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This classic black forest cake is made with a moist, cherry soaked chocolate cake, layers of fresh whipped cream and sweet dark cherries! You’ll love this show stopping layer cake!
Black Forest Cake
Oh hey there. Just popping in with the classic black forest cake recipe. Now I know what you’re thinking. Haven’t you guys already done a black forest cake? I am just as shocked as you are to tell you that NO, we have never made a black forest cake. Like ever. I cannot believe it’s taken us this long to make this classic cake flavor! But, hey, better late than never right?
So…what is black forest cake?
Now even though black forest cake is considered a classic flavor in my book, some people seem to not know this scrumptious flavor combination. Black forest cake is traditionally made with layers of moist chocolate cake soaked in a cherry syrup. The chocolate cake is then sandwiched together with a light and airy sweetened whipped cream frosting with a thick layer of stewed cherries in the middle. It’s the perfect combination between decadent and rich chocolate, full bodied fruit, and a light vanilla whipped cream to keep it from feeling too heavy. So if you’ve never had black cherry cake, consider yourself in for a treat.
Most black forest cakes are topped with fresh cherries and chocolate shavings or decorations and make the prettiest center piece at a dinner party or the perfect start of a big dessert spread! Delicious and beautiful?! Get you a cake that can do both, amiright?!
What do you need to make the ultimate black forest cake?
Black forest cake is actually relatively simple to make and thanks to some pantry ingredients, you can usually make it on a whim!
Chocolate Cake: We adore our fudgy chocolate cake recipe, but you can also use a boxed mix, a family recipe, or even a store bought one!
Canned Cherries:You’ll want to looked in the canned fruit aisle for dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup. They’re delicious, sweet, and way cheaper than fresh cherries! Plus they come in a conveniently pre-made cherry syrup that’s the perfect complement to your chocolate cake!
Fresh cherries: You’ll need fresh cherries to finish off the top of the black forest cake. You can pit them and take off their stems, but we love the height the stems give!
Heavy whipping cream: There’s nothing better than fresh whipped cream. Except when it’s served with rich chocolate cake!
Powdered Sugar: Unlike traditional buttercream, this whipped frosting is light and not too sweet! You can sweeten to taste, but keep in mind that the cherries pack of lot of sugar already, so keep it lightly sweetened!
How to store black forest cake?
Because the frosting on this cake is made from heavy cream, you’ll want to refrigerate any leftovers. Store the cake in a cake down or cake carrier to lock in any moisture in a cool refrigerator to keep that whipped cream fresh! If you do choose to make this cake ahead, you’ll also want to refrigerate it until serving!
Now if you’re looking to prep ahead, there are many things you can do too to make assembly easier!
Bake the cakes as far in advance as 3 months: We love to make cakes in advance to make putting together a complex layer cake easier! You can bake these cakes, let them cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap to freeze.
Soak the cakes well: If you are going to freeze your cake you can brush them with the cherry syrup before they go in the freezer or when you are ready to assemble the cake! Just keep in mind that if you are going to freeze them before brushing them that you’ll want to let the cake soften up before brushing to allow the syrup to get all the way through! The more time the cherry syrup has to permeate throughout the chocolate cake crumb the better, so you can brush the cakes in the morning and then wait until after dinner to put it all together!
Wait to whip the whipped cream until you’re putting the cake together: Whipped cream can deflate and go flat if you try to beat it too far in advance, so save yourself the trouble and whip the cream no more than an hour before you’re going to use it!
Prepare the cakes according to directions in 2 8 or 9 inch rounds. Allow the cake to cool completely and remove from the pans.
While the cakes cool, strain the heavy syrup out of the cherries into a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to brush the syrup all over the cake*, making sure you can get into any nooks and crannies. Reserve the left over syrup to drizzle over the cherries and whipped cream.
While the syrup soaks into the cakes, make the whipped cream frosting. Use a hand mixer to beat the whipped cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Then dust in the powdered sugar, continuing to beat the cream until medium stiff peaks form no streaks of powdered sugar remain.
Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand or whatever plate you are planning on serving the cake on. Spread half of the whipped cream onto the cake and top with the all drained cherries (you’ll use fresh ones for the top so no need to save any). Drizzle with some of the remaining syrup if desired, making sure you leave some of it for the top. It’s okay if this is messy! Repeat with the other cake layer and top with the fresh cherries. Drizzle with the remainder of the syrup and top with chocolate shavings if desired.
Keywords: black forest cake, black cherry cake, black forest chocolate cake
It’s okay if your cakes are still a little warm for this and not completely cooled!