This Black Forest Cake is made with a moist chocolate cake, fresh whipped cream, cherries and cherry liqueur, otherwise known as kirschwasser! It’s a delicious version of the classic German chocolate cake that you can make right at home!
CHERRY LIQUEUR MIXTURE
1/2 cup (104g) sugar
4 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup (60ml) cherry liqueur (or water)
3 cups (510g) pitted and quartered cherries
1 3/4 cups (228g) all purpose flour
2 cups (414g) sugar
3/4 cup (85g) cocoa
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup (240ml) milk
1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup (240ml) hot water
WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING
3 3/4 cups (900ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
2 cups (230g) powdered sugar
3 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz (1/2 cup | 86g) semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
- To make the cherry mixture, combine the sugar, cornstarch and liqueur (or water) in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Heat until the mixture is wet and the sugar begins to melt.
- Add the cherries and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture. Cook mixture until the cherries start to soften and let out juices.
- Remove from heat when the cherries are juicy and the juice has begun to thicken. Pour the mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until cool.
- To make the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and prepare three 8 inch cake pans with non-stick baking spray and parchment paper in the bottom.
- Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and combine. Set aside.
- Add the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and eggs to a medium sized bowl and combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
- Slowly add the hot water to the batter and mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Whip with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
- To layer the cake, first use a large serrated knife to remove the domes from the tops of the cakes so they are flat. See my tips on how to level a cake and how to stack a cake.
- Place the first cake layer on a serving plate or on a cardboard cake round.
- Pipe a dam around the outside of the cake layer with some of the whipped cream.
- Spread 3/4 to 1 cup of the cherry mixture on top of the cake, in the center of the dam. The juices will soak into the cake.
- Fill in the rest of the dam with a layer of whipped cream and spread into an even layer.
- Add the second layer of cake, then repeat steps 14 thru 16.
- Add the third and final layer of cake on top.
- Frost the top and outside of the cake with the whipped cream. Set the cake in the refrigerator.
- To make the chocolate ganache, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl (see my tips on making chocolate ganache).
- Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate chips.
- Allow the chocolate and cream to sit for 1-2 minutes, the whisk until smooth.
- Drizzle the chocolate ganache around the edge of the cake, then fill in the center. I just swirled it around the top in circles to make a neat looking design. See my tips on making a chocolate drip cake.
- Pipe swirls of whipped cream around the top of the cake using the remaining whipped cream.
- Finish off the cake with a few additional cherries and some chocolate shavings. To make the chocolate shavings, just run a vegetable peeler along the edge of a chocolate bar.
Cover and efrigerate cake until ready to serve. Cake is best when consumed within 2-3 days. I like to store my cakes in an airtight carrier (the cupcake inserts are removable for a nice, tall cake carrier).