Go Back Email Link
+ servings
Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe

Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe

Here's a very German, very traditional black forest cake recipe, for all of the chocolate-cherry lovers out there!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Freezing Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 12 people


  • 2 8-inch round cake pan
  • 2 parchment paper
  • 1 disposable piping bag
  • 1 half inch star piping tip
  • 1 cake decorating stand
  • 1 cake comb
  • 1 bench scraper
  • 1 vegetable peeler


For the Favorite Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup dark cocoa powder (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/3 cup hot coffee

For the Kirschwasser (cherry liquor) Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cherry liquor If you can't find Kirschwasser, you can substitute Luxardo.

Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 3 cups cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

To Decorate

  • 1 bar chocolate at room temperature
  • 8 maraschino cherries


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cherries If using frozen cherries, defrost and drain first.


For the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.Beat in vanilla and coffee.
  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in thirds, alternating with sour cream, and beating on low speed after each addition.
  • Stir in water and coffee until blended.
  • Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes in the center of oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • Freeze the cake for at least 1 hour, and then level the top of the cake and cut each of the cake layers in half. The cake can be quite crumbly and is much easier to work with when frozen.

For the Kirschwasser Syrup

  • Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer until all of the sugar is melted. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the cherry liqueur and let fully cool. This can be made up to one week ahead.

For the Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.

For the Chocolate Shavings:

  • Bring chocolate to room temperature. Shave small pieces off the bar using a vegetable peeler. Freeze until you are ready to use as they melt easily!

For Assembly:

  • Place whipped cream in a piping bag with a half-inch star tip.
  • Cut each cake in half horizontally. Place the bottom cake layer on the cake decorating stand or serving plate. Brush generously with the Kirchwasser syrup. Top the first cake layer with approximately 1 cup of whipped cream by piping out a spiral on top of the cake, starting at the middle. Top with 1/3 cup of cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream.
  • Repeat with the second cake layer, followed by the third cake layer. Brush the fourth cake layer with syrup and place it, syrup side down, on top of the cake.
  • Pipe a spiral of whipped cream on the top of the cake and pipe whipped cream along the side of the cake. Smooth the whipped cream with an offset spatula or cake comb.
  • Use a bench scraper to toss the chocolate shavings onto the sides of the cake as they melt with frustrating ease on your warm hands!
  • Pipe 8 whipped cream rosettes onto the top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream and top each with a maraschino cherry.
Keyword cherry, chocolate, German, kirsch, whipped cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!