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Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients!)

Adrienne is a dog trainer, but on her free time she loves to experiment in her kitchen. Her Italian grandma taught her how to cook.

The Easiest Black Forest Cake You'll Ever Make

Easy-to-make Black Forest Cake (and pretty too!)

Easy-to-make Black Forest Cake (and pretty too!)

The Joy of Making Black Forest Cake!

After a warm spring day spent in Germany's popular Black Forest, I visited a small family owned restaurant. I ordered Schnitzel and Kartoffen for my hearty first course meal and then the owner presented a dessert list.

I ordered a slice of Schwarzwlderkirschtorte (now try to pronounce that), which, in short, simply means Black Forest cake.

There it was! A mouth watery slice of chocolate cake topped with cherries and fresh whipped cream, just as I have seen for many years on my old childhood German cookbooks!

A Little History

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the black forest cake? Historians believe Black Forest cake was created in the 16th century in the State of Baden-Württemberg. This region is specifically famous for it's sour cherries that are still used for the authentic recipe.

There is belief that, the cake's name derives from the traditional costume women wore in the Black Forest during Halloween. The black dress and hat (known as Bollenhut) were decorated with red pom-poms that resembled cherries.

The original black forest cake recipe is from a German baker named Josef Keller. Keller was a pastry chef in Bad Godesberg. He invented the cake while working at the Café Ahrend, and later passed the recipe on to his apprentice, August Schaefer.

Description of the Black Forest Cake

In the region of Schwarzwald, Germany, the Schwarzwalder kirschtorte is king. This traditional cake is made with Kirschwasser, a sweet liquor that originates from the Black Forest.

The cake is traditionally covered with whipped cream, topped with cherries, and decorated with grated dark chocolate. Its name comes from the Kirsch used to flavor it which is distilled in the black forest.

In Germany, the Black Forest cake is one of the most popular desserts. It consists of a rich chocolate sponge cake filled with cherries and whipped cream. The cherry filling gives the cake a tart flavor and a luxurious texture.

The cake's rich chocolate sponge cake layer is topped with a cherry garnish and is topped with whipped cream. This dessert recipe is easy to follow, made only 4 ingredients, and will make you feel like a professional baker.

This cake's decadent chocolate, refreshing whipped cream and juicy cherries, make this German Torte simply irresistible!

Other than taste, the great thing about Black Forest cake is that the cake is very appealing and can easily be confused with a store bought cake!

I love to make Black Forest cake, it brings me back to that great day spent in the Black Forest and all my family and friends adore it!

A Slice of Black Forest Cake


Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe (Only 4 Ingredients!)

While I had to travel to Germany to enjoy a refreshing, decadent Black Forest Cake, no need to worry! You can easily make a fresh Black Forest cake in the comfort of your home. Just head for the supermarket, look for these specific 4 ingredients and enjoy!

  • 1 package dark moist chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 1 container Cool Whip
  • Semi-sweet chocolate

Prepare the cake mix as instructed according to package. Bake.

In the meanwhile, using a knife, cut swirls of chocolate sufficient to decorate the top and sides of cake. Refrigerate the chocolate swirls.

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When your kitchen smells like chocolate cake and your neighbors are knocking on your door begging for a slice, take the cake out and let it chill.

Once chilled, using a long bread knife, separate top and bottom of cake. Fill cake with a layer of half the whipped cream and top with half can of cherries.

Cover with top of cake and top it with the rest of the whipped cream. Place some cherries in the middle of cake forming a little circle.

Then sprinkle on the top and the sides the chocolate swirls. Place cherries all around the cake.

This recipe is very easy to make. Traditionally, the cake layers are several and the layers are moistened with a liquor called Kirsch.

Kirsch may be hard to find, it basically consists of a clear Brandy with the fermented juice of a special black cherry. It can be replaced by using any other cherry liqueur.

You can even make a Black Forest Cake roll...

You can even make a Black Forest Cake roll...

or some Black Forest mini-cakes

or some Black Forest mini-cakes

My Little Secret Insider Tip...

Being of Italian origin, I have always been enamored with Fabbri's Amarena Cherries from Italy. These are special tart cherries candied in rich tart cherry syrup.

They can be a bit pricey compared to a can of cherry pie filling, but they'll really pack a punch in this black forest cake. You can also use any remnants as a topping for a sundae or as a garnish for cocktails. On top of that, the jar is very attractive and reusable.

Want to Make Your Own Cherry Filling?

Although you can cut corners, and use cherries in a can, if you have the time and will, you can make a home-made version.

Simply buy a pack of frozen cherries and mix with some sugar, cornstarch, butter, and almond extract and cook for a bit in a saucepan until obtaining a thick consistency.

These ingredients come together to create a sweet-tart gelatinous filling. You can also add Kirsch to the cherries if you would like!

© 2008 Adrienne Farricelli


Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 23, 2012:

Happy to hear you like it!

safa on August 25, 2011:

We really love the black forest cake!:) Thanks for the recipe:)

Friend945 on June 23, 2010:

We really love the black forest cake!:) Thanks for the recipe:)

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 07, 2010:

The point is you will get a great tasting cake for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of time of those expensive ones you get from the bakery!

Christopher on May 01, 2010:

What's the point? Cake mix from a box, cool whip, "cherry pie filling" from a can--why bother? Just buy a cake from a bakery if you're not willing to do any more than that!

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on April 15, 2010:

Wow! I hope mine will look like that...Saved it for a future recipe...Thanks!

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 13, 2009:

Thanks, I enjoy this cake in the spring early summer because it is so easy and refreshing!

Kevin on May 12, 2009:

That is one great recipe, I am in the good books for a long time. thanks

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 18, 2008:

Definetly agree, I come from Italy and we use authentic whipped cream too!

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on July 18, 2008:

Sounds easy, but I think I would prefer it with real cream, rather than synthetic. You would always get real cream in Germany.

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on July 18, 2008:

Chocolate,cherries and whipped cream--all my favorites:-) yum !

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on July 16, 2008:

Oh, this looks so tasty! Thanks for sharing a recipe. Steph

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