The German Black Forest Cake is world-famous. The name seems to be related to the region of the Schwarzwald but it’s not necessarily the origin of the cake. There are several theories about the name and my favorite (and probably most reasonable) is, that the look of the cake resembles very much the traditional clothes of women in the Schwarzwald region.
About the Cake
Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) has three layers of chocolate cake, drenched with Kirschwasser, which is a cherry schnapps. In between the cake layers, there is a layer of cherries and a layer of whipping cream. The entire cake is covered in whipping cream and decorated with chocolate and with red cherries on top.
Making Black Forest Cake
What is Kirschwasser?
Kirschwasser is made from fermented cherries and usually comes at 40% alcohol. The word is made from the German “Kirsche” which means cherry and “Wasser” which means water. You can learn more about it here: https://www.britannica.com/topic/kirsch
If you want to make this cake without alcohol, you can substitute the Kirschwasser with some cherry juice.
It Takes Time
A Black Forest Cake can be made in one day if you start early in the morning. However, it might be a better idea to start the day before and let it soak in the fridge for one day before decorating it. On the other hand: If you take too much time, the alcohol in the cake might evaporate. You can avoid it if you cover the cake but due to its large size (especially height), it is often difficult to find something to cover it.
My advice is: Bake it in the afternoon the day before you need it. Assemble it to the point where it is not decorated yet. Leave a cake ring around and cover the cake with a large lid from a pot or so. The next day, finish the cake with the decoration and serve it the same day. This is also how I did it in the video.
Pin the Black Forest Cake to Pinterest
Black Forest Cake
For the Base Cake
- 7 eggs
- 240 g sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 50 g cocoa
- 150 g flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 50 g corn starch
- 60 g melted butter
Cake Potion ;-)
- 100 ml Kirschwasser
- 20 ml water
- 20 g sugar
- or 100 ml cherry juice instead of the ingredients above
- 1 jar cherries (680 g // 24 oz)
- 45 g corn starch
- 1 pinch cinnamon optional
- ½ lemon – the jucice of it
- 60 g sugar
- 700 ml whipping cream
- 25 ml Kirschwasser
- 65 g sugar
- 4½ tsp gelatine powder or 9 gelatine sheets
- 1 bar dark chocolate, cooled
- 400 ml whipping cream
- 1 pouch stabilizer i.e. Whip it
- 12 cherries fresh or cocktail cherries
Baking the Base Cake
- Beat the eggs with the salt and sugar for about 20 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix thedry ingredients: flour, cocoa, corn starch and baking powder. Carefully fold itinto the egg mix. Also carefully add the melted butter and fold it in.
- Grease the baking pan (26 cm /10 ¼ inch diameter) and fill the dough in. Bake at 190°C / 375°F for about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let the cake cool completely, then put it into the fridge for an hour to make it firm for cutting.
Prepare the Cherry Filling
- Put the Cherries in a sieve and collect the juice underneath.
- Put all ingredients (starch, cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice)into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil until the liquid thickens.
- Add the cherries and let cool.
Prepare the Cream Filling
- Prepare the gelatine acording to package instructions.
- Beat the cream and add the Kirschwasser and sugar until stiff. Mix some of the cream with the gelatine, then mix this into the cream.
- Also mix in the 25 ml Kirschwasser.
Build the Cake
- Cut the cake twice to create 3 layers.
- Put the first layer upside down on a cake plate and brush ⅓ of the "Cake Potion" onto it.
- Use a piping bag with whipping cream to make a rime around the edge of the cake.
- Use half of the cherry filling to place it inside the cream rim onto the cake.
- If you have one: Place a cake ring around the cake.
- Cover the entire layer with cream.
- Take the next layer of cake and place it on top of the cream.
- Repeat the previous steps: Brush ⅓ of the cake potion on it, make a cream rim, place remaining cherry filling inside the circle and cover everything with cream.
- Brush the third cake layer with the cake potion, then put it with the cut side down and the bottom side up, so it is now the top of your cake.
- Cover the cake with a large lid and place into the fridge for at least 4 hours or better over night.
Decoration the Cake
- Whip the cream with the stabilizer. If you don't have stabilizer, use a tablespoon of corn starch.
- With a sharp knife, shave some chocolate from the bar. Then grate the remaining chocolate.
- Take the cake from the fridge and cover it entirely with cream. Leave some cream for the top decoration though.
- Use the grated chocolate to cover the sides of the cake. If you freeze the grated chocolate for a little bit, you can use your hands to put the chocolate onto the cake – worked best for me.
- Divide the top of the cake into 12 slices by just tracing the sizes but not cutting the cake.
- Use a piping bag and a tip to create 12 swirls on top of the cake – one swirl on each slice.
- Place the shaved chocolate on the center of the top, then put a cherry onto each cream swirl.