Black Forest Cake

A Classic Black Forest Cake


Yes, the photo shows this cake in a Christmas setting but truly, Black Forest Cake is wonderful any time of year. What makes a cake a Black Forest cake? Well there is always the combination of chocolate and cherries but beyond that, there is huge variation. Sometimes there is whipped cream, sometimes a light whipped chocolate ganache. Other times both appear. Then there is the cherry factor. Sweet or tart? I have even seen maraschino cherries. I am partial to tart or sour cherries and this version from the 4th edition of The Taste of Home Cookbookshowcases them nicely. The almond extract in the cherry filling is a classic addition. The almond flavoring enhances the cherry flavor as opposed to projecting “almond” to the taste buds. You can read more about that in our Encyclopedia.


Black Forest Cake
Makes: 16 servings
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1-3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup 2% milk
Cream Filling
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons half-and-half cream
Cherry Filling:
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) pitted tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 drops red food coloring
Chocolate Filling:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate curls, maraschino cherries and fresh mint
  1. In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the oil, egg yolks, 1 cup sugar and melted chocolate. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with milk.
  2. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
  3. Pour into two greased and waxed paper-lined 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream filling ingredients until smooth; cover and refrigerate. For cherry filling, drain cherries, reserving juice. In a saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar and cherry juice until smooth. Add cherries. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in extract and food coloring. Cool completely.
  5. In a small bowl, beat chocolate filling ingredients until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate.
  6. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate.
  7. To assemble, cut each cake into two horizontal layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; top with ½ cup cream filling. Place 1 cup cream filling in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a ½-in. triangle in one corner of bag. Make a rim of filling ¾ in. high around outer edge of cake.
  8. Make a second rim 2 in. from edge. Spoon cherry filling between rings. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread chocolate filling over second cake layer; place over cherry filling.
  9. Spread remaining cream filling over third layer; place over chocolate filling. Top with fourth layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls, cherries and mint. Store in the refrigerator.


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