Mile-High Black Forest Cake

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

Best Black Forest Cake Recipe

A few months ago I ordered a slice of Black Forest cake from the bakery and it was… AWFUL!

It was dry, rubbery, and had zero cherry flavor. I literally took one bite, dumped it in the bin, and booked it out of there. You’ll never catch me forcing down something that’s meant to be a special treat! It’s just not worth it.

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!But the lackluster experience reminded me of why I started baking in the first place! And inspired me to create my very own version of the classic chocolate cake. So there was definitely a silver lining!!!

I mean, how beautiful is this black forest cake?! And it tastes EVEN better than it looks!

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

Making the Cake Batter:

  • I highly suggest using a digital scale to weight your ingredients! Especially the dry ingredients like flour and cocoa powder. Adding too much of either of these ingredients will cause your cake to be dry!
  • If you don’t weigh them, be sure to fluff them up in their bag or container before measuring. Then use a spoon to lightly scoop them into the measuring cup, and level off with the flat edge of a knife.
  • Be sure your baking powder and baking soda are both fresh, otherwise your cakes could come out flat or with an “off” taste.
  • Spray your cake pans generously with nonstick spray, then line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. This will ensure your cakes pop out the pan with ease!

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

Making the Cherry Filling:

  • I used regular red cherries because they’re widely available. But sour cherries will work if you’re able to find them! I don’t suggest using maraschino cherries.
  • Fresh OR frozen cherries will work for the filling. Using frozen will also save you time since they’re almost always already pitted. I strongly suggest using fresh cherries for the decorating! If you can’t find them, simply leave them off.
  • Kirsch is a cherry liqueur that’s made of cherry juice, cane sugar, and brandy. The brand I use is Schladerer schwarzwalder.

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

Make the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • Unlike most layer cakes that use a buttercream or cream cheese frosting, this cake is topped with a light and airy whipped cream. It’s not too sweet and really lets the chocolate and cherry flavors shine!
  • To make the whipped cream, you’ll need a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl and a handheld electric mixer. You’ll beat the cream until stiff peaks form, adding a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time.
  • Due to the nature of whipped cream, this cake is best served within an hour of making it. And should be stored in the fridge until you plan on serving. The whipped cream will loose volume as it sits, so if you’re looking for a more stable frosting, I suggest a cream cheese or buttercream. Both will be much sweeter, but will keep for hours on end!

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

More Cake Recipes:

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

Mile-High Black Forest Cake

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 9″ Layer Cake

Featuring moist chocolate cake layers, a fresh cherry filling, and a light whipped cream frosting, my mile-high Black Forest cake is a total showstopper! Make it even more stunning by garnishing with mini chocolate chips pressed up the side of the cake, and chocolate shavings and fresh cherries on top. Beautiful, delicious, and surprisingly easy, this cake is sure to be the star of your dessert table!

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar 
  • 1 cup (213 grams) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional) 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (227 grams) sour cream, at room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) whole milk, at room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227 grams) freshly brewed coffee

Cherry Filling:

  • 3 cups (480 grams) fresh or frozen cherries
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) Kirsch liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch 

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 4 cups (680g) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (82g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) mini chocolate chips, for decoration, optional 
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, grated, for decoration, optional 
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) fresh cherries, for decoration, optional 

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  • 1 cup (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped 
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional) 
  • 2/3 cup (152 grams) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kirsch (optional)

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°(F). Generously spray two 9-inch round baking pans with non-stick baking spray and set them aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, combine both sugars, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt on low until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolk, sour cream, milk, oil and vanilla, beating until well combined. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Carefully add in hot coffee (or water) and continue beating until completely combined; about 1 minute. The batter will quite thin.
  4. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.
  6. Cool cakes for 10 minutes in the pan (placed on top of a cooling rack) before removing from pans and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Cherry Filling:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken, about 6 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook for another 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool completely before using.

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-low, slowly adding in the confectioners’ sugar. Add in the vanilla. Then increase to medium-high speed and whip until stiff peaks form.

For the Chocolate Glaze:

  1. Finely chop the chocolate and place it in a small heatproof bowl. Set aside. 
  2. Warm the cream over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add in the espresso powder and whisk smooth.
  3. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute, then whisk smooth. Whisk in the kirsch, if using. Cool for 5 minutes. 

Assembly:

  1. Using a long, serrated knife, slice each cake in half horizontally, so that you have 4 even layers.
  2. Place one cake layer on a large plate or cake stand. Spread 1/2 cup of the whipped cream on top of the cake, then top with 1/3 cup of the cherry filling. Top with another cake layer, and repeat the layering process, ending with the last cake layer on top.
  3. Spread all remaining whipped cream frosting over the top and sides of the cake. I
  4. Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Then sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.
  5. Allow the cake to set in the fridge for 2o minutes before slicing. Then serve, or store, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 hour. 
  6. Right before serving, line the edge of the cake with fresh cherries, and top with chocolate shavings. 

Notes

  1. Hot water may be used in place of the coffee. Be sure it’s freshly boiled. 
  2. Liquified coconut oil or vegetable oil may be used in place of canola oil. If using liquified coconut oil, be sure it’s not too hot before adding it to the batter.
  3. Cherry juice may be used in place of the kirsch. 
  4. Do not use dutch-process cocoa for this recipe. 
  5. If you have extra whipped cream, or want to make extra for decoration, you can scrape it into a piping bag and pipe whipped cream stars around the cake. 
  6. This is a delicate cake by nature. It will hold its shape, but it’s not the most structured cake. If you prefer more structure, use a cream cheese frosting or buttercream. 
  7. This cake is best served within an hour of making, but will keep, stored in the fridge, for about 6 hours before it starts loosing volume due to the nature of whipped cream. 

Courses Dessert

Cuisine German

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