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easy black forest cake recipe

BEST Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake is made with rich chocolate layers, cherries, cherry liqueur, and whipped cream. It has a rich flavor, and each bite is a decadent one.

The sweet tooth in me loves cakes of all sorts. And, this one pretty much sits on top of the list! Want more dessert ideas? Check out my recipes for Apple Pie Danish, No-Bake Oreo Balls, and Peanut Butter Brownies!

How to make Black Forest Cake?

Black Forest Cake simply looks divine topped with clouds of whipped cream and maraschino cherries and covered in a blanket of chocolate shavings. The cake layers are rich and decadent, full of chocolaty glory! Between layers, you will taste the creamy filling infused with the fruit’s flavor. Each bite will surprise you with the sweet fruit, too. I love how each component of this delicious dessert melds well with the others. It is not overly sweet, just right.

I served this once for a Sunday tea party and the whole family devoured it instantly! From then on, I made sure to make at least two, one for immediate serving and the other for later! That’s one great reason to make this from scratch, you can simply decide how much to make!

What is the difference between chocolate cake and black forest cake?

The main difference is in the ingredients, though both have similar chocolate bases. Take our chocolate cake recipe for example. It has pecans, chocolate chips, and is covered in a tasty chocolate ganache. But you can use the same recipe for the layers for this cake, adding the cherries, liqueur, and a generous amount of whipped cream to set it apart from a classic chocolate cake.

Black Forest Cake preparation

  1. Prepare for bakingPreheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the cake pans.
  2. Make the batter Put the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and combine everything. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Ensure that the eggs will not coagulate by slowly mixing the hot water in. Then, combine both mixtures.
  3. Bake Pour the batter into the cake pans evenly and bake. Then, cool the layers and transfer them to a cooling rack.
  4. Make the syrup Boil together sugar and water in a small pot. Stir in the liqueur and fruits, then, cool. Next, remove the fruits from the syrup.
  5. Prepare the frosting Prepare the whipped cream.
    • Assemble: Place one layer on the cake stand, brush with the syrup, spread the whipped cream on top, then arrange the cherries. Repeat.
    • Decorate: Frost the outside and top of the cake, pipe out rosettes, and place cherries on top. Decorate the sides with chocolate shavings.
    • Serve: Refrigerate, then, serve!

How to make chocolate bark to decorate the cake?

It is easy to do, just follow these steps:

  • Melt any chocolate of your choice, even chips will do, in the microwave at 30-second intervals and stir in between.
  • Pour it into a baking sheet and spread it evenly.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes and it will solidify. Break it according to your desired shape and size.
  • You can use the chocolate bark to decorate the cake, instead of the shavings.

Does Black Forest Cake contain alcohol?

In the ingredients, yes, but it is minimal. It is not enough to make you drunk, just enough to add another dimension of flavor. And as the syrup is boiled, it will burn off most of the alcohol.

How long will Black Forest Cake last?

Refrigerate black forest cake, and it will stay okay for up to a week in an airtight container. You can also wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then in foil and freeze for 2-3 months.

More delicious chocolate desserts:

Black forest cake  Recipe Tips

  • Use the recipe for the chocolate layers in other desserts, they are very versatile.
  • Do not leave out the espresso as it enhances the chocolate flavor.
  • You can also decorate using ganache.

Black Forest Cake Recipe

  • Prep Time2H
  • Cook Time30 MIN
  • Servings 12 slices


Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Dutch unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
  • 8 ounces chocolate chopped and melted
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons espresso
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cherry liqueur

Cherry Liqueur Syrup:

  • 4 cups bing cherries pitted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 3 cup whipping cream cold
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar sifted


  • 12 Maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup chocolate shavings


Chocolate Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease four 8 or 9" round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Set Aside.
  • Add all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine on low speed.
  • In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, whisk eggs with oil, buttermilk, espresso, vanilla, cherry liqueur, melted chocolate, once combined, slowly whisk in the hot water, careful not to cook the eggs.
  • Add wet ingredients to the bowl with dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 mins in the preheated oven or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out mostly clean.
  • Cool the cakes 10 minutes in the pans then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cherry Liqueur Syrup:

  • Place sugar and water into a small pot over medium heat and stir to bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 1 min then remove from heat and stir in cherry liqueur, after that add the cherries. Allow to cool completely before using it.
  • Once cooled, remove the cherries from the syrup and place in a bowl.

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • Prepare the whipped cream when you are ready to assemble the cake.
  • Add cream and sugar to a very cold bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Assemble the Cake:

  • Flatten the chocolate layers.
  • On a cake stand, place a dollop of whipped cream and add on top one chocolate cake layer. Brush generously with the cooled cherry syrup.
  • Top with about 1 cup of cold whipped cream and spread it evenly.
  • Top with about 1 cup of cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream.
  • Repeat with remaining layers.
  • When done frost the outside of the cake and top of the cake with whipped cream.
  • If needed, make more whipped cream and pipe rosettes on top of the cake. Garnish each rosette with one maraschino cherry.
  • Decorate the sides of the cake chocolate shavings or chocolate bark.
  • Chill for 12 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

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I recently tried this recipe and it was amazing! I had to sub the cherry liqueur with Hennessey but it made little difference I think.

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

So happy that you loved it!



Can I omit or substitute the cherry liquor?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

you can use cherry juice concentrate



Excellent result when I made it for my son-in -law (hobby chef that he is) for his birthday. He was delighted!

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet




Hi Catalina, I'd planned to try this recipe for a party this weekend. One question, do I add DRY espresso powder/grounds to make the cake batter, or must the espresso be brewed (A.K.A. a liquid)? Thanks for clarifying.

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Hi, in this cake its the liquid, aka brewed, preferably strong.

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