The Real Deal: Black Forest Cake

Klassische Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

So if you put a gun on me in the middle of the night, dragging me out of bed and asking me which cake is the ultimate German cake, I would probably say Black Forest Cake. It simply is THE cake. It is German in so many ways:

Klassische Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

  • Just the name, the black forest actually is a forest in the south of Germany. That’s the region where this cake originates from.
  • The cherries, oh the sweet cherries. I know you can find cherries elsewhere, but somehow I feel Germans are obsessed with cherries. Why go for raspberries if you have delicious cherries? Chocolate and raspberries is great, but chocolate with cherries is – German. I do recommend either using frozen or fresh ones. Not canned. Please go for the real deal. Because you need many cherries for the filling. Cherries and chocolate rock!
  • The chocolate sponge cake. Sponge cake is so very German. If you would like to make perfect sponge, check out this blog post how your sponge batter is going to be perfect.
  • Real Black Forrest Cake will always have Kirsch/cherry liqueur. Depending who you ask, this can be anything from a small amount added to the cherries or the sponge cakes pratically drenshed in kirsch liqueur before assembling.
  • Lots and lots of whipping cream. That is very German. We like whipping cream. We like to eat any cake with a little dash of whipping cream on the side. No buttercream. Cream cheese is too fussy, no, go straight for delicious whipping cream. Whereas Americans may go for ice cream instead, we are happy with whipping cream. Homemade of course.
  • Chocolate shavings. Another thing hard to come by if you don’t live somewhere in Europe. But a must on this cake. Sprinkled generously all around.

Klassische Schwarzwälder KirschtorteSo when a Colombian friend requested for me to bake a Black Forest Cake, I looked for a long time. Because I am picky with the cake of all cakes. I want my cake to taste more than whipping cream. I want the sponge cake to be light and fully, yet I don’t want to beat the eggs for 15 minutes since I don’t have a machine except for a hand mixer. And I want lots and lots of cherry flavor. And that’s why I made a mix of recipes. The sponge cake is very similar to the vanilla one I used in the strawberry roll. The cherry filling I got from the American blogger Sonia who really makes the cherries a dominant part of the cake. So let’s have a look at this cakes of all cakes: Traditional Black Forest Cake.

Klassische Schwarzwälder KirschtorteCredit: Chocolate Sponge Cake by Springlane (German), Cherry Filling by Evil Twin’s Kitchen

The Real Deal: Black Forest Cake

Serves: 1 four layer 20 cm ∅ cake or 1 three layer 24 cm ∅ cake
Prep Time: 50min Cooking Time: 10-25min Total Time: 1 hr 15min

This classic black forest cake contains a chocolate sponge base, is filled with lots of cherries and has whipping cream with chocolate shavings.


  • Chocolate sponge cake
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • 100 + 60 grams of white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
  • 125 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams of cornstarch
  • 25 grams of unsweetened cocoa

  • Cherry filling
  • 400 grams of either frozen or fresh cherries, preferably not canned cherries (if doing 4 layers with a 20cm springform, take 600 grams)
  • 80 grams of white sugar
  • 60 milliliters cherry juice, if using fresh cherries, you need this in addition
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 20 grams of tapioca starch
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

  • For assembling the cake
  • 500-600 grams of whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 40 grams of white sugar
  • 50 milliliters of Kirsch liqueur or replace with cherry juice
  • 150 grams of chocolate shavings
  • Fresh cherries for decoration



For the chocolate sponge cake first preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Only put parchment paper on the bottom of your springform, but don't butter it.


Then beat the egg yolks with the 100 grams of sugar and vanilla for a few minutes in a large bowl until much lighter in color and thicker.


Clean your mixer and a smaller bowl thoroughly before you beat the egg whites until soft peak forms on medium speed. This takes a few minutes. Now add 60 grams of sugar and beat on high speed until the sugar has dissolved. To check, rub a little bit between your fingers and see whether you can feel the sugar, if you don't, you can stop. Sift the flour, cornstarch and cocoa (don't skip this) on the egg-yolk mix and put the egg whites on top. Gently mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. Do not overmix. Just make sure you get an evenly brown mix and you don't see any more cocoa/flour pockets.


Either pour the batter in one large springform (24cm/9inch) or four smaller (20cm/8inch) ones. Depending on how high your springform is, baking time varies. I only baked mine for 10 minutes as I have very small 20 cm pans, in a regular 24 cm springform baking time will be around 25 minutes. Do not open the oven door during the first 20 minutes to be sure your cake rises properly. Take out and cool off before cutting into three or four layers. The sponge cake can be prepared the night before. Cover in plastic wrap in the fridge if used the next day.


For the cherry filling put cherries, sugar and juice in a pot on the stove. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for five minutes. Meanwhile prepare the tapioca starch with the water and lemon juice. Stir in a mug until you see no lumps. Add to the cherries and let thicken for a minute. Add the butter at the end and let melt. Set aside.


To assemble the cake, first whip up the whipping cream with the vanilla extract and sugar.


Then brush some kirsch liqueur or cherry juice on the bottom layer. Put one third of the cherry filling on top, then some whippig cream. Leave the edges empty. Continue with all layers except the top one.


Once done, put whipping cream all around the cake, filling also the holes between layers. It doesn't have to look perfect as you will put chocolate shavings around. Keep some whipping cream for the top decoration. Put chocolate shavings all around the cake. I find it easiest to take a bit in my hand and then "pat" it on the cake. It is a bit messy. Pipe circles of whipping cream on the top and decorate with fresh cherries. Enjoy!


Black Forest Cake may require some work, but you can prepare everything in advance. As stated the sponge cake can be frozen, you can also make the cherry filling and even the whipping cream one or two days in advance. It also freezes beautifully as a whole and will taste even better on day 2 if kept in the fridge overnight. Just make sure you always put it in the fridge for the whipping cream to keep.

Klassische Schwarzwälder KirschtorteSo which other traditional cakes do you like?

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  • Reply
    Monday June 5th, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    Your version of Black Forest Cake looks very similar to the one my mother makes. The cherries she used are the sour ones that come in a jar. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    The question you asked about what is my favourite cake? My favourite cake is Frankfurter Kranz. My mum used to make this for my birthday. Her version uses red current jelly with buttercream on the bottom layer. I believe there has always been debates whether the use of red current jelly is authentic to this cake or not. I prefer with!

    • Reply
      Monday June 5th, 2017 at 12:39 PM

      Hi Susanne, wow, I made Frankfurter Kranz only once and remember it requiring a lot of time. I usually like to increase the fruity part (that’s why for this Schwarzwälder ALL layers have cherry filling), so your mom’s version sounds great!

  • Reply
    Mike Nguyen
    Sunday December 10th, 2017 at 09:44 PM

    Oh wow! This looks amazing!

    • Reply
      Monday December 11th, 2017 at 06:52 AM

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Monday December 11th, 2017 at 02:47 AM

    I am in awe of this! We grew up in a German settled area and loved all the German cakes. Especially kuchen! Never been able to perfect it at home though!

    • Reply
      Monday December 11th, 2017 at 06:53 AM

      Well, just try it, it’s not that hard!

  • Reply
    Sunday February 18th, 2018 at 08:48 PM

    Hi! Wow, delicious !!!! :))))….thanks for posting this recepe!…I’m getting hungry now :O :D….Have a nice evening and best wishes from urlaub mit hund in südtirol 😉 Yours Pia ;)<3

    • Reply
      Monday February 19th, 2018 at 06:13 PM

      I can only suggest making it!

  • Reply
    Thursday March 5th, 2020 at 11:11 AM

    Hallo Jenny,
    ein Rezept, viele Fragen:
    Süßkirschen oder Sauerkirschen? Oben steht, dass Süßkirschen hinein gehören, weiter unten Sauerkirschen.
    Woher kommt der „aufgefangenen Kirschsaft“ für die Füllung, wenn ich frische oder TK Kirschen verwende?
    Kirschlikör (Zutatenliste) oder Kirschwasser (Rezept)?

    Ich würde mal sagen, dass in eine Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte Sauerkirschen und Kirschwasser in nicht unerheblicher Menge gehören!
    Viele Grüße

    • Reply
      Thursday March 5th, 2020 at 11:25 AM

      Hallo Sabine,
      danke für dein genaues Lesen, werde das Rezept heute Abend entsprechend korrigieren.
      Ich nehme meist Sauerkirschen, hab aber auch schon frische Süßkirschen verwendet und dementsprechend den Kirschsaft zusätzlich verwendet. Ich bin der Ansicht, dass man das selbst entscheiden kann, was man nimmt. Du scheinst ja bereits klar zu wissen, was du verwenden willst.
      Grüße, Jenny

      • Reply
        Friday May 28th, 2021 at 10:35 PM

        Hi Jenny,
        Ja, ich kann die 20 Springform nehmen.
        Ja, aber sorry, mit 1,25 Kirchen nehmen verstehe ich es immer noch nicht. 500 gr. ist klar…aber dieses “1,25”…
        Ist das nicht viel für 1 Kuchen?
        Ich kann auch das Weisse Zucker nehmen( nur die ist viel zu ungesund!)
        Man fragt eben um es nicht falsch zu machen…
        Danke/ liebe Grüssen


        • Reply
          Sunday May 30th, 2021 at 11:48 AM

          Hallo Anna, ich habe es abgeändert, hoffentlich ist es nun verständlicher. Und wenn du mit einer 20er backst, sind es 4 Böden, also drei Schichten, wodurch es meiner Meinung nach nicht zu viel Füllung ist.
          Wie gesagt kannst du gerne mit braunem Zucker und Dinkelmehl backen, aber ich selbst habe es noch nie gemacht und kann deshalb nicht garantieren, dass das Ergebnis genauso wird. Deine Fragen habe ich hoffentlich alle beantworten können. Wenn du nichts falsch machen willst, dann rate ich bei ersten Mal das Rezept einfach genauso nachzubacken wie es dort steht und erst bei zweiten oder dritten Mal abzuwandeln. Berichte gerne, solltest du es mit anderen Zutaten erfolgreich machen, dann profitieren auch andere davon.

    • Reply
      Thursday March 5th, 2020 at 07:01 PM

      So, jetzt habe ich das Rezept nochmal aktualisiert. Ich habe nun bewusst nur Kirschen geschrieben, denn wie bereits geschrieben habe ich es schon mit Süß- und Sauerkirschen gemacht.

      • Reply
        Ana Koepke
        Saturday May 22nd, 2021 at 09:24 PM

        Hallo Jenny,

        ich verstehe nicht was Sie meinen mit “bei 4 Schichten Menge x 1,25 nehmen”???
        Ausserdem, kann man statt 405 Mehl, Dinkelmehl 630 nehmen?
        Was ist mit den Zucker? Wieso das Weisse, geht auch mit Braune Zucker?
        Manche Passage sind nicht einfach zu verstehen…
        Und wenn man “selbst entscheiden kann, was man nimmt, dann braucht man gar kein Rezept von Jemand anders ?
        Bitte, ALLE Fragen beantworten

        • Reply
          Saturday May 22nd, 2021 at 09:45 PM

          Hallo Ana,

          1. In welcher Springform backst du die Torte? In einer 20er? Dann musst du die Kirschen mal 1,25 nehmen, also insgesamt 500g Kirschen nehmen
          2. Ich habe es noch nie mit Dinkelmehl probiert, du kannst es versuchen, aber ich kann nicht garantieren, dass es genauso klappt. Berichte gerne.
          3. Der braune Zucker enthält mehr Flüssigkeit, deshalb verändert er die Konsistenz, wenn du ganz sicher gehen willst, dann nimmm lieber den normalen Haushaltszucker.
          4. Offensichtlich möchtest du ja bereits zwei Zutaten austauschen, deshalb verstehe ich deinen letzten Kommentar nicht. Manchmal kann man selbst entscheiden, aber manchmal eben nicht.


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