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Best Ever Black Forest Cake

by Nick Makrides
Published: Last Updated on

Here it is, my version of the stunning Black Forest Cake, aka “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte”! My version combines four rich chocolate sponge cake layers that are soaked in cherry liqueur (kirsch) filled with freshly whipped cream and spiked fresh cherries. Topped with chocolate ganache and more cherries! I mean, what’s not to love?

Black Forest Cake Image 01

Wide Shot of a slice of black forest cake

Nicks favourite thing…

My favorite thing about this best ever black forest cake recipe is omg, it’s so soft and chocolatey and there are little bits of chocolate and the soaked cherries… OMG! It’s just… It doesn’t just look amazing, it’s so delicious!

Cake – I love how soft the cake is. It’s not an overly sweet cake

Fillings – the whipped cream in the center just perfectly pairs with how soft the cake is. It’s not too sweet.

Cherry Liqueur – This is optional but just makes this cake so overindulgent. It adds a other dimension of enjoyment to the cake. But again, if you’re not into booze, can defos leave it out.

Chocolate shavings – I love the texture and added sweetness these add to the cake.

Cherries – the star of the show here is the cherries. They’re so delicious and kind of add a freshness to the cake. If fresh cherries are out of season where you are, you can use morello jarred cherries.

Kirsch – this is also known as cherry liquer and is optional.

What does it taste like?

Chocolate! It’s my favorite thing about this cake, but this cake is so much more than that. It’s about texture and even feeling. The cake is soft and chocolatey. The whipped cream is creamy and melt in your mouth. The cherries add a tart freshness. And the kirsch or cherry liqueur sends you into a deep dive for wanting more! Again, the booze is optional.

Extreme close up shot of a slice of black forest cake

What are the ingredients I need?

This cake is not difficult to make, even though there are a longer list of ingredients needed than most other cake recipes. It’s easy to make but there’s a lot going on. And trust me. If you try it and get through the simple steps, it’s totally worth it. Can I recommend breaking it up into separate days though?

Day 1

  • Chocolate sponge
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Simple Syrup

Day 2

  • Chocolate shavings
  • Soak the cherries
  • Put it all together!

I won’t go through every single ingredients but there are some notes I have on some of the ingredients:

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Eggs – make sure your eggs are at room temperature!

Caster Sugar – also known as super fine sugar. Granulated sugar will not work as well in this recipe. If you have a food processor, there are loads of tutorials online that run you through how to turn granulated sugar into caster/superfine sugar.

Cocoa powder – Use the unsweetened kind.

Vanilla Extract – Always use good quality vanilla extract in desserts. Especially when adding it to chocolate desserts. It really helps elevate the chocolate flavor.

Soaked Cherries

Fresh cherries – Use what’s in season! And pick the best of the bunch because these are not just inside the cake, but they’re on top. And because everyone eats with their eyes, you want really nice-looking ones on top.

Kirsch – Also known as cherry liqueur. This is an ingredient that makes you feel little twinges of dizzy. Not in an, OMG I feel drunk kind of way. It’s kind of like the feeling you get when you’re infatuated with someone. If you don’t want to use booze, you can use the alcohol-free version or even just use the artificial flavoring in it’s place. Although you’ll need much, much smaller amounts of that. Maybe 1/2 tsp per 1 tbsp.

Whipped Cream

Heavy cream – this is the type of cream you use when whipping cream. It must have at least 30% fat content.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe with me. Please comment in the comments section below, or feel free to share with your family and friends on social media.

I’ll see you all on the following recipe. Happy baking!

N x

Black Forest Cake Image 01

Black Forest Cake Image 01

Best Ever Black Forest Cake

This Black Forest cake combines rich chocolate layers with fresh cherries soaked in cherry liqueur, soft chocolate sponge and a spiked cream frosting. Topped with chocolate ganache and more cherries!

Serves 12

4.7 from 33 votes
Author: Nick Makrides
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Calories: 791kcal
Author: Nick Makrides


Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 9 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup (210 g) caster sugar
  • 1 cup (175 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Soaked Cherries

  • 3 cups (600 g) fresh cherries washed, dried and pitted
  • 12 cherries to decorate
  • 3 tbsp kirsch cherry liqueur

Whipped Cream

  • 4 cups (1 litre) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp kirsch cherry liqueur

Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (105 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp kirsch

Chocolate Shavings

  • 1 cup (200 g) dark chocolate

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup (200 g) dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream

Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]


Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). For this recipe you’ll need two 8” cake tins. Very lightly spray the bottom of each cake tin with cooking oil and line with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Run the cocoa powder and flour through a sieve into a mixing bowl. Use a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Add the eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer. You can make this recipe using an electric handheld mixer. If using a stand mixer fit it with a balloon whisk attachment. Whip on high speed for 1 minute until frothy. Then add the sugar while the mixer is on 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s all in the egg mixture. Mix on high speed for 8 minutes. The mixture will become thick and glossy.
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and use a spatula to gently fold through the whipped egg mixture. Add another 1/3 and repeat until all of the flour is folded in. Just a note, take care to make sure you’re scraping all the way down to the bottom as you fold because the flour can sink to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the vanilla extract and lightly drizzle the melted and cooled butter with one hand as you gently fold it into the mixture.
  • Split the cake mixture amongst your cake tins and bake for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before running a knife around the outside to loosen the cakes up from the tins. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Once they have, use a large serrated knife or cake leveller to trim each cake in half, leaving you with 4 cake layers. Once you’ve made the syrup (in the next step) soak each cake layer in the cooled syrup by using a spread to evenly spread it around the cake.

Simple Syrup

  • Add boiling water and sugar into a large mixing bowl.Use a whisk to mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the kirsch and mix. Set aside to cool to room temperature

Soaked Cherries

  • To prepare the cherries you’ll need a cherry pitter.Make sure your cherries are washed and dried, then pit them using a cherry pitter. Place into a large mixing bowl along with the kirsch and fold through.Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.

Whipped Cream

  • Add the heavy cream into a large mixing bowl along with the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste. If using a stand mixer, fit with a balloon whisk and whip to soft peaks. You’ll know you’ve reached soft peaks because the cream will have thickened but not enough to hold it’s shape. Add the kirsch and continue whipping on high speed until you reach stiff peaks. All up about 2-3 minutes. You’ll need to add about 1/4 of the cream aside for the top of the cake.

Chocolate Shavings

  • Pour the melted chocolate onto the back of a baking tray and spread around using a spatula or spoon. Allow to set completely. Then use a spoon to shave away the chocolate. Transfer shavings to a bowl and chill in the fridge.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Add chocolate and cream into a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for20 seconds at a time, mixing each time until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to set. Alternatively, you may melt it using a double boiler. Fill a medium sized pot with 1/3 of the way with water. Bring to a boil. Place bowl with chocolate and cream over the top and gently mix until mixture is completely melted and smooth. Allow to come to room temperature.

Let's put it together!

  • Ok! Everything is ready to go! Let’s start putting this cake together.Begin one cake layer onto your cake serving platter. Top with a spatula full of cream. Spread around using a spatula or spoon and then add 1/3 of the soaked cherries. Add the next layer and repeat until all four layers are put together.
  • Add the remaining cream around your cake and on top and spread around as neatly as you can using a spatula. Add the chocolate shavings around the sides of the cake.
  • Fit the end of a piping bag with an open star tip and pipe swirls of cream on top. Finish by pouring room temp chocolate ganache in the middle of the cake. Finish by adding fresh cherries on each swirl.


Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.
If making this cake for kids or people who can’t have alcohol, omit the kirsch in the recipe at every step. Add 2 tbsp of sugar to the cherries and soak them.


Calories : 791kcal
Carbonhydrates: 57g
Protein: 11g
Fat: 53g
Saturated Fat: 31g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g
Monounsaturated Fat : 16g
Trans Fat : 1g
Cholesterol: 256mg
Sodium: 91mg
Potassium : 511mg
Fiber: 6g
Sugar : 37g
Vitamin A: 1645IU
Vitamin C: 4mg
Calcium: 113mg
Iron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!

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box of cake August 13, 2021 - 6:25 am

5 stars
really i appreciate, you made and guide properly regarding cake recipe now i want to try this recipe pictures also looking very awesome

Nick Makrides August 15, 2021 - 10:35 am

Wow! Thanks so much, that means a lot! N x

Beatrice August 28, 2021 - 8:13 am

I want to make this cake for my bday. Do you know if I can transport it safely without cream being ruined? Thanks!

Nick Makrides September 19, 2021 - 2:55 am

Hi Beatrice! You would need to make sure the cake is chilled really well. Hope that helps! N x

Tara December 31, 2021 - 6:48 am

Hey, haven’t made it yet but will update rating when I have! Question; the soaked cherries that go into the cake, are they whole pitted cherries or do you cut them into smaller bite sized pieces first??

Nick Makrides January 4, 2022 - 1:16 pm

Whole pitted, but you can certainly chop them up a little if you like first. N x

Jenny October 31, 2022 - 11:46 am

Can this cake be made a day ahead.with no loss in quality?

Nick Makrides November 1, 2022 - 3:25 am

SHould be ok! N x

Janet January 2, 2022 - 9:54 pm

I made the syrup using boiled water from kettle and sugar. Left it to cool but was runny so assumed this was correct as you don’t say it should thicken. I drizzled this onto each layer but now think my cake is going to be soggy as had difficulty layering up. It was so soft it broke in a few places. I managed to complete it nd hope by leaving in the fridge overnight any juice will be absorbed and the cake won’t be soggy

Nick Makrides January 4, 2022 - 1:16 pm

Hi Janet! Sorry to hear that! How’d the cake go in the fridge?

Dimmy January 17, 2022 - 5:07 pm

Hi! 🙂 I have only one 6” tin. Can I make half the recipe and just cut to two or three layers? Any idea how much I need to bake it for in this case?

Nick Makrides September 10, 2022 - 12:58 am

Hi Dimmy! That should be fine. I would recommend baking for 20 minutes 🙂 Nx

Alison Johnson October 11, 2022 - 12:00 pm

5 stars
Oooh this is so yummy can I use three six pans using the same recipe and it turns out ok also being that it is six inches do I still have to cut the cakes in half and how long do I bake it for

Nick Makrides October 31, 2022 - 6:50 am

Hi Alison, I would make 1/2 of the recipe for 6″ pans as baking the same amount of batter in a 6″ pan will mess around with baking times. Unfortunately I havent tested it in a smaller tin and can’t say for sure how to adjust the baking times. N x

Qaira February 19, 2022 - 12:11 pm

5 stars
Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. Could I substitute kirsch with cherry juice?

Nick Makrides February 22, 2022 - 8:23 am


Sarah Cielo March 21, 2022 - 4:14 am

4 stars
Excellent cake! I love scran line bakes! They are always my go-to for recipes that truly work. Always crowd pleasers! Today I used the sponge recipe for the cake, I only altered by using Dutch cocoa and then 2tsp baking powder to activate it.. recipe produced two beautiful, level chocolate cakes perfect for torting.
I will say though, I baked mine bottom shelf of gas oven @160 and they actually took 35 – 40 mins to bake. Thankyou again, love your work 👏👏

Nick Makrides April 27, 2022 - 1:29 am

Amazing to hear Sarah! Thanks so much for the lovely words, glad you like the recipe! N x

Lilly April 12, 2022 - 9:16 pm

Question … what if I don’t have fresh cherries what can I substitute with.

Nick Makrides April 26, 2022 - 12:37 pm

Great question Lilly! You can use canned cherries in the cake and top with them as well! N x

Tabby November 20, 2022 - 4:30 am

Hi I want to make this cake and store it in the freezer for a couple of days will the filling hold or turn soggy.

Nick Makrides November 26, 2022 - 6:40 am

Ah, yeah I wouldn’t freeze cream. It will not thaw very well at all. I would recommend freezing the cake itself before it’s decorated and filled and then put it together fresh.

Santosh Sahani April 29, 2022 - 3:49 pm

Everything would be better if more people were like you. I really appreciate, you written well and helpful blog for those regarding cakes. Looking forward for more!!

Nick Makrides May 3, 2022 - 11:48 am

Awww, thanks so much Santoshi! That means so much N x

Maddie September 17, 2022 - 1:41 pm

Looks delicious and am making an alcohol free version for my mil’s birthday. I am making the cakes today and freezing them and hoping to double the recipe. Any advice? Thank you for the recipe!

Nick Makrides September 18, 2022 - 11:59 pm

Awesome! When you say doubling the recipe, do yu mean same 8-inch cake tins but double the height because I wouldn’t recommend that. The sponge is quite soft and may not be able to carry its own weight. I would recommend using 10″ cake tins or making two cakes 🙂 So excited for you to try this recipe its fab! N x

Maddie September 30, 2022 - 12:29 am

5 stars
I did it! Doubled, and yes, 2 10″. Worked perfectly. Cherries are out of season so used jarred and used the cherry juice as my simple syrup – also added some in the whipped cream. It was such a hit. Everyone loved it, and my 5 yo asked for seconds. Thank you!

Nick Makrides October 31, 2022 - 6:53 am

Amazing Maddie! So happy to hear this! N x

ReNay November 8, 2022 - 12:36 am

Thank you for sharing your recipe!

Nick Makrides November 26, 2022 - 6:34 am

Thanks for the lovely comment! N x


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