Black Forest Cake is probably the most famous German Cake made from chocolate sponge cake bases filled with whipped cream and dark cherries. This delicious cake recipe is completely made from scratch and perfect for your special occasion!

TRADITIONAL BLACK FOREST CAKE

The Black Forest Cake, also known as the Black Forest Gateau or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is a beloved German dessert. It has gained worldwide fame for its decadence and unique blend of flavors. Traditionally, this delightful cake is crafted from layers of chocolate sponge cake, filled with luscious whipped cream, and adorned with dark cherries.

Our recipe offers a homemade take on this classic, ensuring that every bite is a celebration of taste and texture. Whether you’re marking a special occasion or simply indulging in a sweet treat, the Black Forest Cake is a delightful choice.

While the traditional version includes Kirschwasser, a distinctive cherry schnapps from the Black Forest region, we’ve crafted a family-friendly adaptation. Our version omits the alcohol and the cherry syrup, resulting in a cake that’s slightly less sweet, making it perfect for all ages to enjoy. Of course, you have the option to add the liquor if you prefer, allowing you to tailor this iconic dessert to your taste.

Prepare to savor the rich history and flavors of the Black Forest Cake with our homemade rendition that’s perfect for any moment worth celebrating.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

ingredient quantities please refer to the recipes card (Click here!)!

Cake:

  • 3 layers 8-inch chocolate cake: This refers to three separate layers of chocolate cake, each with an 8-inch diameter. You can either make these cake layers from scratch using a chocolate cake recipe or purchase pre-made ones from a bakery or store.

Temper Chocolate Strips:

  • milk chocolate: This is chocolate that contains milk solids and is sweeter than dark chocolate. You can use dark chocolate as a substitute if you prefer a richer flavor.

Chocolate Ganache:

  • egg yolk: The egg yolk is used in the ganache to add richness and smoothness. You can omit it if you have concerns about using raw egg yolks or use pasteurized egg yolks as a substitute.
  • whipping cream: Whipping cream, also known as heavy cream, is used to make the ganache. You can substitute it with half-and-half or a mixture of milk and butter if necessary.
  • milk chocolate: This is used in the ganache for a creamy chocolate flavor. You can use dark chocolate if you prefer a stronger chocolate taste.

Vanilla Whipped Cream:

  • whipping cream: Whipping cream is used to make the vanilla whipped cream. You can use heavy cream as a substitute since they are very similar in terms of fat content.
  • white caster sugar: Caster sugar is fine granulated sugar. You can use regular granulated sugar as a substitute.
  • vanilla paste: Vanilla paste is a concentrated vanilla flavoring with vanilla bean specks. You can substitute it with vanilla extract, using 1 tsp of vanilla extract for every teaspoon of vanilla paste.

Cherry for Filling:

  • pitted dark cherries: I used the sweet dark cherries (pitted) in extra heavy syrup (canned). These are cherries that have had their pits removed. Just be sure to drain them well before using. You can use fresh dark cherries or frozen ones.

Decoration:

  • blackberries: Blackberries are used for decorating the cake. You can substitute them with other berries like raspberries or strawberries if you prefer.
  • blueberries: Blueberries are used for decoration. No direct substitute is needed, but you can omit them if desired.
  • cherries: These are additional cherries for decoration. You can use fresh or maraschino cherries.
  • gold powder: Gold powder is used to add a touch of sparkle to the cake. It’s edible and often used for decorative purposes. If you don’t have gold powder, you can omit it or use edible gold leaf for a similar effect.

These substitutions should help you adapt the recipe to your preferences and ingredient availability. Enjoy making your Black Forest Cake!

RECIPES TIPS

  • Use higher fat content of whipping cream. Opt for whipping cream with a higher fat content, ideally heavy whipping cream with a fat percentage of around 35%. Higher fat content cream whips up better and results in a richer, creamier texture.
  • Keep the Cream Cold. Ensure the whipping cream is cold throughout the process. Store it in the refrigerator until needed. If you encounter difficulties getting the cream to stiffen, consider placing the mixing bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Always maintain the cream’s cold temperature (around 2-3°C or 35-37°F).
  • Temper chocolate. Tempering chocolate may seem challenging, but with the help of a Thermomix®, it becomes much more manageable, even if it’s your first time attempting it. Follow your recipe’s instructions for tempering and trust the process.
  • Shave and curl the chocolate. To make chocolate shavings and curls, allow the melted chocolate to cool and harden before scraping it. Use a large and sturdy scraper to create curls from the chocolate’s bottom surface. Consider making extra-long and thick chocolate sticks for an elegant top decoration.
  • Use a clean baking mould.  Ensure the success of your sponge cake by using a clean cake mold. Avoid lining the sides of the baking mold with baking paper or greasing it. This helps the cake rise and bake evenly, providing the desired texture and appearance.

STEPS TO ASSEMBLE A BLACK FOREST CAKE

Sequence from the bottom

  1. First layer of cake: Use the layer that was the top while baking. This way you can use the bottom that is more even on top. 
  2. Spread with the chocolate ganache: Use 1 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate ganache and spread it even on the cake.
  3. Top with cherries: Top with the halved pitted dark cherries on top of the chocolate ganache. Leave 1-inch border around the edge of the cake so the cherries will fall out.
  4. Top with vanilla whipped cream: Use a piping bag to pipe half of the whipped cream on top of the cherries and smooth it out using a spatula.
  5. Second layer of cake then repeat step 2, 3 and 4. Use the middle cake layer in the middle.
  6. Third layer of cake: Use the cake layer that was the bottom while baking, flat surface facing up.
  7. Top with Chocolate Whipped Cream: Spread 1/3 of the chocolate whipped cream on top and the remaining on the sides of the cake, then smooth it out using a spatula.
  8. Decorate the cake: Decorate the sides and top of the cake with the shaved chocolate and top with the golden berries. You may use 1 tablespoon of chocolate ganache to hold the berries in place to avoid falling during transportation.

MADE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

Preparing the Cake in Advance:

  1. Bake and Assemble the Cake Layers: Follow the cake recipe instructions up to the point of baking and assembling the cake layers. This includes making the chocolate cake layers, preparing the chocolate ganache, and assembling the cake with layers of whipped cream and cherries.
  2. Wrap and Chill: Once the cake is assembled, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. Ensure that it’s sealed well to maintain freshness.
  3. Refrigerate: Place the wrapped cake in the refrigerator. It can be refrigerated for up to 24-48 hours before serving. Chilling the cake allows the flavors to meld and the texture to set, resulting in a more delicious and stable cake.

Finishing and Decorating Before Serving:

  1. Whip Fresh Cream: Prepare the vanilla whipped cream on the day you plan to serve the cake. Whip the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla paste until stiff peaks form. This should be done shortly before serving to ensure the cream stays fresh and holds its texture.
  2. Decorate: Remove the chilled cake from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Spread the freshly whipped vanilla cream over the top and sides of the cake, creating a smooth finish.
  3. Garnish: Decorate the cake with blackberries, blueberries, cherries, and gold powder as per the recipe instructions.
  4. Serve: Slice and serve your beautifully finished Black Forest Cake to enjoy its fresh taste and texture.

By following these made-ahead instructions, you can save time on the day of your special occasion and still serve a delicious, well-prepared Black Forest Cake.

STORAGE & SERVING

Storage:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover Black Forest Cake, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. The cake can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: Not recommended to freeze.

Serving: Serve the Black Forest Cake at room temperature for the best taste and texture. If you prefer a slightly chilled cake, you can serve it directly from the refrigerator.

If you’ve made this recipe or any recipes from my site, please tag on Instagram using #villetttkitchen! You can also tag me in your Instagram stories using @villettt. I always love to see your creations!

RECIPES CARD

Black Forest Cake

CategoryDifficultyAdvanced

Black Forest Cake is a fluffy chocolate sponge cake with a delicious cherry filling and whipped cream as the layers. A flavorful and beautiful German dessert!

Prep Time2 hrsCook Time1 hrTotal Time3 hrs

Yields8 Servings

Cake
Temper Chocolate Strips
 300 g milk chocolate
Chocolate Ganache
 1 egg yolk
 100 g whipping cream
 50 g milk chocolate
Vanilla Whipped Cream
 700 g whipping cream
 35 g white castor sugar
 1 tsp vanilla paste
Cherry for filling
 150 g pitted dark cherries
Decoration
 8 blackberries
 10 blueberries
 6 cherries
 1 tsp gold powder

Cake
1

Once the 8 inch chocolate cake has completely cooled, use a bread knife to carefully slice it into three even layers. Wrap these layers in cling film and refrigerate until needed.

Temper Chocolate Strips
2

Place 300g of chocolate (broken into small pieces) into a clean, dry Thermomix® mixing bowl. Chop the chocolate for 10 sec | Speed 9, and then scrape down the sides with a spatula.

3

Melt the chocolate for 3 - 6 min | 50°C | Speed 2.5. The exact time will vary depending on the type of chocolate you use (cocoa percentage and butter content). Extend the time if necessary.

4

Pour the melted chocolate onto a table lined with a baking sheet, then smooth it out using a scraper or spatula. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the chocolate cools and hardens (it won't stick when touched). Use a large, sturdy scraper to create chocolate shavings of various sizes and thicknesses. Create 3 to 4 extra-thick and long chocolate pieces for decorative use on top. Keep the shaved chocolate in the fridge until needed.

Chocolate ganache
5

Without cleansing the Thermomix® mixing bowl, add 50g of chocolate to it and chop for 10 sec | Speed 8.

6

Add 1 egg yolk and 100g of whipped cream to the mixing bowl. Cook for 5 min | 90°C | Speed 3. Let the mixture cool for 15 to 20 minutes; it will thicken as it cools. Clean and dry the Thermomix® mixing bowl.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
7

Insert butterfly whisk into a clean and dry Thermomix® mixing bowl. Add 700g whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla paste to the bowl. Whip without setting time | speed 3, until desired consistency is achieved, watching carefully through hole in mixing bowl lid to avoid over whipping. Remove butterfly whisk. Transfer 350g of the whipped cream into a piping bag and reserve in the fridge for later use. Keep the remaining whipped cream in the Thermomix® mixing bowl.

Chocolate Whipping Cream
8

Without cleansing the Thermomix® mixing bowl. Insert butterfly whisk. With the remaining whipped cream in place, add 3 tablespoons of chocolate ganache, whip for 25 sec | speed 4. Remove butterfly whisk. Transfer the chocolate whipping cream into a container and store it in the fridge for later use.

Assembly
9

To assemble the cake, place the top cake layer (the one that was on top while baking) on a cake platter using a turntable cake stand. Spread approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of chocolate ganache on the cake, then layer half of the pitted dark cherries on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the cake. Add half of the vanilla whipped cream, smoothing it with a spatula.

10

Place the middle cake layer and repeat the process by spreading chocolate ganache, topping with cherries and cream. Place the third cake layer on top, using the cake that was on the bottom while baking for a smoother surface. Position the flat side facing up. Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour to chill. Meanwhile, prepare the fruit toppings. Mix a small amount of edible gold powder with a teaspoon of vodka or another alcohol to create gold paint. Use a small brush to paint the cherries and berries with gold.

11

Spread 1/3 of the chocolate whipped cream on top of the cake, and spread remaining chocolate whipped cream with a spatula around the sides of the cake until the cake completely covered in whipped cream. Decorate the top and sides of the cake with shaved chocolate. Drizzle the centre of the cake with a spoon or two of chocolate ganache, top with golden berries and the reserved strips of chocolate and refrigerate cake until serving.

Ingredients

Cake
Temper Chocolate Strips
 300 g milk chocolate
Chocolate Ganache
 1 egg yolk
 100 g whipping cream
 50 g milk chocolate
Vanilla Whipped Cream
 700 g whipping cream
 35 g white castor sugar
 1 tsp vanilla paste
Cherry for filling
 150 g pitted dark cherries
Decoration
 8 blackberries
 10 blueberries
 6 cherries
 1 tsp gold powder

Directions

Cake
1

Once the 8 inch chocolate cake has completely cooled, use a bread knife to carefully slice it into three even layers. Wrap these layers in cling film and refrigerate until needed.

Temper Chocolate Strips
2

Place 300g of chocolate (broken into small pieces) into a clean, dry Thermomix® mixing bowl. Chop the chocolate for 10 sec | Speed 9, and then scrape down the sides with a spatula.

3

Melt the chocolate for 3 - 6 min | 50°C | Speed 2.5. The exact time will vary depending on the type of chocolate you use (cocoa percentage and butter content). Extend the time if necessary.

4

Pour the melted chocolate onto a table lined with a baking sheet, then smooth it out using a scraper or spatula. Allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the chocolate cools and hardens (it won't stick when touched). Use a large, sturdy scraper to create chocolate shavings of various sizes and thicknesses. Create 3 to 4 extra-thick and long chocolate pieces for decorative use on top. Keep the shaved chocolate in the fridge until needed.

Chocolate ganache
5

Without cleansing the Thermomix® mixing bowl, add 50g of chocolate to it and chop for 10 sec | Speed 8.

6

Add 1 egg yolk and 100g of whipped cream to the mixing bowl. Cook for 5 min | 90°C | Speed 3. Let the mixture cool for 15 to 20 minutes; it will thicken as it cools. Clean and dry the Thermomix® mixing bowl.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
7

Insert butterfly whisk into a clean and dry Thermomix® mixing bowl. Add 700g whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla paste to the bowl. Whip without setting time | speed 3, until desired consistency is achieved, watching carefully through hole in mixing bowl lid to avoid over whipping. Remove butterfly whisk. Transfer 350g of the whipped cream into a piping bag and reserve in the fridge for later use. Keep the remaining whipped cream in the Thermomix® mixing bowl.

Chocolate Whipping Cream
8

Without cleansing the Thermomix® mixing bowl. Insert butterfly whisk. With the remaining whipped cream in place, add 3 tablespoons of chocolate ganache, whip for 25 sec | speed 4. Remove butterfly whisk. Transfer the chocolate whipping cream into a container and store it in the fridge for later use.

Assembly
9

To assemble the cake, place the top cake layer (the one that was on top while baking) on a cake platter using a turntable cake stand. Spread approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of chocolate ganache on the cake, then layer half of the pitted dark cherries on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge of the cake. Add half of the vanilla whipped cream, smoothing it with a spatula.

10

Place the middle cake layer and repeat the process by spreading chocolate ganache, topping with cherries and cream. Place the third cake layer on top, using the cake that was on the bottom while baking for a smoother surface. Position the flat side facing up. Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour to chill. Meanwhile, prepare the fruit toppings. Mix a small amount of edible gold powder with a teaspoon of vodka or another alcohol to create gold paint. Use a small brush to paint the cherries and berries with gold.

11

Spread 1/3 of the chocolate whipped cream on top of the cake, and spread remaining chocolate whipped cream with a spatula around the sides of the cake until the cake completely covered in whipped cream. Decorate the top and sides of the cake with shaved chocolate. Drizzle the centre of the cake with a spoon or two of chocolate ganache, top with golden berries and the reserved strips of chocolate and refrigerate cake until serving.

Black Forest Cake
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