It’s dessert time with this impressive Black Forest Cake recipe. It’s a light chocolate sponge cake brushed with cherry liqueur syrup, layered with vanilla cream and boozy cherries, and finished with more cream, cherries and chocolate. At first glance, the method looks difficult but it really isn’t, I promise. There’s just lots of parts to assemble and it does take time. If you can, start the day or night before, especially for the cherries. Once the cake is assembled it ideally needs another few hours in the fridge before serving, so allow plenty of time to complete the cake.

Recipe adapted from The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum

You will need: 

  • an 18cm (7 in) springform cake tin
  • Slotted spoon
  • Sieve
  • Piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle (optional, for piping cream on top)

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake Recipe
Cake Mistress Print Recipe
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Black Forest Cake is a light chocolate sponge cake brushed with cherry liqueur syrup, layered with vanilla cream and boozy cherries, and finished with more cream, cherries and chocolate. At first glance, the method looks difficult but it really isn’t, I promise. There are just lots of parts to assemble and it does take time. If you can, start the day or night before, especially for the cherries. Once the cake is assembled it ideally needs another few hours in the fridge before serving, so allow plenty of time to complete the cake.
Servings: people at least
Units:

Ingredients

Brandy Cherries
Chocolate Sponge Cake
Whipped Cream Filling

Instructions

Brandy Cherries (start 6-12 hours earlier)
  1. Drain the cherries over a bowl. Keep aside ½ cup of the drained cherry syrup. Keep the cherry jar.
  2. Add the remaining cherry syrup and sugar to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the drained cherries and simmer with the lid on for 1 minute. Remove the cherries from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and return them to their empty jar. Pour the liqueur over the cherries.
  3. Keep the syrup boiling until it has reduced to ¼ cup of liquid. Pour the syrup over the cherries, add the lid, and swirl the contents.
  4. Loosen the lid and place the cherry jar in the fridge to cool for 6-12 hours.
Chocolate Sponge Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan-forced; 350F). Line the base and sides of an 18cm round springform pan with baking paper. Spray the paper with non-stick spray.
  2. Add the chopped chocolate and boiling water to a small saucepan. Stir continuously on low heat, bringing it to a gentle boil. Keep stirring constantly for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens to a soft custard. It should look like a chocolate dipping sauce and fall off the spoon when ready. Allow it to cool completely.
  3. To the bowl of the electric mixer add the eggs and sugar. Beat together on high speed with the whisk attachment until the volume has tripled.
  4. Lay a sheet of baking paper on your bench. Sift the plain flour and corn flour onto the sheet twice. Sift the combined flour a third time over the whipped egg mixture.
  5. Gently but quickly fold the flour into the mixture until it’s all combined. Fold in the cooled chocolate mixture until evenly distributed. Pour the cake batter into the greased springform tin.
  6. Check the oven is at the correct temperature. Place the tin on the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Do not open the oven door or touch the cake until it’s nearly done. The cake batter will rise near the top of the pan while baking, then shrink down and away from the sides of the pan. The cake is ready when the sides have shrunk away from the pan.
  7. Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Loosen the cake from the sides gently with a knife and invert it carefully onto a cooling rack lined with baking paper. Let the cake cool right side up.
Whipped Cream Filling
  1. Place your electric mixer bowl into the fridge for chill for about 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl dissolve the gelatin crystals with the water. Place the gelatin mix over a bowl of simmering water to dissolve the crystals completely. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
  3. Remove the chilled electric mixer bowl from the fridge. Add the cream and sugar and whisk them together until the beater begins to leave its patter in the mix. Keep the beaters running and slowly add the cooled gelatin mix in a constant stream. Add the vanilla. Beat together until stiff peaks form.
  4. Keep the cream in the fridge until assembling the cake.
Cake Assembly
  1. Add ¼ cup of extra liqueur to the ½ cup of reserved cherry syrup.
  2. Carefully cut the chocolate sponge cake in half horizontally. Place the top half of the cake on your serving place with the crumb side up. Pour half of the cherry liquid over the cake evenly.
  3. Spread half of the whipped cream on the cake layer. Place the soaked cherries evenly through the cream layer right to the edges. Set aside 8-12 cherries to decorate the top. Ensure the cream layer is level.
  4. To the other half of the cake, pour most of the remaining cherry syrup evenly on the crumb side. Place the crumb side down on the cream and cherry layer. Brush the top of the cake with the last of the syrup.
  5. Spread the remaining half of the whipped cream on the top of the cake. Pipe 8-12 cream rosettes around the top. Carefully cover the assembled cake with aluminium foil and place in the fridge for another 4 hours.
  6. Remove the cake from the fridge just before you’re ready to serve it. Uncover the foil. Place a cherry in the middle of each piped cream rosette. Sprinkle chocolate shavings or flake in the middle of the cake. Serve chilled.

Baking Tips

  • Keeping the cherries in the fridge for 6-12 hours maximises the amount of alcohol and flavour they absorb. The full 12 hours is best. If you’re in a rush and can’t soak them the chilled cherries will be ok to use, but the flavour won’t be as intense.
  • When baking a genoise cake do not disturb or open the oven door until the cake is almost done. The cake structure is fragile in the early stages and it might collapse.
  • This cake is best eaten the day it’s made. Leftover can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 24 hours.

COOKBOOK AVAILABLE ONLINE AT:

TheBookDepository.co.uk The Cake Bible (free worldwide shipping)

Amazon.co.uk The Cake Bible

Fishpond.com.au The Cake Bible (free AU and NZ shipping)

16 Comments

  1. Chele

    Wow! Now there is a blast from my past lol. Looks fantastic, and just the perfect kind of cake for a party like this ;0)

  2. Iron Chef Shellie

    LOL you are too funny :P And the cake looks aaaahmazing.. must try making one of these myself one day.

  3. ck

    Pasta Jeff – priceless! Very funny. Cake looks fab and I really like your photos. Good job Pasta Jeff!

  4. Emma

    hahaha at aliments, MC was so naff this year, you were pretty spot on.

    aaargh. I am in a cake mood lately but am also on a health kick. Your lovely cake isn’t helping miss!

  5. msihua

    One day I shall attempt this. One day.. when I’m more confident in my baking skills. The Boy absolutely loves Black Forest Cakes!!

  6. Deb

    Lovely cake. Reminds me of going to the bakery as a child and wishing I could try a slice of each cake on display! I have never made one, but you have inspired me to give it a try.

  7. Ladybird

    Mmmm – one of my alltime favourites! :D

  8. Di-licious

    I think you should take over the writing for next MC season! Your BFC is gorgeous in all its retro glory-ness. I’d give you a 10/10 too!

  9. sara (bellyrumbles)

    Oh wow haven’t had a good black forest cake in ages. Mum use to make them all the time when I was growing, a family favourite.

  10. Sneh | Cook Republic

    So so pretty! Always wanted to make my own blackforest cake. Now you have me craving one!

  11. Georgia

    Ah, the wonderous black forest cake, an oldie but a goodie! I had several hilarious attempts at making this last year but maybe it’s time to give it another go… thanks for posting!

  12. Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet

    Your commentary is too close to the real thing. I remember the Sara Lee Black Forrest cakes that would be whipped out for a special occassion, although I imagine there was no brandy soaking involved in those ones.

  13. Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg

    Hehe chocolate yogos. I used to eat them all the time.
    Your BFC looks delicious! You put a lot of effort into it:) I made one last weekend and wont be making one for a while. It seemed to take forever. But, it was all good fun:)

  14. Kali

    Is 180 degrees in a fan forced oven?

  15. Joanne Richards

    Hi. I made this and loved it but got confused with the syrup directions. I.e. Drain cherries, reserve half a cup of syrup. Add syrup and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. (Are you boiling the half cup you reserved or the rest you drained?) What do you do with the rest?

  16. James

    Usually when recipe’s are read it always refers to the use of non-conventional ovens, convention oven is fan-forced so when your reading a recipe next and says whatever degree always minus it by 20c degrees unless information is given otherwise.

    yours sincerely a happy baker :)