Black Forest Cake Recipe

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


On New Year’s Eve we celebrated Mini SGCC’s 18th birthday.  That’s right.  My baby is now legally an adult.


Of course, that means nothing to me. In my mind, she will always be my little curly-haired cherub.


One would think that Mr. SGCC and I can now sit back, relax and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.  But, I have a feeling that our headaches aren’t over yet!  Mini SGCC is a good kid, but she is fiercely independent and knows her own mind.  That is how we raised her to be.  Hopefully it won’t come back to bite us in the butt, now that we can’t really tell her what to do anymore.

I find it ironic that we parents spend all those years worrying and fretting over our kids, only to worry and fret even more when they grow up!  I now understand what my parents were talking about all those times they said that “A son is a son till he takes him a wife, but a daughter is a daughter for all of her life.”

In honor of the occasion, I decided to bake Mini SGCC’s favorite cake: a Black Forest Cake. I’d never baked a Black Forest cake before, and frankly, the prospect made me a little nervous. It’s a fancy schmancy German confection consisting of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and brandied cherries between each layer. Originally called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, the entire cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. When made well, it is a masterpiece. When made by me – I wasn’t so sure!  


The base of a Black Forest cake is a rich chocolate cake. Most of the recipes I found used a Devil’s food cake, so that is what I decided to do.  I used the Devil’s food cake recipe from Baked Explorations, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Everything I’ve ever made from that book has turned out great, so I was confident that this cake would as well.

Although traditional Black Forest cakes are made with sour cherries, I went with sweet Bings.  The canned sour cherries I found in the market were just sad, little grayish blobs that tasted like crap.  Very unappetizing!  Besides, we like big, fat Bing cherries better.  Plus, they are easier to find around here.

Since I would be serving the cake to children, I soaked the cake in a syrup that I made by reducing the cherry liquid and Kirschwasser, a cherry liqueur, instead of just using the liqueur alone.  I think it tasted better that way.

A Black Forest cake usually has several layers.  However, in the interest of time (and my sanity), I opted to only make a two layer cake.  It was fine, though.  This cake was plenty rich just as it was.

I frosted the whole cake with freshly whipped cream and decorated it with some Maraschino cherries and shaved dark chocolate.  I think it turned out very pretty, if I do say so myself.


Mini SGCC’s boyfriend’s birthday is just a few days after hers, so the cake was kinda for him too.  Here are Mini SGCC and The Boy blowing out their candles, as Mr. SGCC looks on with a grumpy look on his face.  All together now:  AWWW!

I have to say, I don’t know what I was so worried about with this cake.  It was really quite easy to make, and it was amazing.   The cake layers were wonderfully dense and moist, and the cherry filling was absolutely to die for!  Everyone who tried it was wowed.

If you’re looking for a fancy cake for a special occasion, I highly recommend this Black Forest cake.  While it looks like it took all day to make, it actually can be pulled off in just a few hours.





7 responses to Black Forest Cake Recipe

  1. On January 17, 2012 at 1:33pm, Rosa said...

    A wonderful cake for a beautiful girl!



  2. On January 17, 2012 at 2:17pm, Katrina said...

    I looove black forest cake! Yum!

  3. On January 17, 2012 at 6:56pm, Jill Mant~a SaucyCook said...

    OMG what a beautiful cake and what a gorgeous young lady! How lucky she is to have a mom who is such an ambitious and accomplished baker. And you are absoultely right about a daughter being a daughter for the rest of your life. I speak to my daughters (26 & 29) several times a day and here from my son on special occasions! Enjoy her.

  4. On January 18, 2012 at 1:56am, nina said...

    Raising children are not for sissies, that’s for sure and with every milestone comes amazing moments, but also kick-in-the-gutt moments. Happy birthday to your little curly-haired cherub.

  5. On January 18, 2012 at 11:35pm, ciaochowlinda said...

    Yes the cake is beautiful, but your daughter steals the show. She was an adorable little girl with all those tumbling curls but is a gorgeous young woman now. Compliments to mom and dad.

  6. On January 23, 2012 at 4:55pm, Nettie said...

    Fabulous cake, lovely family!

  7. On July 29, 2014 at 3:38am, Adora said...

    Hi, I would like to ask if the liqueur can be omitted or is there any replacements for it? Because I have very young children.

please post a comment...

kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

Just Browsing?
55 Knives
follow me!

    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Friday Food Lust

    Fine Cooking