Black Forest cake

A classic rich Black Forest cake with decadent moist Devil’s Food Cake, real whipped cream and cherries.

I model my Black Forest after the German original and this means that this cake is very alcoholic. Kirsch is the key ingredient here and I use it to soak the cake with it and add it to the whipped cream too. For those of you who prefer non-alcoholic version, you can very easily substitute alcohol with cherry syrup. It is best to make this cake 1 day before serving. It allows the cake to absorb moisture from cream and soak flavours from Kirsch or syrup.

This cake is a little more involved than my recent recipes but definitely worth the time and energy especially if you are a sucker for chocolate-cherry combination.

Devils Food Cake 

All ingredients at room temperature.

  • 156 g sugar
  • 53 g butter
  • 106 g pastry flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 13 g dry whole milk powder (may substitute with equivalent amount of whole milk)
  • 1.6 g salt
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 1.6 g baking soda
  • 106 ml water
  • 1.6 g vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Cake filling

  • 500 ml cold whipping cream
    • Optional: if you like you whipping cream sweet add icing sugar (I used 1 Tbs). You may also add a bit Kirsch for flavour
  • 300 g syrup cherries
  • for soaking the cake use simple syrup or cherry syrup or cherry liqueur such as Schloss Kirsch
  • 100 g dark chocolate shavings
  • 6 maraschino cherries, dried on paper towel; may b replaced with syrup cherries if you are making non-alcoholic version of the cake



Devils Food Cake 

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/380ºF.

Sift dry ingredients together: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and dry whole milk powder (if using regular milk, combine with water). Set aside.

Combine wet ingredients: water and vanilla extract (and liquid milk if substituting for dry milk powder). Set aside.

Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

To the butter/sugar mixture, add dry and wet ingredients. Mix well at high speed for ~ 5 minutes until well combined. Scrape bowl with a spatula and mix.

One by one, add eggs into the batter mixing well at medium speed between each addition.

When eggs are incorporated, mix at high speed for ~ 1/2 minute, watching to not over mix.

Transfer to the prepared pan and bake at 190ºC/380ºF for 30-40 minutes.

Cool completely to room temperature before assembling the cake. If you proceed with a warm cake your whipped cream will melt!

When completely cooled, using a bread knife cut the cake in 3 even rounds.

Cake filling

Whip the cream until stiff (firm peaks). Set aside.

  • when ready to assemble your cake, divide whipped cream: 1/3 cream in a bowl for masking, and the rest 2/3 of cream further divided between a piping bag and a bowl for decorating

Drain cherries on a strainer and reserve the syrup for soaking the cake.


Take the first cake round, it will be make the bottom tier of your cake, and using a brush soak with Kirsch/syrup.

Next, using the piping bag, trace a circle of whipped cream on the outside rim of your cake and then a smaller circle closer to the middle (see photos below). Fill the spaces between whipped cream with cherries (be generous).

Take you second cake round (middle tier) and place on top of the bottom tier. Repeat the above process (soak, whipped cream, cherries) one more time for the middle tier.

Place your final cake round (top tier) on the middle tier and only soak with alcohol/syrup.

Now you can begin to decorate your cake. If you choose a naked version of this cake you can skip the first 2 steps.

  1. The first step is to mask the cake which means covering your cake in a thin layer of whipped cream to “glue” the crumbs to the cake. This helps to keep your final cake looking clean and snow-white:
    • to mask the cake, take 1/3 whipped cream and using an offset decorating spatula cover the cake with a small layer of cream filling in the gaps between tiers with extra cream. Let the cake cool in the fridge 10-30 minutes before proceeding
  2. The second step is icing the cake with whipped cream:
    • reserve enough whipped cream (in a piping bag) to make rosettes; use the rest for icing
    • spread a thick but even layer of whipped cream on the sides of your cake first. Smooth out with a decorating comb or offset knife; to prevent the whipped cream from sticking to your comb/spatula, dip it in warm water shaking off excess water – works like a charm!
    • do the same for the top of the cake. Smooth out with a decorating comb or offset knife; to prevent the whipped cream from sticking to your comb/spatula, dip it in warm water shaking off excess water
    • using a piping bag with an open star tip pipe out 6 rosettes on top of your cake
  3. Final decorations:
    • cover the sides of the cake with chocolate shavings by gently pressing the shaving into the cake
    • place dry cherries on top of each rosette and gently push into the rosettes
    • pile a generous but proportional mound of chocolate shavings in the centre of the cake

Enjoy your cake!

Sifted, well mixed dry ingredients
Butter and sugar beaten
Batter with dry ingredients
Adding eggs. Can you see the difference in texture?
Transfer into pans and bake
Devil’s Food Cake cut into 3
Bottom tier
Middle tier
Black Forest in skeleton state
Making the cake
Icing the cake with whipped cream
Decorating sides of the cake with chocolate shavings
Decorating top of the cake with whipped cream rosettes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s