Black Forest Cake

Yield: 12 servings


½ cup (110 g) butter, softened
1+¼ cup (275 g) sugar
2 eggs
1+¼ cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (50 g) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (1.8 dl) buttermilk

Ingredients for filling

¼ cup Kirschwasser (Kirsch/cherry brandy), optional
2 cans (14 oz or 400 g) cherry pie filling or pitted cherries
3 cups (7.2 dl) heavy whipping cream, chilled
¼ cup confectioners' sugar
Milk chocolate curls or shavings, for garnish
Maraschino cherries or sweet cherries, for garnish, optional
Black Forest Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (Gas mark 4 or 180 deg C).
  2. Line a 9 inch (23 cm) cake pan with greaseproof or other non-stick paper.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with sugar until white and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg at a time, mix well between each egg.
  5. Add sifted flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and buttermilk, and mix until the batter is smooth.
  6. Transfer to a cake pan and bake at 350 degrees just until set in the middle, approximately 45-60 minutes. A wooden pick inserted in center should come out with just a few moist crumbs on it. Do not over-bake!
  7. When cake is cool, use a long serrated knife to cut the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. It is easier to cut if kept in a refrigerator for a few hours before cutting.


  1. Drain cherry pie filling in a colander to remove most of the thickened juices.
  2. Beat the whipping cream with confectioners' sugar until it thickens.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate; refrigerate until the cake is assembled.


  1. Sprinkle each layer of the cake with Kirschwasser.
  2. Place one cake layer on a serving plate.
  3. Spread about one fifth of the whipped cream on the layer, and strew half of the cherries on top of the whipped cream.
  4. Add the second cake layer.
  5. Spread one fifth of the whipped cream on the second layer and the remaining cherries on top.
  6. Add the third cake layer.
  7. Spread one fifth of the whipped cream on top and one fifth on the sides. Gently press chocolate curls on the sides and/or on top of the cake.


  1. You may substitute the cherry pie filling with cherry jam. In that case spread first the jam on the cake layers, then whipped cream on top.
  2. You may use three cake tins intead of one. In that case the baking time must be shortened.
  3. If cake flour is used, the cake comes out much fluffier (suggested by Andrea, February 2009).

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