Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Black Forest Cake – Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Couple weeks ago, my husband and I were watching a TV show where a guy was baking a cake from scratch with no previous experience in anything kitchen related. Since my husband does not cook or bake either, I made a comment that it would be interesting to see what the cake would taste like, were he to try something like that. To which, of course his reaction was – “piece of cake!” I tried telling him, that baking requires a certain attention to detail and usually involves many steps, which allow many chances for screw ups if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

He was hearing none of it and promised that he would show me that he can do it no worse than I can. “Well, lets see it!” – I said. At first, I wanted to just step back and let him completely take over my kitchen with all that would entail. After a minute, I decided that I would watch and take pictures of him during the whole process; if needed I would correct him, but only verbally, no hands on help. As I was watching him, I was very pleasantly surprised actually. Aside from almost adding 3/4 cup, instead of 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, he followed the recipe precisely with absolute and stunning success and no screw ups! To say that I was surprised, would be a severe understatement. I know that anyone can cook or bake if they’re able to follow directions, but I didn’t realize my own husband, who had no previous experience doing anything like this, could bake a cake from scratch. It was even a better surprise when the cake actually tasted delicious! Chocolatey, with a nice tang from the sour cherries, everything worked out perfect.  So I say, if my husband can bake a cake, anyone can! Give it a try!

Black Forest Cake

Yields: One 8-9 inch round cake, 6-12 servings

Ingredients for Sour Cherry Filling:

Two 2o oz cans of pitted sour cherries (I used cherries I canned in the summer) or 3 1/2 cups of drained sour cherries.
1/2 cup juice from the canned cherries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch

Make the Sour Cherry Filling: 
Do this first, so the filling has the time to cool completely.
Drain about two 20 ounce jars of pitted sour cherries – you only need about 3 1/2 cups drained cherries for the filling.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!
Place the 3.5 cherries, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cherry juice, and 1/4 cup corn starch in a 2 quart sauce pot.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Stir and allow to come to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes past boiling point, until the filling has thickened up. Do not cook too long after boiling or the mixture will thin again. Now set out to cool completely before using. If not using right away, refrigerate covered up to 2-3 days.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake: 

2 Cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, white, granulated
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used virgin olive oil)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

How to make the Buttermilk Chocolate Cake:
Add all dry ingredients to a bowl (2 cups + 2 tablespoons, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt), and stir until combined or for better results sift together.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Now add all wet ingredients (3 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup oil and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract) into the dry ingredients.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Using a mixer with a beater attachment or a whisk, beat together for a a minute or so or until well combined. Do not beat past the point when everything is well combined, or the cake will be tough.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Split the batter evenly between two 8 or 9 inch baking pans lined with parchment paper, or lined with foil and sprayed with non stick spray. If you have a cake strip, wet it and strap around the outside of the pan. Bake in a preheated to 350F oven for 30-35 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

The cake might fall a bit in the middle and that is ok. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside of the pan, and invert the cake onto the cooling rack, peel off parchment paper and cool completely. With a sharp serrated knife split each cake horizontally in two, evenly.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Now trim off thin layer off the tops of the cake to make crumbs and to decorate the sides of the cake later (you’ll need about 1 cup of crumbs). Once trimmed, crumble it up into fine crumbs; or use a food processor to make the crumbs.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!Ingredients for Chantilly Cream: 
3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

How to make the Chantilly Cream:
Add 3 cups heavy cream, 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract  to a bowl and whip on high speed with a mixer until thickened and stiff peaks form. You can place a damp paper towel over the mixer and bowl to prevent the cream from splattering as you whip it. Refrigerate until ready to use, no more than 30 minutes.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!Ingredients for the Soaking Syrup:
1/4 cup cherry juice
4 Tbsp rum or liquor

Stir 1/4 cup cherry juice and 4 tablespoons of rum or liquor of choice. Set aside.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!Assemble the Black Forest Cake:

Reserve about 1.5 cups of Chantilly Frosting and refrigerate until later.
Put a dab of frosting onto the serving platter/board. Place the first cake layer, cut side up on top and press to adhere. Put four strips of foil all around the cake, going about 1 inch under the cake and covering the edges of the cake platter. Using a pastry brush, spoon or a squeeze bottle lightly soak the cake layer with the 1/4th of the cherry syrup.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Top the cake with a bit more than 1 cup of frosting and spread it around evenly. Add about 3/4 cup of cherry filling on top of that, and again spread around evenly.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Now keep repeating the above layering steps with 3 out of 4 cake layers. Place the 4th cake layer, bottom side up on top of the layered cake.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Cover the whole cake in the remaining frosting. Fill the palm of your hand with crumbs and press it against the sides of the cake all around. Carefully pull out the foil strips from under the cake, revealing clean edges of the cake platter.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Fit a pastry bag with a star tip. Fill the bag with the reserved frosting. Twist the top.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Pipe stars all around the top edges of the cake, trying to put them close together, so the cherry filling doesn’t ooze out through the piped stars later.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Add the leftover cherry filling to the top of the cake and spread around into an even layer.

Black Forest Cake - Layers of chocolate cake, sweetened heavy whipping cream and sour cherry filling. | By Let the Baking Begin!

Refrigerate the cake overnight or at least 5-8 hours before serving. Best served cold.

Black Forest Cake

5.0 from 6 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: One 8-9 inch cake; 8-12 servings

Ingredients

Sour Cherry Filling:

  • Two 2o oz cans of pitted sour cherries (I used cherries I canned in the summer) or 3½ cups of drained sour cherries.
  • ½ cup juice from the canned cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup corn starch

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 Cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, white, granulated
  • ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (I used virgin olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Chantilly Cream:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

Soaking Syrup:

  • ¼ cup cherry juice
  • 4 Tbsp rum or liquor

Instructions

  1. Make the Sour Cherry Filling:
  2. Do this first, so the filling has the time to cool completely.
  3. Drain about two 20 ounce jars of pitted sour cherries - you only need about 3½ cups drained cherries for the filling.
  4. Place the 3.5 cherries, 1 cup sugar, ½ cup cherry juice and ¼ cup corn starch in a 2 quart sauce pot.
  5. Stir and allow to come to a boil over medium heat. Cook for about 2-3 minutes past boiling point, until the filling has thickened up. Do not cook too long after boiling or the mixture will thin again. Now set out to cool completely before using. If not using right away, refrigerate covered up to 2-3 days.

How to make the Buttermilk Chocolate Cake:

  1. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl (2 cups + 2 tablespoons, 2 cups sugar, ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1½ teaspoons baking powder, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon salt), and stir until combined or for better results sift together.
  2. Now add all wet ingredients (3 eggs, 1 cup buttermilk, ½ cup oil and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract) into the dry ingredients.
  3. Using a mixer with a beater attachment or a whisk, beat together for a a minute or so or until well combined. Do not beat past the point when everything is well combined, or the cake will be tough.
  4. Split the batter evenly between two 8 or 9 inch baking pans lined with parchment paper, or lined with foil and sprayed with non stick spray. If you have a cake strip, wet it and strap around the outside of the pan. Bake in a preheated to 350F oven for 30-35 minutes, until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. The cake might fall a bit in the middle and that is ok. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside of the pan, and invert the cake onto the cooling rack, peel off parchment paper and cool completely. With a sharp serrated knife split each cake horizontally in two, evenly.
  6. Now trim off thin layer off the tops of the cake to make crumbs and to decorate the sides of the cake later (you'll need about 1 cup of crumbs). Once trimmed, crumble it up into fine crumbs; or use a food processor to make the crumbs.

How to make the Chantilly Cream:

  1. Add 3 cups heavy cream, ⅓ cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to a bowl and whip on high speed with a mixer until thickened and stiff peaks form. You can place a damp paper towel over the mixer and bowl to prevent the cream from splattering as you whip it. Refrigerate until ready to use, no more than 30 minutes.
  2. Stir ¼ cup cherry juice and 4 tablespoons of rum or liquor of choice. Set aside.

Assemble the Black Forest Cake

  1. Reserve about 1.5 cups of Chantilly Frosting and refrigerate until later.
  2. Put a dab of frosting onto the serving platter/board. Place the first cake layer, cut side up on top and press to adhere. Put four strips of foil all around the cake, going about 1 inch under the cake and covering the edges of the cake platter. Using a pastry brush, spoon or a squeeze bottle lightly soak the cake layer with the ¼th of the cherry syrup.
  3. Top the cake with a bit more than 1 cup of frosting and spread it around evenly. Add about ¾ cup of cherry filling on top of that, and again spread around evenly.
  4. Now keep repeating the above layering steps with 3 out of 4 cake layers. Place the 4th cake layer, bottom side up on top of the layered cake.
  5. Cover the whole cake in the remaining frosting. Fill the palm of your hand with crumbs and press it against the sides of the cake all around. Carefully pull out the foil strips from under the cake, revealing clean edges of the cake platter.
  6. Fit a pastry bag with a star tip. Fill the bag with the reserved frosting. Twist the top.
  7. Pipe stars all around the top edges of the cake, trying to put them close together, so the cherry filling doesn't ooze out through the piped stars later.
  8. Add the leftover cherry filling to the top of the cake and spread around into an even layer.
  9. Refrigerate the cake overnight or at least 5-8 hours before serving. Best served cold.

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Comments

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  • Tanya

    Wow. He did great. Gona try this version because I don’t like the bitter taste of cherries soaked in alcohol in other black forest cake versions. This seems like a good idea to add alcohol to layers instead. Thanks

    · Reply
    • The recipe includes a very minimal amount of alcohol and soaking syrup, so it has just a hint of alcohol aroma/flavor. You can adjust the amount of alcohol in syrup by either replacing some of the cherry juice with alcohol, or the other way around. Also, when you choose alcohol for baking, make sure it’s something that tastes good. I have bought rum or brandy (I don’t remember exactly) before that I hated the flavor of and ended up tossing it because it gave off very “woodsy” flavor to the cakes I put it in.

      · Reply
  • Tanya

    Thank you for sharing this with us Marina! Congratulations to your husband on a major accomplishment!! This is huge achievement!!!! You are one wise wife to support your husband and take pictures of the process told him that – deep down inside you wanted him to succeed and you didn’t leave the kitchen, but offered your expertise. He is also a good and smart husband for listening and accepting your tips and advice from a wife. Amazing and *sweet* story which resulted success!!!! Thank you!!!!!! 🙂

    · Reply
    • Oh thank you Tanichka! No need to discourage him from doing what I enjoy, right? lol

      · Reply
      • Tanya

        Exactly Marina. I’ve once read that the couples that have same hobbies, will have a stronger relationship and better marriage! We would like to see more of your collaborative creations in the kitchen! Keep up your amazing work!!!!!

        · Reply
  • I love everything about this post I don’t know where to start! First off, that is how my dad got into baking cakes. He accepted a bet that men can do everything better than women even baking. I know so arrogant! Anyway, that was in Russian in the 70s, so nothing was easy but he got and/or made all the necessary equipment including piping tips, studied pro baking books and became the most amazing baker ever! People raved about his cakes and his incredibly creative decorating abilities. Your husband just went and did it and that is so COOL! The cake looks gorgeous and I wish I could have a bite! Tell him we are all impressed. 🙂

    · Reply
  • That’s amazing! I have to show this to my husband, he doesn’t bake and does very limited cooking. I want to see his reaction too. 🙂 Tell your husband he did an excellent job!

    · Reply
  • Alla

    Wow, wow, wow Vadim did awesome job .

    · Reply
  • Luda

    I made this cake last night, soooooo good. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Love it.

    · Reply
  • Olga

    Oh, this is really impressive. I want to try it ASAP! If I don’t have homemade sour cherries, what is the best substitution?

    · Reply
  • Amelia

    I’m really looking forward to making this but I have a few questions. For the cherry filling, 1/2 cup of cherry juice is listed in the ingredients but it isn’t in the instructions. Is this just added into the pot with everything at the beginning? Also, is the cherry juice used in the soaking syrup the juice from the canned cherries or is it something different?

    · Reply
    • That’s a great question. Canned cherries are usually sold in light syrup, so when you drain the cherries the cherry syrup/juice that’s drained out is what we use in both the soaking and the cherry filling. And yes you mix all ingredients, including the juice, together and then cook it to make the cherry filling.
      Let me know how it all goes Ameilia!
      P.S. I clarified in the directions about the cherry juice.

      · Reply
      • Amelia

        I made this for my sister’s birthday and used Trader Joe’s dark morello cherries and it turned out great! Everyone loved it, thanks for a great recipe!

        · Reply
  • Lilya

    I was saving this cake recipe since you posted it to make it for my daughters birthday and glad I did. It was a hit! So moist and just all the flavors together were perfect. Compliments from everyone who took a bite! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

    · Reply
  • Jason

    It was the star dessert at Thanksgiving! Thanks!

    For months I’ve been craving black forest cake, and was really disappointed when the local grocery store’s idea of a black forest cake was chocolate cake with some whipped cream and cherries. Too dense, dry, NOT a black forest cake.

    When I came across your recipe, it looked and sounded the part, so I gave it a try for Thanksgiving. I’d added a seasoned rum and soaked a little more than recommended. The tartness of the cherries was balanced with the sugar for a bright flavor, and the buttermilk in the batter gave it its distinctive black forest cake recipe.

    I’d highly recommend.

    · Reply
  • Chitra Sridhar

    thank you for sharing this easy to follow recipe of my favorite cake. My son was so excited to try this today and he made the whole cake all by himself. The only place where we had trouble (it was my doing) was the icing. I just could not the consistency right, the icing was not stiff enough. I used heavy whipped cream and confectioners sugar , exact measurements as your recipe. Don’t know where I went wrong. Any tips/advice would be great. thanks!

    · Reply
    • Chitra Sridhar

      tried to put 5 stars but the screen didnt pick it up
      ***** !

      · Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your feedback Chitra! I wonder if you overwhipped the heavy cream or if the heavy whipping cream where you live is less than 30% fat content. If you do use heavy cream with at least 30% fat content it usually whips up with no problem.

      · Reply

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