Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake is a delicious, old fashioned chocolate cake flavored with Kirsh (a liquor distilled from tart cherries) and whole, red cherries.

This amazing Black Forest Cake Recipe also includes a recipe here for a delicious homemade Pastry Cream filling and a delicious homemade Ganache on top of the cake.

Black Forest Cake Recipe

  • 2/3 cups butter, room temperature

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

  • 2 1/2 (1 oz. squares) unsweetened chocolate melted, then cooled

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup Kirsh

  • 12 oz. jar preserved whole, pitted red cherries, reserved

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and the vanilla extract on low speed in a stand mixer bowl just until it is well blended.

Then turn the mixer on high speed and mix, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the  bowl, until the mixture is light and fluffy. 

It takes about 3 to 5 minutes. 

Then fold in the cooled chocolate.

Sift together the cake flour, baking soda and the salt onto a piece of parchment or wax paper and add it to the creamed mixture alternately, with the milk, starting and ending with the flour.

Fold in the 1/4 cup of Kirch until it is well blended.

Prepare the cake pans.

Grease the bottoms of two 9" by 1 1/2" cake pans with soft, but not melted butter and place a cut round sheet of paper in the bottom of each pan.

Grease the top side of the paper with the softened butter and dust it lightly with the cake flour, shaking out any excess flour. 

Pour the cake batter evenly into the two pans.

Place the pans in a preheated oven 350F, and bake the cake layers 30-35 minutes or until the cakes tests done when you probe them with a toothpick or fork.

Remove the cake layers from the oven and let the pans cool on a cooling rack 5 to 7 minutes.

Then loosen the cake layers around the edges and gently, invert the layers back onto the cooling rack until they have completely cooled.

Place the cake layers in the refrigerator for 2 hours or longer to chill before assembling your layers with the Pastry Cream and Ganache.

Pastry Cream

  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, cut in pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ice water (for bath)

On medium speed, beat the whole egg, egg yolk and 1/4 cup of granulated sugar until it is light yellow and thick. 

That takes about 2 to 3 minutes.

Sift in the cornstarch and beat it on low speed just until mixed.

Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Whisking constantly, pour half of the milk into the egg mixture until it is smooth.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk it for another 2 to 3 minutes until the  mixture has thickened and it coats the back of a wooden spoon.

The mixture should be the constancy of mayonnaise.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring lightly after each addition.

Fold in the vanilla extract.

Set over ice water bath until it has chilled.

Cover it with the plastic wrap and refrigerate it at least 2 hours before using it.


It is very important to whisk when the recipe calls for whisking, because that creates a soft stable consistency of Pastry Cream.

Ganache Recipe

  • 5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate on medium heat.

Slowly drizzle the heavy whipped cream while whisking it until it is well mixed, but not overbeaten.

Assemble Cake And Cherries

After placing the second layer of cake and the  topping with the cherries, pour the Ganache on top and smooth the top.

Garnish with the additional whole cherries and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours until it firms up.

Remove the Black Forest Cake from the refrigerator to serve it immediately or leave it in the refrigerator to serve it later.

History Of Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake as we know it today, has a short history. 

With an extensive research on the history of the Black Forest Cake Recipe, I have not found the exact date nor who invented it.

However, many people believe the cake was named Black Forrest Cake because of it is located in Germany... the Black Forest. 

Kirsh, a brandy is a major flavor ingredient in this Black Forest Cake Recipe from Germany.


Related Pages

Devils Food Cake Recipe 

German Chocolate Cake Recipe

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Recipe

Return To Old Fashioned Cake Recipes 


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