This super easy Black Forest cake recipe combines delicious rich chocolate cake soaked with cherry liqueur, dark cherry jam and vanilla buttercream combine to give all the flavours of a Black Forest Gateau, without the faff of real cream. Soaking the chocolate cake layers in Kirsch gives them a delicious cherry taste, and a simple vanilla buttercream can also be used for the coating of the cake.
I used 3 of these cakes to make the cake in the picture but you can make a 2 layer cake by doubling the recipe if you want.
Adding fresh cherries as decoration gives a nice touch, but they’re totally optional.
Black Forest Cake Recipe
- Greaseproof Paper
- Measuring Cup
- Small saucepan
To Make the Chocolate Cake
- 125 g self raising flour
- 2 medium eggs
- 115 grams Stork/unsalted butter
- 115 grams caster sugar
- 50 grams cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons Kirsch
- 2 teaspoons milk
For the Syrup
- 75 mililitres water
- 75 mililitres Kirsch
- 75 grams caster sugar
For the Filling
- 250 grams unsalted butter
- 500 grams icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 20 grams cherry jam (or as much as you need for the filling)
- This recipe makes one layer of cake. For a 2 layer cake, double the recipe and use 2 tins. The cake pictured has 3 layers. Preheat your oven to 350 ºF or 180 ºC. Line a 7 inch round cake tin with greaseproof paper.
- In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla, then the eggs, a little at a time until well incorporated.
- Add the flour and cocoa powder, and mix together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Every oven is different so this is only a guide.
- While the cake is baking, make the Kirsch syrup.
- In a small pan, pour the sugar into the centre.
- Pour the water around the edges, and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add the Kirsch.
- While the cake is still warm, prick holes into the surface of the cake with a toothpick and brush the syrup onto the cake. Wrap in cling film and allow to cool completely.
- In a stand mixer, add the butter. Add the icing sugar slowly, and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla. For whiter buttercream, add in some food colouring as per the blog post.
- When the cake is cooled, you can start to assemble. You will need 3 cakes as per the recipe above to make the cake in the image.
- Trim the tops off each cake if they have a domed top. Place the first cake on a cake board or serving plate.
- Add a layer of cherry jam, spreading with a knife to cover all the cake.
- Pipe a layer of vanilla buttercream – if you don't have a piping bag, or don't want to pipe, you can use a knife or spatula to put a layer of buttercream in.
- Repeat the layering process for the next cake, and then add the third cake on top.
- OPTIONAL: Add a layer of buttercream to the outside of the cake, pipe some decorative swirls and add some cherries.
To make the cake pictured, you will need 3 of these cakes. If you have 2 tins, you can make double the mixture and separate between the 2 tins. Alternatively you can make 3 separate cakes and stack them when finished.
Adding the syrup to the cakes helps to keep the chocolate cakes from seeing too dry, and adding the Kirsch enhances the Black Forest cake flavour.
This cake will keep in an air tight container for up to 5 days. As there is no fresh cream, it doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated.
Why Do You Pipe Your Buttercream Filling?
I like to pipe the buttercream filling in this Black Forest cake recipe because it gives a more even layer, which is important when it comes to decorating a cake. It also looks nice to have even layers when you cut the cake. If you’re just making this cake for home, or don’t want the faff of piping bags, you definitely don’t have to do this! It comes from my wedding cake making days and is a habit I can’t get out of!
Some more cake recipes you might like: