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Black Forest Cake Recipe- A Special Occasion Cake

Stephanie loves dessert. She also loves to bake delicious new recipes to share with family and friends.

Black Forest Cake for a Special Occasion

Shown is the Easy Black Forest Cake made in 9"  round layers. Make the larger 9" X 13" version for a crowd.

Shown is the Easy Black Forest Cake made in 9" round layers. Make the larger 9" X 13" version for a crowd.

German Black Forest Cake...mmmm...

Black Forest Cake is one of, those luscious and beautiful cakes that is bound to impress the crowd. I first made it for a family reunion many years ago, and now make it for many special occasions. Wouldn't it be a lovely dessert for a birthday, Mother's Day or Father's Day?

My first German Black Forest Cake was a huge success with our family who ranked it right up there with other family favorites like German Sauerbraten and Rouladin. The only pitfall of making Black Forest Cake once is that you'll be asked to make it for every occasion in the future.

The Black Forest Cake is constructed out of layers of chocolate and yellow cakes, filled with whipped cream, chocolate mouse and cherry fillings and decorated with whipped cream and chocolate swirls. Mmmmm...!

In this hub, I will give you the wonderful scratch recipe for this cake as well as some short cuts if you wish to save time. Enjoy!

Never Fear - There's an Easy Version of Black Forest Cake at the Bottom of the Page

For those who would like to try an easier version, I'm also including a simpler recipe for a delicious Easy Black Forest Cake. I often make this version for my family, and they love it almost as much as the original version which is reserved for special occasions. In the easy version, I cheat by using a chocolate cake mix and I skip the yellow cake layer.

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Shopping List for Black Forest Cake Ingredients:

The shopping list is for baking the large German Black Forest Cake from scratch.

  • Eggs - 7
  • Butter - 3/4 cup
  • Semi sweet chocolate - 3 oz.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa - 3/4 cup
  • Heavy whipping cream - 3-4 cups
  • Milk - 9 oz.
  • Cherry pie filling - 3 cans
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • Chocolate candy bar
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Vanilla
  • Baking Powder
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Kirsch for flavoring (optional)

Aunt Stephie's German Black Forest Cake

My nieces and nephews recognize this cake when they see it at a family gathering and say, "Oh, it's Aunt Stephie's Black Forest Cake!" Hence, the name. But you can call it German Black Forest Cake if you wish!

The recipe below is for a large, four layer cake that is perfect for a crowd. Start with a chocolate cake and a yellow cake baked in 9" X 13" pans. After the cakes are baked and cooled, freeze them for several hours before splitting each cake with a very sharp knife or an electric knife. I find that the electric knife makes a nicer cut with fewer crumbs.

Making this cake is time consuming because of the multiple fillings used in the traditional version, but the end result is worth the effort. This cake makes 20 to 25 servings if you plan your cutting carefully.


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Ingredients for Chocolare Layers of Black Forest Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions for Chocolate Layers of Black Forest Cake

  1. Cream together sugar, butter, eggs, cocoa and vanilla.
  2. Beat in baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add flour and milk alternately a little at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Pour into a 9" X 13" greased and paper lined pan.
  5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Turn out onto wire cake racks and cool well.
  6. If you are splitting this cake into two layers for the Black Forest Cake, freeze for an hour or two and split with an electric knife or very sharp bread knife.
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Ingredients for Yellow Cake Layers of Black Forest Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 T. milk
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Instructions for Yellow Cake Layers

  1. Cream together sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.
  2. Beat in baking powder and salt.
  3. Add flour and milk alternately a little at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. Pour into a 9" X 13" greased and paper lined pan.
  5. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool well.
  6. If you are splitting this cake into two layers for the Black Forest Cake, freeze for an hour or two and split with an electric knife or very sharp bread knife.


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Fillings for Black Forest Cake -Prepare Separately

While cakes are chilling in the freezer, prepare Cherry Filling, Chocolate Mouse Filling, Butter Cream Icing and Whipped Cream in separate bowls.

  • Cherry Filling
    1 can cherry pie filling plus 1 T. Kirsch
  • Chocolate Mouse Filling
    3 oz. semi sweet chocolate
    3 T. Kirsch (optional)
    1 egg well beaten
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    2 T. sugar
    Instructions for Chocolate Mouse Filling:
    Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over boiling water. Stir until smooth, then slowly stir in 1 well-beaten egg. Whip 1 cup of whipping cream with the sugar and fold into the chocolate mixture. Chill for 2 hours.
  • Butter Cream Icing
    Make a butter cream icing with 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 1/4 cup soft butter creamed together with 2 tbs. cream or milk. Add more liquid to make it spreading consistency.
  • Whipped Cream
    Beat the other cup of heavy cream with 2 T. of sugar until it forms soft peaks. Chill until ready to put cake together.
  • Chocolate Curls for Cake Decoration
    1 bar of milk or dark chocolate at room temperature. With a sharp knife, shave off thin curls of chocolate and sprinkle on top of whipped cream for decorations.
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Steps for Assembling the large 9" X 13" Black Forest Cake:

  1. Split the frozen chocolate cake and the yellow cake lengthwise into two layers so that you have 4 thin layers of cake. Round layers can be split without freezing, but large oblong layers will hold together better if they're frozen first. It's also easier to work with the layers as you put them together if you freeze first.
  2. First layer - place yellow cake layer cut side down on cake plate and cover top with thin layer of butter cream icing. With butter cream icing make a 1/2 inch ridge along top edge of the layer and another 1/2" ridge about 3 inches inside the layer. Fill between ridges with cherry pie filling. T
  3. Second layer - place chocolate layer cut side down on top of yellow layer. cover with chilled chocolate mouse filling.
  4. Third layer - Place second yellow cake layer on top of chocolate mouse filling. Top with a 1 1/2 cups of whipped cream.
  5. Fourth layer - Place last chocolate layer cut side down on top of whipped cream. Frost sides of cake with whipped cream. Top can be whipped cream or topped with cherry pie filling and garnished along the edges with whipped cream swirls. Decorate with Maraschino cherries and chocolate curls. Refrigerate until serving.
  6. Because of the height of this cake, it will serve quite a few people. If you cut slices about an inch wide by 4.5 inches long, you can get 20-26 slices out of this cake. This cake will freeze well, so make ahead when you need it for a special occasion.


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Shopping List for Easy Black Forest Cake

2 cans cherry pie filling
1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 pint heavy cream for whipping
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cups milk
Kirsch or cherry liquor for additional flavoring (optional)

Quick Black Forest Cake- The Easy Version

While nothing will match the original made-from-scratch cake recipe, this quicker version is also delicious and impressive. Because it's so much easier to make, you can have it more often without having to dedicate a day to baking. Make it for your family or even take it to the potluck dinner!

Instructions Easy Black Forest Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 can cherry pie filling

Mix cake mix, eggs and 1 can of cherry pie filling together using an electric mixer. Pour into 2 flour lined 9 inch cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350°F. Cool cake on racks until room temperature.

Prepare fillings in separate bowls:

Butter Cream Icing:
Make a butter cream icing with 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 1/4 cup soft butter creamed together with 2 tbs. cream or milk. Add more liquid to make it spreading consistency.

Chocolate Filling:
Using a whisk or electric mixer mix instant pudding mix with 1 1/2 cups cold milk.

Whipped Cream:

Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1/4 cup of sugar until cream holds soft peaks.


Steps for Assembling the Easy Black Forest Cake

  1. Set first layer on cake plate with rounded top side down. Spread with the chocolate filling.
  2. Place second layer on top with top side up (this keeps the center of the cake level).
  3. Spread a thin coat of butter cream icing on the top of the second layer. This will keep the cherry filling from soaking into the cake and making it soggy.
  4. Spoon cherries onto the top of the cake keeping about 3/4 from the edge.
  5. Frost side of cake with a thick layer of whipped cream. Add a rim of whipped cream around the top edge of the cake up to the cherries.
  6. If you wish, dab a spoonful of whipped cream in the center of the cherries. Garnish with grated chocolate or chocolate curls if you have chocolate on hand.


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Black Forest Cake - Perfect Special Occasion Dessert

Hope You Enjoy One of These Recipes

Whichever recipe you decide to use, I hope you will enjoy this luscious, sweet dessert with your family and friends. It's a perfect dessert to follow your German style Sauerbraten or Rouladen dinner!

Impress Mom by making Black Forest Cake for Mother's Day, or make it for a special birthday, anniversary or graduation. Pour a good cup of coffee and have a piece of cake for me!

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Copyright ©2011 Stephanie Henkel

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Comments

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on January 18, 2020:

This cake looks great. I love black forest cake. Thanks for sharing this!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 21, 2015:

Thanks for stopping by to comment, Kristen! In fact, I wish I had a piece of this cake right now, too! :)

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on September 21, 2015:

Stephanie, this cake looks delicious. It's perfect for Oktoberfest this fall. I would love a piece right now. Great hub!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 01, 2013:

Amy Rowe - I think you'll like this recipe if you try it. I like to make the easy version with cake mix to take along to dish-to-pass luncheons. It's easy and impressive. Enjoy!

Amy Rowe on April 01, 2013:

I love Black Forest cake! Chocolate and cherries are my two favorite ingredients!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 04, 2012:

Hi Sunshine, I love to bake, and a tasty dessert that is also beautiful is what I love the most! Yes I do wish we lived closer to each other - I'd bring some cake when I came over for lasagna! :)

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 04, 2012:

You are the Queen of Desserts! Maybe it's a good think we don't live closer to each other. No, I still wish we did! :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 04, 2012:

Denise Handlon - The pretty red cherries on the white whipped cream will make this a lovely Christmas dessert. Enjoy!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 04, 2012:

Chef-de-jour - While nothing beats the classic version of this cake, the easy version is also delectable and a great desert when you have limited time. Hope you enjoy them both!

Andrew Spacey from Sheffield, UK on November 03, 2012:

Wonderful great big deutsche cake, a serious addition to any family meal table. Thank you for sharing this absolute classic which I personally would love to try and make - the easier version first!

Looks delicious and I know will taste divine with all those cherries and chocolate (and liquer). After eating black forest best to take some exercise to work off the calories!!

Votes.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on November 03, 2012:

Yum! I will definitely give this one a try this Christmas. You're right, when people enjoy a special treat they want it repeated, haha. Rated up/A and shared.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 02, 2012:

AngelicaHementera - I hope the ingredients are available in your area as I'm sure you'll love this cake. Thanks for stopping in to comment!

Angelica Ebarvia Hementera from Philippines on November 02, 2012:

Yes, can you reserve another slice for me please? I hope the ingredients you got there are also available in the Philippines. :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 02, 2012:

Jools99 - Haha.. some things you just enjoy when you can get them! Thanks for stopping in -- I'd give you a slice of cake anytime!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on November 02, 2012:

I don't need a special occasion for this guilty pleasure....I'll have a large slice please!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 19, 2012:

Joaniebaby - The Black Forest cake is delicious and will be a perfect ending to your Rouladen dinner! Try it for an Oktoberfest celebration. :) Thanks for commenting and for the share!

joaniebaby on September 19, 2012:

Looks really scrumptious. Will have to try this for a special treat. Thanks again for another great Hub. Voted up, useful and shared.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 11, 2012:

LaThing - Black Forest Cake is really a delicious dessert! I'm sure you'll love the homemade version if you try it. Thanks for your comments, enjoy the recipe!

LaThing from From a World Within, USA on September 11, 2012:

Love Black Forest cake! Never made it though! This recipe looks great..... Will give it a try. Thanks for the info. Voting up and useful.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 10, 2012:

Mary615 - I know you'll love it, Mary! Thanks for the share (maybe you'll share the cake, too!).

Mary Hyatt from Florida on September 10, 2012:

You know, I have never made a black forest cake. It's about time I did using your great recipe.

I voted this UP and will share.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 10, 2012:

AudreyHowitt - This is may favorite cake, too! I made the simplified version to take to a family dinner recently and every crumb was gobbled up in no time!

Audrey Howitt from California on September 10, 2012:

Absolutely my favorite! Yum!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 10, 2012:

Jools99 - Ahhh...I know that this dessert will drive all memory of those strange foods from your mind! Hope you enjoy!

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on September 10, 2012:

Dessert....this is more like it :o) Great recipe, I will certainly give this a try Stephanie.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 24, 2012:

Thelma Alberts - It's so rewarding to bake something intricate and delicious as the Black Forest Cake for a special occasion. I have had this cake without the yellow layer, and it's still wonderful. Thank you for your comments and the votes!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on May 24, 2012:

I love Black Forest Cake! Well the original one, the Schwarzwaelderkirsch Torte. In fact, I have just made one for my friend´s birthday 2 weeks ago. I also love making this cake as it is very relaxing to me. My recipe, which I got from a German friend is similar to yours only I don´t use the yellow cake layer.

Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful;-)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 16, 2012:

Hello Eileen Goodall - Black forest cake never did go out of favor for our family - it's still a favorite! Thanks for stopping in to comment and for your vote!

Eileen Goodall from Buckinghamshire, England on April 16, 2012:

This is my favourite cake, I think it went out of favour for a while and I have no idea why because it's fabulous - voted up and thank you for sharing.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 14, 2012:

Moonlake - This cake not only tastes good, but it is very eye appealing - a nice cake to make for a special occasions! Thanks for your comments and votes!

moonlake from America on April 14, 2012:

It sounds very good. I'll add this recipe to my list. Thanks for sharing. Voted UP.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 14, 2012:

Felina Margetty - I love cherries on the black forest cake, and it must be especially delightful when you use fresh cherries. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

Felina Margetty from New York, New York on April 14, 2012:

Love your recipe, I have a similar one but our tradition is to use different fruits that come with the season. Cherries are first to fruit so the first cake in the spring and early summer must be the Black Forrest Cake. Thanks again F.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 12, 2012:

eye say - Black Forest Cake sounds like the perfect special dessert for Valentine's Day. The red cherries on top will make it especially festive! Have fun with it!

eye say from Canada on February 11, 2012:

my girl is always asking me to make one of these from scratch - this looks doable, I think we'll give it a try, thanks for sharing the instructions for every step - and

I think I'll make that chocolate mousse separately for Valentine's Day!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on February 02, 2012:

John Sarkis - Haha..I'm with you! I can eat cake with my coffee any morning! Thanks for the read and comments! You must give the recipe a try!

John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on February 02, 2012:

Oh Stephanie, delish! I'm going to tell you what I told the person who won the "hub of the day" a few days ago: I don't want my cheerios and coffee this morning, I want that cake in the photo.

Great hub!

John

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 09, 2011:

Brandasaur - You can! Try the easy version of the Black Forest chocolate cherry cake - it's still yummy!

brandasaur from Planet X on November 09, 2011:

Looks so yummy :( I wish i could make one.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on October 24, 2011: