BEST Black Forest Cake

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 2 reviews

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!

photo of sliced Black Forest cake with whipped cream, cherries and chocolate shavings

Black Forest Cake Recipe

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!

image of ingredients to make chocolate cake layers

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.

image of whipped cream and cherries for cake

How to Make Black Forest Cake

  • Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare the cake pans.
  • 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.
  • Bake: Pour the batter into the cake pans evenly and bake. Then, cool the layers and transfer them to a cooling rack.
  • 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.
  • 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!

image of black forest cake

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.

image of black forest cake top layer

Does Black Forest Cake have alcohol in it?

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.

image of black forest cake slice on a plate

How long will Black Forest Cake last?

Refrigerate it 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:

image of black forest cake slice

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.
Save Recipe
5 from 2 reviews
Black Forest Cake Recipe
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 12 slices
Prep time: 2 hours Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 2 hrs 30 mins


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:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease four 8 or 9" round cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Set Aside.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine on low speed.
  4. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, whisk eggs with oil, buttermilk, espresso, vanilla, cherry liqueur, once combined, slowly whisk in the hot water, careful not to cook the eggs.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the bowl with dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
  7. 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.
  8. Cool the cakes 10 minutes in the pans then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cherry Liqueur Syrup:

  1. Place sugar and water into a small pot over medium heat and stir to bring to a boil.
  2. 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.
  3. Once cooled, remove the cherries from the syrup and place in a bowl.

Whipped Cream Frosting:

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

Assemble the Cake:

  1. Flatten the chocolate layers.

  2. 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.
  3. Top with about 1 cup of cold whipped cream and spread it evenly.
  4. Top with about 1 cup of cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream.
  5. Repeat with remaining layers.
  6. When done frost the outside of the cake and top of the cake with whipped cream.
  7. If needed, make more whipped cream and pipe rosettes on top of the cake. Garnish each rosette with one maraschino cherry.
  8. Decorate the sides of the cake chocolate shavings or chocolate bark.
  9. Chill for 12 hours before serving.
Carbohydrates: 121 Protein: 12 Fat: 49 Saturated Fat: 31 Cholesterol: 139 Sodium: 457 Potassium: 451 Fiber: 10 Sugar: 87 Vitamin A: 2472 Vitamin C: 1 Calcium: 175 Iron: 5 Calories: 836
Save Recipe

photo of Black Forest cake pin

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robin rue

Mmmm! This cake sounds so good. I want to bake one right now.



I have been baking and decorating cakes for years but I have yet to make a Black Forrest Cake. This looks amazing! My husbands birthday is coming up and I know he would love it. Chocolate and cherries go so perfectly together.


Tara Pittman

That cake is so pretty. It looks like it came from a bakery as it is so fancy



My husband is a huge fan of black forest cake. I am going to make this for him as a surprise for his birthday!



Wow that cake sure looks amazing. I wish I could have this right now. I definitely will have to try this real soon. I've never actually had black forest cake before.



I have never made a black forest cake before. I love chocolate and cherries so I bet I would love this too.



This is totally drool-worthy! Such an amazing dessert!


Lisa Joy Thompson

My kids love the combo of chocolate and cherries. I bet they'd think this black forest cake is delicious!


Ruth I

Black forest is one of the most popular cake flavors here. I am intrigued how it is done. Thank you for this recipe, i can now do it too!


Krystel | Frugal Living

Sheesh this must taste delicious. I was wondering at first, what is Black Forest cake.



How to make cherry pie filling Clearly


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