Black Forest Cake | Chocolate, Cherries & Cream

A simple Black Forest Cake made with delicious layers of rich and fudgy chocolate cake, softly whipped cream, morello cherries, and of course, plenty of grated chocolate! 

A close up of a Black Forest layered chocolate cake with whipped cream, grated chocolate and syrupy cherries piled on top.

I first ate black forest cake when we were travelling through Europe (way back when I was just 25!) We had stopped in the Black Forest and of course, there’s no way you can be in the Black Forest without ordering black forest cake!

And oh my goodness!!! It was instant love! The combination of perfect chocolate cake, cherries, cream and chocolate got me instantly hooked.

In the years since, I’ve made black forest cake SO many times and I’ve finally perfected my recipe. This has been made for countless birthdays, Christmas parties and more. It’s the BEST and everyone loves it.

And because we have a little boy, I’ve made my recipe kid-friendly – so he doesn’t have to miss out!

I hope you love it as much as we do!

Two layers of chocolate cake sandwiched together and topped with whipped cream, grated chocolate and morello cherries on top

What Is Black Forest Cake?

Black forest cake is a classic multi-layered German cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) that gets its name thanks to the Kirsch alcohol that is made from sour cherries in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) mountain area in South-Western Germany.

Kirsch, cherries and whipped cream are traditionally used as the filling in black forest cake.

Because of the Kirsch alcohol used, traditional black forest cake is an adults-only recipe. However, my version is made without Kirsch which means the entire family can enjoy this delicious cake!

Looking down on a round layered chocolate cake topped with whipped cream, grated chocolate and a pile of morello cherries on top

Why You’re Going To Love This Recipe

This iconic cake is loved by everyone for SO many reasons:

  • Flavour combination – the layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherries and chocolate will leave you drooling! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and sour.
  • Perfect Chocolate Cake – this black forest cake is made using the most delicious chocolate cake recipe. A rich, decadent and moist chocolate cake that everyone loves.
  • Simple Recipe – some black forest cakes can be a little tricky and time consuming. But my black forest cake recipe could not be easier to make! Simply prepare and bake the easy chocolate cake, then layer with whipped cream, the cherry filling and lots of grated chocolate. YUM!!!
  • Kid-Friendly – unlike traditional black forest cakes that are made using Kirsch alcohol, my recipe doesn’t include any alcohol at all! This means that the entire family can enjoy this delicious cake.
  • Pregnancy-Friendly – again, because my black forest cake recipe is made without Kirsch, it’s perfectly safe to eat when pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Great For Crowds – This yummy cake is perfect for feeding a lot of people thanks to it’s rich and decadent flavour (you only need a small slice!)
  • Celebration Cake – my black forest cake is perfect for birthdays, Christmas or any celebration!
A layered black forest chocolate cake topped with whipped cream, grated chocolate and a pile of morello cherries on the top

Black Forest Cake Layers

This multi-layered cake will leave you drooling….

The Chocolate Cake

Rich, moist and full of flavour! This chocolate cake is going to become your new favourite chocolate cake recipe (and not just for black forest cake!!)

It’s made using 10 basic ingredients and is SO easy to prepare.

Ingredients: plain flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bi-carbonate soda, salt, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil.

TIP: Bake the chocolate cake in two separate cake tins and allow to cool completely before assembling.

Note: if you don’t have two cake tins, you can use one larger cake tin and cut the cake into two even layers once cooled.

Cherry Filling

My cherry filling couldn’t be easier to prepare – it’s completely foolproof!!

Sour Morello cherries in syrup (that you can buy in a jar at the supermarket) are cooked with caster sugar (superfine sugar) and cornflour to sweeten and thicken them – making them the perfect filling for black forest cake.

Whipped Cream

The whipped cream layer adds a delicious lightness to this cake and perfectly compliments the rich chocolate cake and the sweet and sour cherry filling.

Use heavy whipping cream or thickened cream for this recipe.

TIP: Whip the cream with caster sugar (superfine sugar) and vanilla extract for the moist delicious vanilla-infused sweet cream.

Grated Chocolate

Use plenty of grated chocolate as the most amazing finish to this cake!!

I like to use dark chocolate, however you can use milk or white chocolate instead.

You can also make large chocolate shavings instead of grating the chocolate if you prefer.

TIP: Use a good quality chocolate for grating.

A serve of cake showing the two layers of cake sandwiched together and topped with whipped cream, morello cherries and grated chocolate

Serving, Storing & Freezing

Serving

This cake is best served at room temperature. Either decorate the cakes with the layers of cream, cherries and whipped cream just before serving or prepare it ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

TIP: Storing cake in the fridge can dry it out. Bring it to room temperature before serving for a deliciously moist cake!

Storing

This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Freezing

The chocolate cakes can be prepared ahead of time, cooled completely and then wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap and then foil, and frozen for up to 3 months.

Allow the cakes to defrost at room temperature before decorating with the whipped cream, cherries and chocolate.

Grated chocolate around the edge of a layered whipped cream and chocolate cake, with cream, grated chocolate and morello cherries on top

Recipe Tips & FAQ

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Absolutely! The chocolate cakes can be baked ahead of time, then stored in the freezer until you’re ready to eat! Simply wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil (and ideally store in an airtight container). Let the cakes defrost at room temperature before assembling.

Can I make black forest cake in my Thermomix?

Yes! I’ve included both conventional (stove-top and beaters/stand mixer) instructions as well as Thermomix instructions in the recipe card below.

Can I add Kirsch to this recipe?

Yes you can (however, then it will be an adults-only cake). Add it to your cherry mixture when thickening the cherries.

A serve of cake made with two chocolate layers sandwiched together, and topped with whipped cream, grated chocolate and morello cherries

More Chocolate Cake Recipes

If you’re anything like me, you take chocolate cake VERY seriously!!! There is absolutely nothing better than a rich and moist chocolate cake.

Here’s a few of my favourite chocolate cake recipes:

WANT EVEN MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Facebook or Instagram. And if you love baking, then please come and join my Facebook cooking club group or subscribe to my YouTube channel. 

Easy Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

A simple Black Forest Cake made with delicious layers of rich and fudgy chocolate cake, softly whipped cream, morello cherries, and of course, plenty of grated chocolate! 
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Black Forest Cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 16 serves
Calories: 460kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 400 g (2 cups) white sugar
  • 90 g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp bi-carbonate of soda
  • pinch salt
  • 250 g (1 cup) milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 110 g (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
  • 250 g (1 cup) boiling water
  • 600 g morello cherries jar, pitted
  • 55 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 5 tbs cornflour
  • 400 ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 200 g dark chocolate grated

Instructions

Conventional Method

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees (fan-forced). Grease two 20cm round cake tins well and set aside.
  • Sift the plain flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bi-carb soda into a large bowl. Add the white sugar and salt and mix to combine.
  • Add the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil and beat until well combined (approximately 30 seconds).
  • Add the boiling water and increase to high speed for a further 1 minute.
  • Pour the mixture evenly between the two prepared cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out with just a few crumbs.
  • Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Pour the cream into a bowl and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Whip with beaters until firm. Set the whipped cream aside in the fridge until needed.
  • Drain the morello cherry liquid into a saucepan and set the cherries aside.
  • Add the sugar and cornflour to the cherry liquid and stir together. Stir continuously over a medium-low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cherries and stir until slightly thickened. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place into the fridge until completely cold.
  • To assemble the cake, place one of the chocolate cakes onto your serving plate.
  • Spread half of the whipped cream over the top of the cake.
  • Add a few of the cherries (make sure they are completely cold or they will melt the cream).
  • Place the remaining chocolate cake on top.
  • Spread over the remaining whipped cream.
  • Sprinkle the grated chocolate over the outside edge of the cream (leaving a circle in the middle).
  • Place most of the cherry mixture into the middle of the cake (leave any remaining mixture aside to serve).
  • Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days and bring to room temperature before serving.

Thermomix Method

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees fan-forced. Grease two 20cm round cake tins well and set aside.
  • Place the plain flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, bi-carb soda and salt into the TM bowl and press Turbo 10 times to sift.
  • Add the milk, eggs, vanilla extract and vegetable oil and mix for 10 seconds, Speed 5. Add the boiling water and mix for 30 seconds, Speed 4 (with the MC removed).
  • Pour the mixture evenly between the two prepared cake tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out with just a few crumbs. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Whip the cream in the Thermomix on Speed 3.5, adding the sugar and vanilla once the blades have started turning. Watch it very carefully so as to not over whip (it can take anywhere between 10 seconds and a couple of minutes depending on the freshness of the cream). Set the whipped cream aside in the fridge until needed.
  • Drain the morello cherry liquid into a saucepan and set the cherries aside. Add the sugar and cornflour to the cherry liquid and stir together. Stir continuously over a medium-low heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cherries and stir until slightly thickened. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place into the fridge until completely cold.
  • To assemble the cake, place one of the chocolate cakes onto your serving plate. Spread half of the whipped cream over the top of the cake.
  • Add a few of the cherries (make sure they are completely cold or they will melt the cream). Place the remaining chocolate cake on top. Spread over the remaining whipped cream.
  • Sprinkle the grated chocolate over the outside edge of the cream (leaving a circle in the middle). Place most of the cherry mixture into the middle of the cake (leave any remaining mixture aside to serve).
  • Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days and bring to room temperature before serving.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES & TIPS
Bake – bake the chocolate cake in two separate cake tins and allow to cool completely before adding the fillings. Note: if you don’t have two cake tins, you can use one larger cake tin and cut the cake into two even layers once cooled.
Serving – This cake is best served at room temperature. Either decorate the cakes with the layers of cream, cherries and whipped cream just before serving or prepare it ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving. 
Storing – This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freezing – The chocolate cakes can be prepared ahead of time, cooled completely and then wrapped in a layer of plastic wrap and then foil, and frozen for up to 3 months. Allow the cakes to defrost at room temperature before decorating with the whipped cream, cherries and chocolate.
Adding Kirsch – you can add Kirsch to your cherry mixture when thickening the cherries if you like (this will make it an adults-only cake).
Thermomix Tips: You could heat your cherry liquid in the Thermomix, however, I find it quicker to do it in a saucepan. You could also grate your chocolate in the Thermomix, however, if you would like small curls, it’s best to use a vegetable peeler.

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 385mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 451IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 3mg
Did you try this recipe?Mention @BakePlaySmileBlog or tag #BakePlaySmile!

FREE RECIPE EBOOK

Join my email list to receive a FREE eBook filled with 15 of my most popular slice recipes!

Thank you for subscribing!

41 Comments
  1. Tara says:

    5 stars
    Made this on the weekend and it was super easy and delicious. I think it’s my new favorite cake! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Lucy says:

      Woo hoo! That’s awesome!

  2. Rana A.H says:

    5 stars
    Super nice and Moist

  3. Julia says:

    Hi Lucy, my husband is a huge fan of black Forrest cake too so want to make this for his bday! Two cups of sugar is quite alot, will it work OK if I reduce the quantity? Also is it ok to make as one cake in a 22cm cake tin then slice cake in half once cooked/cooled (I don’t have 2 20cm cake tins).
    Thx! 🙂

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi Julia, I’ve only ever made this cake with the ingredient quantities listed so I can’t vouch for using less sugar! You can make it as one cake but reduce the cooking temp slightly and cook for longer. You’ll probably need to cover the top with a sheet of foil to stop overbrowning partway through too. xx

  4. LIdia says:

    Love this! Made it today and it was the easiest to prepare and tastiest we’ve eaten in a long time. Even my cake snob husband, who doesn’t rate any version of a chocolate cake had seconds of this one. I reduced the sugar in the batter slightly (less than 100g difference) but it was still delicious.

    1. Lucy says:

      Oh that’s so fantastic!!

  5. Sooky says:

    Thank you so much for this amazingly simple but delicious recipe. It’s one of my absolute favourite cakes in the world – always Black Forest Cake for my birthday in my childhood years – and made it for hubby’s birthday today and was a big hit with the grown ups and kids!

    1. Lucy says:

      Hi there, I’m so thrilled that it was a hit! We love this cake for birthdays too! Happy birthday to your hubby!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating