more cherries. Don't use for a Birthday cake. The grated chocolate went flying every where when the candles were blown out!!
  • star rating 03/02/2013
  • Serene from
  • Yes, Everyone appreciated the cake. I found the cake texture to be slightly rubbery not as light as a cake flour cake should be. But I also used Swans Down and not my usual KAF cake flour blend. The whipped cream could have used a bit more sugar was the feedback I got. But still a good recipe.
  • star rating 03/02/2012
  • Hassondi from KAF Community
  • This cake makes a good impression on guests as it is being served and an even greater impression upon tasting. Often frosted cakes are too sweet. This one is perfect and the bottled Chukar Cherries, which I bought from KAF, are delightful. My cake wasn't quite as good looking as the one pictured on the KAF website but it will be the next time I prepare this recipe. I'll be more careful not to get the cherry sauce mixed with the whipped cream frosting. I followed the recipe as written using the optional ingredients as well. I have found the KAF ingredients make a big difference in the flavor and texture of the items.
  • star rating 01/21/2012
  • Rolling_In_Dough from KAF Community
  • This cake was excellent. Tasted very much like the ones in Germany. I made a smaller version with only two cake layers and lots of cherries. I did not have the Sour Cherry Pie Filling, so I used a glass of Trader Joe's cherries using KAF?s ?President?s Day Cherry Bar? recipe to make the syrup. I added Cherry Concentrate to the syrup and it was delicious. The whipped cream kept very well due to the stabilizer.
  • star rating 01/16/2012
  • miezenfreunde from KAF Community
  • The best cake dough for Black Forest Cake i ever had! Better than the german original sponge cake! To spice up the cherry filling, i add some rum or brandy either to the filling or soak the baked cakelayers. The preparation is very easy. But i would not use 4 layers on top of each other. This will shift when cut. I prefer to use just 2 cake layers and freeze the other two. For the filling i use a whole can of sour cherry pie filling.

Related recipes