Homemade Black Forest Cake made with layers of chocolate cake, sweet cream and cherries! Elegant Black Forest Cherry Cake made from scratch and decorated easily with cherries & chocolate.
You’re going to love this black forest cake recipe almost as much as we do! Made with soft and fluffy layered chocolate cake, cherry filling, and a homemade whipped cream frosting, every bite is a fabulous blend of flavors perfect for any chocolate and cherry lover.
Black forest cake is one of those fancy desserts that looks impressive but is actually easier to prepare than it appears. Making this traditional black forest cake recipe is going to be worth it too because every bite is packed with so much moisture, flavor, and wonderful richness that you will have no problem finding more excuses to make this cake. Birthdays, Holidays, etc. The possibilities are endless!
What is black forest cake?
It’s a layered chocolate cake that’s been soak in a simple cherry syrup for maximum flavor and moisture. Filled with a cherry filling that you cooked yourself and then given a homemade whipped cream frosting and garnished with fresh dark cherries on top. Every bite is a perfect blend of rich flavors and it all comes together into one show-stopping centerpiece of a cake.
Black Forest Cake Ingredients
For the cake, you will need:
-Flour: You will need 1 ⅔ cups of all-purpose flour for the base of this cake batter.
-Leavening agents: You will need 1 ¾ teaspoons of baking soda and ¾ teaspoons of baking powder to make sure the cake turns out light and fluffy.
-Salt: 1 teaspoon of salt will help to naturally enhance the flavors in this cake.
-Sugars: Using 1 ⅔ cups of brown sugar will give a nice depth of flavor thanks to the molasses. You will also want ⅔ cups of granulated sugar to make sure the cake is perfectly sweetened.
-Oil: To give our cake needed fats to stay moist, use ⅔ cups of vegetable oil.
-Butter: ¼ cup of butter (one stick) will make the cake taste even richer. This also helps to add fats into the mix but you can use more vegetable oil instead.
-Eggs: You will need 3 whole eggs plus 2 additional egg yolks.
-Yogurt: Use 2/3s cup of yogurt or sour cream. This will give the cake a much lighter texture.
-Buttermilk: Adding ½ cup of buttermilk will flavor the cake while giving it needed moisture. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can DIY it with the tips included below.
-Vanilla: Add in 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract to help flavor the cake.
-Cocoa: Adding in 1 cup of cocoa powder will give us a very rich chocolate cake.
-Coffee: Adding in 1 cup of warm coffee will really help to bring out the natural chocolate flavor but you can use warm water if you don’t have coffee on hand.
For the simple syrup, you will need:
-Maraschino cherry juice: Use ½ cup of the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries.
-Sugar: We want our syrup to thicken a bit, so adding in ¼ cup of sugar will do that and give us sweet results.
For the filling, you will need:
-Cherries: You will need 2 ½ cups of fresh or frozen cherries (if using frozen, make sure that they are thawed). Chop the cherries well.
-Sugar: Add in ⅓ cups of granulated sugar to help sweeten the filling.
-Water: Adding in ¼ cup of water will help to make the mixture a better consistency.
-Lime juice: Add in 2 teaspoons of lime juice to make the filling taste fresher. You can use lemon juice instead if desired.
-Cornstarch: Add in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to help thicken the mixture perfectly.
-Salt: Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt to help enhance the flavors in the filling and really make them shine.
For the frosting, you will need:
-Heavy cream: You will need 4 cups of heavy cream to make the frosting light and fluffy.
-Powdered sugar: Adding in 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar will give us a sweeter frosting without changing the texture.
-Vanilla: Add in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to help add flavor to our frosting.
-Cornstarch: Using 2 tablespoons of cornstarch will make the frosting stabilized which means you can pipe it with frosting tips and it will hold shape nicely.
-Cherries: To help garnish the cake use about 1 cup of fresh dark cherries.
How to make black forest cake
Here’s what you need to do:
Make the Cake Batter
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line (2) 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and cooking spray. Set them aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, and butter until smooth. Add in the eggs until completely smooth.
Next, add in the buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla extract, whisking until smooth.
Add in the flour mixture and the cocoa powder and whisk again to combine.
Add in your warm coffee and whisk together until smooth. The batter will appear runny.
Bake the Round Cakes
Divide the batter between the two cake pans and place them into your preheated oven. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.
While the cake is baking, prepare your syrup on the stove in a small saucepan by whisking the ingredient together over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the mixture to simmer for about 7-8 minutes or until it has reduced slightly.
Once the cake has finished baking, remove them from the oven and then place them onto a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Make the Cherry Syrup & Filling
Pour your cherry syrup over the tops of the cakes while they’re in the pans to cover the surface of each cake while they’re still warm. Let the cakes rest and cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare your cherry filling.
Combine all of the ingredients except for the cornstarch in a medium to large-sized saucepan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and whisk constantly. Allow the mixture to simmer for 8 minutes before adding in the cornstarch and continuing to heat for another 4-5 minutes until the mixture has thickened significantly. Then remove the pot from the heat.
Make the Sweet Cream
To make the frosting, pour the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high for 8-10 minutes or until the cream is thick and fluffy whipped cream. Add in the vanilla extract and the cornstarch and then whisk again at high speed for another 2 minutes.
Assemble the Black Forest Cake
To assemble the cake, place a layer of cake onto the plate or cakestands. Smooth out about ¾ cups of whipped cream frosting over the surface of the cake.
Spoon on half of the cherry filling and spread it out until it almost touches the edges. Place the second layer of cake on top so that the edges align and it doesn’t overhand to one side.
Spoon another layer of whipped cream over the cake. You can also frost the sides if desired. Spoon on the remaining cherry filling to the top of the cake and avoid the edges so that it doesn’t spillover.
Pile about 1 cup of fresh cherries on the top of the cake.
Serve the cake fresh or chilled. Enjoy!
Black Forest Cake
- 1 ⅔ cups flour
- 1 ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 ⅓ cups brown sugar
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
- ⅔ cup yogurt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1 cup warm coffee
- ½ cup maraschino cherry juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 ½ cup thawed chopped cherries
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
Sweet Cream Frosting:
- 4 cups cold heavy cream
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 TBSP cornstarch
- 1 cup fresh dark cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2-9” round cake pans with parchment paper and spray with baking spray. Set aside.
Make the Cake Batter & Bake the Round Cakes
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, vegetable oil and butter. Whisk in the eggs until completely smooth. Next, add in the yogurt, buttermilk and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and the cocoa and whisk just until combined. Add in the warm coffee and whisk until smooth. The batter will be runny. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans and place into the preheated oven to bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Prepare the Cherry Syrup & Filling
- While the cakes are baking, make the cherry simple syrup by whisking together the cherry juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture has reduced slightly.
- Once the cakes have baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the cherry simple syrup over the surface of each layer of cake while it is still warm. Let set until completely cooled.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the cherry filling by combining all of the ingredients except for the cornstarch in a medium to large saucepan. Place the mixture over medium-high heat and whisk constantly. Allow the mixture to simmer for 8 minutes. At this point, whisk in the cornstarch and return to the heat. Continue whisking and allow it to simmer for another 4-5 minutes or until the mixture has significantly thickened. Remove from the heat.
Whip the Sweet Cream Frosting
- To make the whipped cream frosting, place the heavy cream and powdered sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for 8-10 minutes or until thick and fluffy whipped cream has formed. Add in the vanilla and cornstarch and whisk again on high-speed for another 2 minutes.
Assemble the Black Forest Cake
- To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake onto a plate or cake stands. Smooth about ¾ cup of whipped cream frosting over the surface of the cake. Spoon on half of the cherry filling and spread almost to the edges. Place the second layer of cake on top making sure that the edges meet and that it does not hang over on one side. Spoon another thick layer of whipped cream frosting onto the top. If you wish to, you can also frost the sides. Spoon the remaining cherry filling onto the top of the cake avoiding the edges so that it does not spill over. Pile about 1 cup of fresh cherries on top. Serve cake fresh or chilled.
- For the cherry filling, the more you let it simmer, the thicker the filling will become, however, you will also lose more moisture which in turn will decrease the amount of filling.
- This cake is easier to assemble if the layers of cake as well as the whipped cream are previously chilled in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Storage: Cake may be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
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Why is my cake crumbly?
If your cake turns out crumbly or rubbery in texture this could simply be explained by the overmixed batter. You want to make sure that the batter is just mixed enough to combine the flour so that there are no streaks remaining but not too far beyond that.
How to DIY buttermilk
If you do not have buttermilk, simply remove 1 Tbs of milk and add in 1 Tbs of white vinegar. Simply let stand for 2 minutes to activate before using.
More Cherry chocolate recipes:
- CHOCOLATE CHERRY QUICK BREAD
- CHOCOLATE CHERRY BROWNIE BITES
- WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY CHEESECAKES
- EASY CHOCOLATE CHERRY TRUFFLES
- CHOCOLATE CHERRY GREEN SMOOTHIES
- CHOCOLATE CHERRY COBBLER
- DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHERRY COOKIES
- WHITE CHOCOLATE CHERRY ALMOND BISCOTTI
- CHOCOLATE CHERRY ICE CREAM
- EASY CHERRY CHOCOLATE CAKE
- EASY CHERRY CHOCOLATE FUDGE
- CHERRY CHOCOLATE SCONES
- CHERRY CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE PIE
- CHERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
- CHERRY COLA CUPCAKES
This elegant black forest cake is a chocolate and cherry lover’s dream. With rich chocolate, great cherry flavor and a light whipped cream frosting, every bite is an experience you’ll look forward to over and over again.
Gabriel Inpool says
I am terrible at baking no matter how hard I try! I decided to make this for my daughter’s birthday and what an amazing cake it turned out to be! Everyone loved it although it didn’t look anything like yours…
Can I use Cherry pie filling? Ya
That would be a delicious time saver!