German Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake is one of the most iconic German cakes. If you’re feeling homesick and want to make yourself some cake, this recipe can help you out! Since the black forest region was originally in Germany, the cake itself only had to get named Black Forest Cake once it became popular outside of that area, too. In Germany and other parts of Europe, it’s simply referred to as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte or just Kirschtorte.

Base ingredients and instructions

1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius and grease a 26cm cake tin with butter.

2. Mix together in a large bowl the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt until combined.

3. In another bowl whisk together the eggs and oil until well combined then add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened (don’t over-mix).

4. Pour batter into the prepared tin and spread evenly then arrange cherries on top in two or three rows (cutting each cherry in half if it’s too large).

5. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer – the cake will look done but still feel soft.

6. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

7. Prepare chocolate ganache by heating cream, pouring over chopped dark chocolate, and stirring until smooth. 8. Spread ganache on the cooled cake (I like one layer), cover with more whipped cream then arrange the remaining cherries on top around the outside edge of the cake in concentric circles starting from the outer edge inwards towards the center.

Chocolate ganache topping

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then pour it onto the baking tray and use an offset spatula or spoon to spread it out as evenly as possible. Let it cool for about ten minutes, then place another sheet of parchment paper on top and use your hands to flatten out any areas that might be too thick. This may take some time, but don’t worry: the ganache will thicken while cooling, and using a thicker layer will help ensure that there are no cracks in the topping later on. Pop it into the fridge until firm (2-3 hours).

Decoration ideas

1. For the cake layers, use a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Place one layer of cake at the bottom and spread a thin layer of chocolate sauce on it before adding another cake layer. Repeat this process again for each successive layer and top with chocolate sauce for the final layer.

2. Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form and add powdered sugar to taste if desired.

3. Melt chocolate in a bain-marie over hot water or in the microwave on low power so that it doesn’t burn; cover and let cool until thickened but still pourable, about 5 minutes.


I’ve been cooking German food for years, so I’m always excited to try new recipes. Recently, I came across a recipe for Black Forest Cake which is the most German of all cakes! My idea of the perfect version has soft and tender cake layers sporting enough chocolate flavor without being overwhelming. Jarred rather than fresh cherries is my other trick. The instructions were simple and easy to follow. I whipped up a batch in no time, but it wasn’t until I tried it that I realized how moist and delicious this cake really is! It’s perfect for parties with red wine or coffee, or as a light dessert after dinner. This recipe makes two 9-inch rounds.

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