Black Forest Cake
Make this gorgeous Black Forest Cake for your next occasion! Moist chocolate cake, layered with fresh cherries and whipped cream. Positively luscious!
This cake. Omg. I really think this Black Forest Cake might be my crowning cherry-chocolate achievement.
I have quite a few cherry chocolate recipes on this site (see Chocolate Cherry Chip Ice Cream, Chocolate Cherry Galette, and Cherry Almond Mocha Smoothie, to name just a few) and I have waxed poetic about my love for this flavor combination every time. It’s truly a favorite for me.
But I really think this layer cake takes it to a whole new level!
Isn’t it pretty?
I just love the bold visual you get when a semi-naked cake features an enticing drizzle of dark chocolate glaze, dripping temptingly down the sides of the cake.
And the garnish of fresh cherries, chocolate shavings, and powdered sugar couldn’t be simpler or more gorgeous.
But honestly, this cake is more than just a pretty face.
The cake layers are moist and deeply chocolate-y. So much rich flavor! It’s my top favorite chocolate cake recipe of all time. The result is always spectacular, and it all comes together in just one bowl!
But it’s the filling and toppings that really make this Black Forest Cake all that it is. Juicy, sweet summer cherries, glazed with a little jam, and topped with a fluffy whipped cream frosting. It just can’t be beat!
Especially if you’re as much of a chocolate-cherry lover as me!
More great cake recipes on my “Cake Recipes” Pinterest board!
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Black Forest Cake
For the cake layers
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (62.5 g) cake flour
- 1 cup (86 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, , softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 g) plain Greek yogurt, (sour cream can be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
For the filling
- 3 cups (414 g) fresh cherries,, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup (85 g) cherry jam, (seedless raspberry or red currant jam can be substituted)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract,, divided
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) cream cheese,, softened
- 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
- 2 3/4 cups (654.5 g) heavy cream,, cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the garnishes
- 1/4 cup (59.5 g) heavy cream
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) semisweet chocolate,, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- fresh cherries
- chocolate curls*
- powdered sugar
To make the cake layers:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, generously mist three 8-inch diameter by 2-inch high cake pans with non-stick spray, and line with circles cut from parchment paper.
- Place the sugar, flours, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add it to the dry ingredients.
- Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles damp sand (30 seconds to 1 minute).
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition.
- When all of the eggs are fully incorporated, add the Greek yogurt, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat on medium speed for about 60 to 90 seconds, to aerate the batter and strengthen the cake’s structure.
- Divide the batter evenly between the three prepared pans, and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean or with one or two moist crumbs. Cool completely, then fill and frost.
To make the filling:
- Place the cherries, jam, and 1/2 teaspoon of the almond extract in a medium bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl and beat on medium-low speed until smooth.
- Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and pour the heavy cream down the side of the bowl in a very slow and steady stream.
- When all the cream has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and whip until the frosting holds stiff peaks.
- Fold in the vanilla extract and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract.
To assemble and garnish:
- Place one layer of chocolate cake on a serving platter.
- Spread half the cherries on the cake, and top with about 1/3 of the whipped cream frosting.
- Top with the second cake layer, and repeat, topping with the third layer.
- Frost the cake with the whipped cream frosting.
- Heat the cream in a small pot until barely simmering.
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl, and pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, allowing it to stand for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the chocolate and cream together until fully incorporated.
- Whisk in the corn syrup and vanilla, and carefully pour the glaze in a slow stream around the perimeter of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.
- Garnish with fresh cherries, chocolate curls, and powdered sugar.
Hi! I’m super excited to make this for my husbands birthday. Quick question- can I use dutch process cocoa for this as opposed to natural cocoa powder? Given that you call for both baking soda and powder I’m assuming it’d be okay!
Hey Elisabeth! It won’t mess with the chemistry of the recipe or anything like that, but I would definitely prefer regular unsweetened cocoa powder over Dutch processed, just in terms of flavor. Dutch processed will give more of an “Oreo” flavor, where regular cocoa has more of a true chocolate taste. Does that make sense?
Thanks so much for the quick reply! I sometimes find I’m missing extra “oomph” in my chocolate cake so I was going to experiment using the Dutch cocoa I use in my pot de creme. I’ll stick to regular here if that’s what you recommend. Can I ask what brand you prefer?
Yes I actually link to it in the recipe card! Ghirardelli is my favorite!
This is really beautiful. It is obviously a cake that has to be kept in the fridge. Does the chocolate drizzle do well in the fridge as well, or should that be saved til just before serving?????
Hi Kelli! The drizzle is fine in the fridge- it won’t get too hard or anything like that. Good luck and enjoy!
My oven is very small and I am reluctant to bake on the lower shelve as it often burns. Is it possible to bake them one at a time? I am not sure if you will receive this comment but do hope so.
Hi Terri! To be honest I’m not really sure if that would work. My worry being that the leavening might be spent by the time the last layer goes in. I don’t know if it will definitely be an issue or not- I’ve never tried doing it that way. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!
Hi! I want to try making this cake but fresh cherries are not in season, so I need to decide between using frozen cherries (thawed and drained), canned cherries (drained), or canned cherry pie filling in place of both the cherries and jam. Which would you recommend? Thanks!
Hey Magda! I would recommend using thawed, drained, frozen cherries, since the other two options are likely to have other additives. Good luck and I hope you enjoy!
Hi Allie! Can this cake be made a few days in advance? I’m planning on making it for my father in law’s 75th birthday, which is on a Saturday, but my only chance to make it is on Thursday. Would the cake hold and still be fresh a few days after?
Hey Crystal! Happy birthday to your father-in-law! I would suggest making all the components (except for the frosting) ahead, but waiting until the night before to assemble it all, if that’s possible. I’d just be concerned about the whipped cream frosting starting to weep after all that time. Good luck and I hope everyone enjoys!
I did this in cupcake form and I love how it turned out! Thank you for creating a work of art!
Aw, thank you so much Nila! That is the sweetest compliment. It’s my pleasure and I’m so happy you enjoyed- I bet your cupcakes were beautiful 🙂
can the whipped cream frosting be made in advance?
It can Jennifer! You can find more info on that here: https://bakingamoment.com/whipped-cream-frosting/.
Can I make one cake and cut it on 3 layers?
If you have a tall enough cake pan, perhaps? Just watch the bake time, it will definitely need to be adjusted!
I would love to try this but for a 2 layer 9×13 cake. How do I go about this?
Hi Julieta! I think you’d probably need to double the recipe for a 2-layer cake of that size. Good luck!
I am a huge fan of the Black Forest Cake and I’ll definitely try to make this cake.Thank you so much.
My pleasure Jannat! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Thank you Allie I have now pinned and saved this conversion ,much appreciated and thank you x.
Hi Allie thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe that Im going to try making soon but what is 2 sticks of butter as in grams version please
Hi Malelega! You want to click over to the free weight conversion chart that’s linked in the right-hand sidebar. Here’s a direct link, in case you missed it: https://bakingamoment.com/weight-conversions-for-baking/.
I have a question.
Is there another alternative instead of using cream cheese in the frosting/filling?
Hey Dawn! You could leave the cream cheese out but it’s there to help stabilize the whipped cream so that it doesn’t deflate or weep quite so much. It helps to make the frosting last a little longer. Mascarpone would be a good substitute, with a little less of a tangy flavor. Hope that’s helpful!
I have been testing black forest cake recipes to make for my son’s wedding in May. Yours was by far the best and has won the honour. The actual layer cake is the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten!
Anyway when we were taste testing I didn’t go all out and decorate. Now that’s my next step to practice. I have a question. Does the warm chocolate glaze not cause a bit of “melt” of the whip cream frosting? Wondering if it would be better to refrigerate the frosted cake overnight and then do the chocolate glaze?
Hey Jean! So glad you like the recipe! To answer your question, it’s probably a good idea to allow the glaze to cool a bit before drizzling it on the cake. If it were really hot it might cause the frosting to melt. I’m also a big fan of refrigerating layer cakes- to me it just helps them to hold together better. Hope that’s helpful! Good luck with your next round!
This recipe is amazing !!! Will definitely use the chocolate cake recipe for other cakes ❤️
So happy you liked it Deardra! Thanks for the positive feedback!
Would you be able to change the measurements to grams? I am english so I don’t have any cup measurements and I have no idea what to do without the metric weights. Thanks alot 🙂
Ella- please refer to the Weight Conversion Chart that can be found in the right sidebar. It’s a free download. Thanks!
Fab recipe, so easy with big flavours and wow factor!
Delicious and I already have repeat requests.
Thank you for sharing.
My pleasure Victoria! Thank you so much for the positive feedback!
Hey! This recipe looks amazinggg! I’m going to be making this for my food exam 😛 Can I use a stand mixer for the cake batter? If so, which attachment should I use?
Hey Canaan! You can definitely use a stand mixer, that’s almost always how I do it. I like the attachment with the silicone edge, but if you don’t have that, the regular paddle attachment will work just fine. Just be sure to stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula every so often, so that everything gets incorporated. Good luck!
Does this cake need to be refrigerated overnight before serving the next day?
That’s probably best, Lisa! Because of the whipped cream I think it would hold up a lot better for you that way!
What about Fresh Frozen (?) Dar Sweet with red tart Cherries since not in season?
Hi Brenda! I’m not really familiar with that product, to be honest. But if they are a frozen cherry, I would think they’d work just fine. Just thaw them first and drain well. Thanks for reading!