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Black Forest Cake

This Black Forest Cake is probably my most favorite cake of all time! It’s one of the first cake recipes I made when starting my baking journey about 9 years ago. So no need to feel intimidated by this one. Black Forest Cake, such as this one, will have you looking like a cake connoisseur.

Black Forest Cake

Plan It Out

Day 1: Make the cherry soaking syrup and grate chocolate. Store grated chocolate in an air tight container at room temperature.

Day 2: Bake the cake layers. 

Day 3: Make the filling/frosting. Assemble the cake with filling/frosting and cherries and serve.

Black Forest Cake

What Kind of Cherries Can I Use?

If cherries are in season I use fresh. However, you can substitute canned sour cherries if fresh cherries are unavailable. I also garnish the top of the cake with marashino cherries if fresh cherries are not in season.

Black Forest Cake

How To Store Black Forest Cake

Cake layers can be stored wrapped in plastic wrap in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Assembled Black Forest Cake is best eaten the day it is assembled. Store left overs in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Black Forest Cake

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Black Forest Cake

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Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Four layers of chocolate cake moistened with a soaking syrup and filled and frosted with whipped cream and decorated with grated chocolate and fresh cherries.




  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup safflower or corn oil
  • 1 ¼ cups ice-cold water


  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kirsch


  • 2 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups pitted cherries or 1 15-ounce canned sour cherries, drained


  • 2 cups grated chocolate



  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of two round 8-inch cake pans with baking spray and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until combined.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

  4. In the bowl of an stand mixer, with the paddle attachment attached, mix the melted butter and oil together on low speed. Add the cold water and mix to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Add the egg mixture and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Divide the batter into the prepared cake pans.

  5. Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

  6. Invert cakes on to the wire racks and cool completely.
  7. At this point the cake can be wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature for up to 5 days.


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the kirsch. Set aside at room temperature.


  1. In a chilled stand mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, beat together the cream, powdered sugar, kirsch and vanilla extract on high speed until medium peaks form. Store whipped cream in the refrigerator while you assemble the cake.


  1. Trim the domes of each cake layer that may have formed during baking. Next, cut each cake horizontally in half, to make 4 layers. Place once of the cake layers cut side up on a cardboard cake round or cake pedestal and brush it generously with the soaking syrup. Spread 1 cup of whipped cream over the top of the cake and scatter about one-third of the cherries over the cream. Top the cake with another layer of cake and repeat this process, layering two more times. Top the last cake layer on, smooth side up and soak it with the remaining syrup.

  2. In a piping bag fitted with a large star tip or tip of your choice, place about ½ cup of whipped cream in the bag for decorating and set aside.

  3. Frost the top and sides of cake with the remaining whipped cream. Since you will be covering the sides of the cake with grated chocolate the sides do not have to look perfect. Pat the grated chocolate on the sides of the cake. (This might get a little messy.)

  4. Using your piping bag, pipe around the edge on the top of the cake. Top with cherries.

  5. Serve the cake immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours. This cake is best served the day it is made.


MAKE AHEAD: Chocolate cake layers can be made up to 5 days in advance.

STORE: Assembled cake is best served the day it is made.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1277Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 32gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 197mgSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 149gFiber: 5gSugar: 107gProtein: 15g

*Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary.*

Did you make this recipe?

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Sunday 7th of August 2016

The stunning photos of this cake are making me drool just looking at them! They definitely made me slow down and look for a while! :)

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