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Black Forest Cake Recipe

Yields1 Serving

As you might suspect from the name, Black Forest cake has its origins in the Black Forest of Germany.  There are various opinions about the origin of the recipe, but some believe the preponderance of cherry trees in the Black Forest was a motivating factor in the development of this recipe. 

Black Forest Cake Batter Ingredients:
 ¾ teaspoon of salt
 3 eggs
 1 cup of milk
 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
 ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
 1 tablespoon of vanilla
 ¾ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
 2 cups of sugar
 ½ cup of oil
 2 1/8 cups of all-purpose flour
Cherry Sauce Ingredients:
 1 20-ounce cans of pitted sour cherries
 1 10-ounce jar of Maraschino cherries
 1 cup of white sugar
 ¼ cup of cornstarch
 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Black Forest Cake Whipped Cream Filling and Topping Ingredients:
 3 cups of heavy whipping cream
 1/3 cup of powdered confectioners’ sugar
Directions for the Basic Black Forest Cake Layers:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch, round, cake pans and cover the bottoms with waxed paper.


Put all of the ingredients in the bread pan of the bread machine in the order indicated in the ingredients section above. You’re not going to finish the cake in the bread machine, you’re just going to make the batter. Choose a setting that does not have a rising or baking cycle like a pizza dough setting or pasta dough setting. If you have a cake bread setting or basic dough setting you can use that, but you must stop the machine and pour out the batter into the cake pans before the rising or baking cycles begin.


Put the cake pans into the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick or wooden skewer into the center of the cakes to make sure the center is still not wet. If the toothpick emerges dry – you’re done. Otherwise bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the cake pans from the oven and let cool and rest on a wire rack.

Directions for Black Forest Cake Cherry Sauce:

Drain the cherries while reserving a 1/2 cup of canned cherry juice. The sour cherries are for the sauce and the Maraschino cherries are to decorate the top of the cake.


Combine reserved juice, ¾ of the sour cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly.


Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool in the refrigerator before using.


While the cherry sauce is cooling, make the whipped cream filling and topping.

Whipped Cream Directions:

Combine whipping cream and confectioner's sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Final Assembly of a Black Forest Cake:

Using a long, serrated knife like a bread knife- cut off the rounded crown on both of the cake layers. You’ll later crush these into crumbs with your hands and press against the whipped cream frosting on the sides of the cake. This will also allow you to have two flat layers: The bottom of the top layer laying on top of the bottom cake layer with the crown removed. This makes it easier to frost and add the cherry filling both between the layers and on top.


Reserve 1 ½ cups of frosting for decorating the cake. Gently brush loose crumbs of the top and sides with a pastry brush.


Place a cake layer on a cake plate and spread ¾ cup of the frosting on top of the layer. Follow this with a topping of ¾ cup of cherry topping. Place the second layer on top of the bottom layer. Repeat the cycle of frosting and cherry sauce on the top.


Frost the side of the cake with the reserved 1 ½ cups of frosting. Crumble the crumbs from the two crowns you cut off previously and gently pat into the frosting on the side of the cake. If you still have frosting leftover you can put it into a pastry bag and pipe the top, ridge of the cake with the remaining frosting. Add the Maraschino cherries to the top as decoration.


Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. This will make it easier to slice. Refrigerate any leftovers.