Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake: Luscious layers of chocolate sponge, whipped cream, and juicy cherries harmonise in this timeless Black Forest Cake recipe. Decadence redefined. 🍫🍒

Black Forest Cake

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Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe

Indulge in the rich and luscious flavours of a timeless favourite – Black Forest Cake. Otherwise known as Black Forest Gateau.

With layers of rich, moist chocolate sponge, and fluffy whipped cream, complemented by the sweetness of juicy cherries, this dessert is a show-stopper for any occasion.

In this recipe post, we’ll delve into:

History of Black Forest Cake

Originating from Germany’s Black Forest region, this delectable cake is inspired by the region’s cherries and the traditional cherry liqueur known as Kirsch.

The name “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte” or “Black Forest Cherry Torte” dates back to the early 20th century. Today, it remains a lasting symbol of German culinary heritage and is loved worldwide for its harmonious blend of chocolate and cherries.

Black Forest Cake Ingredients

  • Fat: Butter to grease the cake pans.
  • Eggs: Separated and whipped, they add structure and volume to the sponge.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the cake and helps aerate the egg yolks for a light texture.
  • Cocoa Powder and Dark Chocolate: Infuse the sponge with a deep chocolatey flavour.
  • Black Cherries: The star of the cake, adding a burst of fruity goodness.
  • Kirsch or Cassis (optional): A liquor that enhances the cherry flavour.
  • Black Cherry Jam: Intensifies the cherry goodness within the layers.
  • Whipping Cream: Provides a creamy, dreamy layer between the sponges and cherries.
  • Fresh Cherries: An optional garnish for a vibrant finish.

You can find a complete list of ingredients and their amounts in the printable recipe provided below.

How to Make Black Forest Cake

  1. Prepare: Preheat the oven and prepare cake tins.
  2. Whisk and fold: Whisk egg yolks and sugar, then fold in cocoa powder and half of the chopped chocolate.
  3. Whip and fold: Whip egg whites until stiff, then fold into the chocolate mixture.
  4. Divide: Divide the batter into cake tins and bake until no longer wobbly in the middle.
  5. Cool: Let cakes cool, then drizzle cherry juice and optional liquor over one layer.
  6. Assemble: Spread jam, whipped cream, and halved cherries over the first layer.
  7. Decorate: Top with the second cake, spread cream, and decorate with cherries and grated chocolate. I even added some chocolate ganache to the top of mine, which really amplified the flavours.

You can find a more detailed list of instructions in the printable recipe provided below.

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake Serving Suggestions

Here are some delightful accompaniments and serving suggestions to enjoy with Black Forest Cake:

  • Fresh Cherries: Serve the cake with a side of fresh cherries for an extra burst of fruity flavour.
  • Cherry Sauce: Drizzle a homemade or store-bought cherry sauce over the cake for an intensified cherry experience.
  • Chocolate Ganache: Add a luscious chocolate ganache drizzle over the cake for an extra dose of chocolatey goodness.
  • Whipped Cream: Serve the cake with a dollop of freshly whipped cream to enhance the creaminess of each bite.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream: Pair the cake with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of flavours.
  • Kirsch or Cassis: If using the optional liquors, serve them in shot glasses alongside the cake for an authentic touch.
  • Almonds or Hazelnuts: Sprinkle chopped toasted almonds or hazelnuts on top for added crunch and nutty flavour.
  • Chocolate Shavings: Garnish the cake with generous chocolate shavings for an elegant and delectable finish.
  • Coffee or Hot Chocolate: Enjoy the cake with a cup of hot coffee or rich hot chocolate for a perfect pairing.
  • Black Forest Trifle: Layer chunks of Black Forest Cake with whipped cream and cherry filling to create a delightful Black Forest trifle.

These serving suggestions will complement the Black Forest Cake and enhance your dessert experience with a variety of flavours and textures.

Tips and Tricks for Success

  • For a moist sponge, be careful not to over-mix the batter when incorporating the whipped egg whites.
  • Allow the cakes to cool completely before assembling to prevent the cream from melting.
  • To save time, you can use a cream alternative, such as Cool Whip, if available locally to you.

Can You Freeze Black Forest Cake?

Freezing assembled Black Forest cake is not recommended, as the cream and cherries will not retain their original texture and taste when thawed.

However, you can freeze the individual components separately for future use:

Freezing Individual Components:
  • Chocolate Sponge Layers: Allow the baked and cooled chocolate sponge layers to rest at room temperature. Wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap, then place them in a freezer-safe container or ziplock bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • Whipped Cream: If you have leftover whipped cream, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. However, freezing whipped cream is not recommended, as it will separate and lose its texture.
  • Cherries: If using fresh cherries, you can wash, pit, and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer the cherries to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. For canned or jarred cherries, you can freeze them along with their juice in a freezer-safe container.
Thawing and Assembling:

When you are ready to enjoy the Black Forest cake, follow these steps to thaw and assemble it:

  1. Thaw the Chocolate Sponge Layers: Remove the wrapped chocolate sponge layers from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Thaw the Cherries: If using frozen cherries, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or at room temperature for quicker thawing.
  3. Assemble the Cake: Once the sponge layers and cherries are fully thawed, proceed with assembling the cake. Drizzle the chocolate sponge layers with cherry juice or optional liquor, and spread cherry jam, whipped cream, and cherries between the layers. Top with more whipped cream, grated chocolate, and fresh cherries.

It’s important to note that while the individual components can be frozen separately, the assembled Black Forest cake is best enjoyed fresh for the optimal taste and texture.

Black Forest Cake Recipe by

Celebrate every special occasion with a slice of Black Forest Cake that boasts the perfect harmony of flavours.

Share this delightful dessert with loved ones, and savour every delicious bite!

Yield: 8-inch/20cm cake (10 servings)

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Luscious layers of chocolate sponge, whipped cream, and juicy cherries harmonise in the timeless delight of Black Forest Cake. Decadence redefined.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes


For the cake:

  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 150g (¾ cup) golden caster sugar or granulated sugar
  • 50g (¼ cup + 2 tbsp) cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 50g (1.75 oz) dark chocolate

Filling and topping:

  • 425g (15 oz) can of pitted black cherries in fruit juice
  • 2 tbsp kirsch or cassis (optional, see notes)
  • 2 tbsp black cherry jam
  • 200ml (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) whipping cream


    1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, fan 160ºC, gas 4. Lightly grease 2 x 8-inch/20cm loose-bottomed cake pans and line the base with baking parchment. Divide the dark chocolate in half and roughly chop.
    2. Add the egg yolks and the sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, whisk for 3-4 minutes, until pale and slightly thickened. Gently fold in the cocoa powder and the roughly chopped chocolate.
    3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add 1 spoonful to the chocolate mixture to loosen slightly, then carefully fold in the rest using a large spoon or spatula. Divide the chocolate mix between the cake pans and bake in the middle of the oven for around 18 minutes, until the sponges are no longer wobbly in the middle when you shake the tins gently. They will sink a little during cooling.
    4. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins on a wire rack, then slide a palette knife around the outside of each to ease from the tins. Add 1 cake onto a cake stand or serving plate.
    5. Drain the cherries, reserving the juice. Mix 2 tablespoons of cherry juice with the kirsch or cassis and drizzle over the cake on the plate. Evenly spread the jam on top. Softly whip the cream and spread half of it over the jam. Cut two-thirds of the cherries in half and place them on the cream. Finely grate the remaining dark chocolate and sprinkle half over the cherries.
    6. Top with the second cake and spread the rest of the cream on top. Place the reserved whole cherries around the top edge. Scatter the remaining chocolate in the middle and arrange the fresh cherries in the centre.


The Kirsch or Cassis can be substituted with the fruit juice from the canned cherries.

You can also substitute canned cherries for fresh.


Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container, for up to 1-2 days to maintain freshness.

Freezing and Thawing:

Freezing the assembles cake is not recommended, as it will not retain its original taste/texture when thawed. But, you can freeze the individual components separately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 268Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g

Did you make this recipe?

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What do you call this cake locally? Black Forest Cake, Black Forest Gateau, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or Black Forest Cherry Torte?

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6 Comments on “Black Forest Cake”

  1. Sarah December 12, 2011 @9:45 am Reply

    Hooray I'm here !!How about a roulade? This is how fat less sponges are in their element. Prepare the same but bake in a Swiss roll tin with baking parchment. Cool. Cover with your toppings (cream/cherries) then roll it up, dust with icing sugar and voila! ;-)

  2. Lisa | Sweet 2 Eat Baking December 12, 2011 @5:07 pm Reply

    Ooo, that sounds yum. Another thing to add to the endless 'I want to bake' list!


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