Black Forest Cherry Cake is a traditional German cake, its original German name is Schwärzwalder Kirschtorte, and is made with chocolate cake, cherries and whipped cream… and with or without Kirschwasser. Most German made cakes contain the Kirsch, Austrian recipes usually use rum and in the United States the cake is most often made without the alcohol.
The recipe for Black Forest Cherry Cake is easy…. trust me…. decorating it… well…. just have patience… it will be fine… as for the cake and filling…. the cake is very easy and …I admit I took a small shortcut…. I used cherry pie filling…. the icing is whipped cream… and I know you can do that. Trust me…. no matter how well you decorate this cake… and there are numerous ways to do it… it’s a show stopper…. just delicious.
Decorating Tips and Ideas
There are lots of ways to decorate this cake….
You can completely cover it in whipped cream and chocolate shavings…maybe a circle of maraschino cherries on top….
You can cover the sides and a small circle around the edge of the top with whipped cream and fill the center of the top with cherry pie filling… grate a chocolate bar over the cake for a little more chocolate and decoration.
Some recipes split the layers … this is a little tricky… very doable… but requires patience… I recommend if you do that… stick toothpicks around the sides… maybe four or six… so you have a guide while cutting…. You can use a long serrated knife or unflavored dental floss… then use a cake spatula to separate them…
You can crumble one of the split layers into fairly small crumbs and put them over the whipped cream on the side of the cake…. this requires a little more skill and a lot more patience but very doable.
You can put chocolate sprinkles on the side of the cake.
You can put the whipped cream on the side of the cake smoothly… then run a serrated steak knife around the sides to decorate it with ridges….or if you have one.. a cake decorating gadget that does that… I have one… but unfortunately it’s in New York and I’m in Georgia… so I used the knife… it turned out nice… the picture doesn’t do it justice.
I like to pipe the whipped cream around the edge of the top using a pastry bag and a decorating tip…. My last bag split and the idea of using a plastic storage bag, just didn’t work for me… this was after 9 at night so running out to get more pastry bags wasn’t an option….so I used a spoon and swirled it… it turned out fine…. but I do recommend a pastry bag and tip… it will make it look professional and just beautiful and it is easier…. pipe it using whatever tip you like and either a steady stream or individual “spurts”.
Some people use only pie filling for the filling…. I like to use pie filling and then put a layer of whipped cream…. I think the flavors are better that way.
The original recipe uses Kirsch…. a cherry brandy….. you can sprinkle Kirsch on the layers to soak the cake a bit with the brandy…. this is optional… and the cake is delicious without it… it’s up to you.
I wouldn’t be intimidated by the cake…. Cake baking is fun and so is decorating them…. when making them for friends and family… the taste matters most and the effort is appreciated… and besides… you will probably surprise yourself at how wonderful it tastes and looks…
Recipe: Black Forest Cherry Cake
All you need:
For the cake:
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling and decorating:
1 can cherry pie filling
3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
All you have to do:
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
Mix together the flour, cocoa and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating constantly at medium speed.
Add the vanilla and continue beating.
Add the dry ingredients and continue beating until incorporated.
Beat at high speed for 3 minutes, scraping sides occasionally.
Pour the batter into the two prepared baking pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the Filling and Frosting:
TIP: make sure your layers are pretty flat. If they have a hump in the middle, you will want to shave off a little so they are flat…. otherwise the filling between the layers and/or the top will slide over time…. you could end up with a “landslide” of frosting and filling.
OPTIONAL: Sprinkle Kirschwasser over the layers.
In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
Pipe a ring around the edge of the bottom layer’s top surface. This will keep the cherry pie filling from seeping out.
Spread the center of the bottom layer with cherry pie filling.
Spread a layer of whipped cream over the pie filling.
Put the second layer of the cake on top of the first.
Choose a decorating style (see suggestions above) and complete the decoration.
Refridgerate. I found the cake cut much better after being refrigerated for at least two hours.