Black Forest Cake

Jen Bakes Everything
by Jen Bakes Everything
1 6" Cake
2 hr 5 min

This is my mom's favourite cake. We love making this cake for birthday celebrations! This luscious cake is made up of 4 layers of moist, Kirsch syrup-soaked chocolate cake, sandwiched with fluffy whipped cream and sweet fresh cherries. This recipe may involve many steps, but it is so worth it!

I like to use stabilized whipped cream instead of buttercream to ice most of my cakes, because I like how fluffy and light it is. It is also the perfect contrast to the rich and decadent chocolate cake layers, which is adapted from Preppy Kitchen.

I used chocolate ganache to give this cake a drip cake look. This is optional, I have provided the recipe for the ganache for your reference.

This cake contains Kirsch, which is a type of brandy made with cherries. If you'd like to make a children-friendly version of the cake, substitute Kirsch with cherry juice.

Recipe details
  • 1  6" Cake
  • Prep time: 90 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 2 hr 5 min
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Chocolate Cake
  • 180g Brewed Coffee
  • 170g All-Purpose Flour
  • 100g Granulated Sugar
  • 25g Cocoa Powder
  • 4g Baking Powder
  • 7g Baking Soda
  • 8g Vanilla Extract
  • 60g Sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 120g Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 90g Vegetable Oil / Olive oil
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1/2kg Fresh cherries (Save 10-12 pretty cherries for decoration. Pit and half the remaining cherries)
Whipped cream Icing
  • 300g Heavy cream
  • 40g Icing sugar
Kirsch Sugar Syrup
  • 50g Water
  • 50g Sugar
  • 25g Kirsch
Chocolate Ganache (Optional)
  • 20g Dark chocolate chip
  • 20g Heavy cream
  • 5g Unsalted butter
Making the cake
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of two 6" cake pans with parchment paper.
Sift and whisk to mix dry ingredients (including sugar) in a bowl.
Add wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk by hand until incorporated.
Distribute the batter evenly into the two cake pans.
Bake for 33-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then take the cakes out of the pans and let fully cool on a wire rack.
Slice the 2 cakes horizontally to make 4 even cake layers. Set aside.
To make the whipped cream icing
Chilling the equipment used in the refrigerator prior to whipping the heavy cream makes the process easier. Therefore, refrigerate a mixing bowl and the metal whisks of an electric mixer.
Sift icing sugar into heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream until stiff peak.
Store the whipped cream icing in the refrigerator until ready to use. Letting the icing chill in the refrigerator allows it to firm up a little before icing the cake.
To make the Kirsch sugar syrup
Microwave or heat the water with sugar until all sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
Add the kirsch into the syrup.
Cake Assembly
Place the first cake layer on a turn table or a plate.
Gently brush the Kirsch sugar syrup onto the cake layer.
Add whipped cream icing and distribute it evenly with a palette knife or the back of a spoon.
Place cherries on top of the whipped cream icing. Place another cake layer on top.
Repeat step 1-4 until all cake layers are used up.
Optional: Decorate with chocolate ganache and saved whole cherries on the surface of the cake.
Optional: Chocolate ganache
Microwave to melt dark chocolate, whipping cream & butter for 20 seconds. With a spoon, mix until cream and chocolate are fully incorporated. If chocolate is not fully melted, microwave in 5 seconds intervals (If you don't have a microwave, you may also use the double boiler method to make the ganache).
Let the ganache cool until it hits 80°F (27°C). To check for ganache consistency, let the ganache drip on the side of the bowl. If the drip stops in the middle of the bowl and doesn't pool in the bottom, the ganache is ready to use.
  • If you want to add an extra kick from the Kirsch, you can also soak the halved and pitted cherries in the liqueur before cake assembly.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, make your own! Add 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice in the amount of milk the recipe calls for. The mixture will thicken in a few minutes.