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German Black Forest Cake Recipe

Miriam is an enthusiastic cook. At 13 years old she would bake cakes for her young siblings and parents and they loved them.


205g all-purpose flour

100g margarine/butter

290g granulated sugar

55g unsweetened cocoa powder

11/4 cups (320 ml) buttermilk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I ½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

For filling

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup unsalted butter

½ cup kirschwasser (This is a type of brandy)

1 pinch of salt

½ cup espresso/ strongly brewed coffee/ rum

1 cup cherries


2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/8 cup kirschwasser

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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2 tablespoons dry o powdered milk

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

½ cup shaves dark chocolate

Step 1

Soak the cherries in the kirschwasser overnight. If kirschwasser is not available, there are other substitutes such as apple juice, White wine, vodka, and cherry syrup. Cherries will be used to put in the middle of the cake and as a decoration outside the rim of the cake.

Step 2

In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder baking soda and salt together. Sift the ingredients and set them aside.

Step 3

Beat sugar and butter/ margarine until frothy and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk bit by bit. Alternating wet and dry ingredients helps to maintain the air bubbles in the cake.

Do not worry about where to get buttermilk. Make one yourself.

Alternatives to buttermilk

Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let it sit until it curdles for ten minutes.

Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Let it sit until it curdles for five minutes.

Mix 1/4 cup of milk with ¾ cup yoghurt. Let it sit until it curdles for five minutes.

Mix 1/3 cup of milk with 2/3 cup of cream tartar. Let it sit until it curdles for five minutes.

Mix 1/4 cup of milk with 3/4 cup of sour cream. Let it sit until it curdles for five minutes.

Step 4

Take cake 2 baking tins and apply a small amount of oil at the bottom and on the sides. Dust some flour on the baking tin. Dusting is important; it helps the margarine not to melt on the cake. An alternative is the paper lining. This process ensures that the cake does not stick on the baking tin.

Pour the mixture into the baking tins.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 180o Celsius (356F) for 5 minutes. Set the upper and lower heat so that the heat is well distributed. Put the cakes in the oven and bake for 25minutes. The cake will begin turning brown on top.

To identify if the cakes are ready, take a toothpick or a knife and insert it at the centre of the cake. If the knife or toothpick has some dough on its sides, the cake is not ready, otherwise, the cake is ready.

Once the cakes are well cooked, remove them from the oven and put them on a rack to cool.

Step 6

Use toothpicks to make holes on top of the cakes. Remove the cherries from the kirschwasser, and pour them evenly on top of the cakes.

Rum can also be used to pour evenly on top of the cake. If you are not a lover of alcohol in cooking, skip this step. Use syrup of your taste and smear it on the cake and use other toppings other than cherries.

Step 7

Mixing the filling

In a bowl, whisk/beat the butter/margarine until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, a pinch of salt and coffee. If the mixture is too thick add several teaspoons of cherry juice of kirschwasser.

Take the cherries and cut them into small pieces before topping the cakes. Take one cake and put some of the fillings on top, put another cake on top of the first one and fill it also with some filling. Similarly, take the last cake and put it on top of the second filled cake. Fill it with the last portion of cherry filling.

If you do not like cherries, use strawberries, grapes or any other fruit filling of your choice. If strawberries are used, do not soak them. Cut them into small pieces and mix them with syrup and apply on top of the cake.

Step 8


Put the cake in a refrigerator overnight for 2 days for the kirschwasser to soak well. However, it is not mandatory to refrigerate. Refrigeration is done for the production of authentic flavour.

If you did not use alcohol, there is no need of refrigerating at this stage.

Step 9


In a bowl, pour the whipping cream and whip until it produces stiff peaks. If using a hand mixer, set a low speed. The best way of knowing that the mixture has stiff peaks is when you remove the mixture and cream holds it shape. Add dry milk and confectioners’ sugar and fold gently until all the ingredients are well mixed.

There are also whipping creams that are sugary, use them instead.

Spread the icing on top of the whole cake using a rubber spatula and line round the cake with cherries or any other fruit to your preference. Take dark chocolate and use a peeler to peel it in curls and put them on top of the cake. Enjoy.


If you want to make this cake for children, make some adjustments such as the elimination of alcohol. Use syrup instead, children love sweet things. This cake can be served with fruit juice, hot or cold tea, alone without any other accompaniment, or any other drink according to preference. It can also be served as a side dish to the main course.


Black forest is great for outdoor parties such as birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, graduation, anniversaries or any other important occasion. This recipe is specifically great for adults.

Play around with the recipe, with practice it is possible to bake delicious black forest cake which you can sell and make money. Understand your market niche and tailor it to suit their needs. You can make small samples of different tastes and share them with your clients to select what suits them best.

Please feel free to contact me for any clarification or guidance.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Miriam Syombua Mutisya


Miriam Syombua Mutisya (author) from Nairobi, Kenya on August 04, 2021:

Try this black forest cake, you will love it.

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