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4.99 from 53 votes

Authentic Black Forest Cake

Everything about this rich black forest cake is mouthwatering. This classic German cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), is moist, flavorful, and a crowd favorite. 
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Chill Time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: black forest cake, black forest cake recipe, german cake, schwarzwälder kirschtorte
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 483kcal


Chocolate cake

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar (200g)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (56g)
  • 1 vanilla bean* (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (150g)
  • ½ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder, spooned and leveled (42g)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Sour-cherry filling

  • 4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoon canned sour cherry water
  • ¼ cup canned sour cherry water (60ml)
  • ¼ cup kirsch (60ml)
  • cup granulated white sugar (75g)
  • 1 lbs canned sour cherries, drained (450g)

Whipped cream

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream (720ml)
  • ¼ cup granulated white sugar (50g)

For decoration: additional whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and fresh cherries to your preference


    • Preheat oven to 320 °F (160°C). Line the bottom and the sides of a 9" (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper and set aside. The easiest way to line a springform pan with parchment paper is to cut out a circle for the bottom and 2-3 inch strips for the sides.
    • In a large mixing bowl, using a stand or handheld mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, mix eggs, sugar, butter, and vanilla* until creamy and fully combined about 2-3 minutes.
    • Sift in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine, another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking pan and bake for about 33-38 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. I baked mine exactly 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
    • Place drained sour cherries into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
    • In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 4 tablespoon of canned sour cherry water to combine.
    • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring ¼ cup canned sour cherry water, kirsch, and sugar over medium heat to a simmer. Stir constantly. Pour in the cherry-cornstarch mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes until it gets thick like syrup and coats the back of a spoon. Stir continuously. Remove from the heat and pour over sour cherries. Let cool to room temperature.
    • In a large mixing bowl, whisk heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. 
    • Cut the cake horizontally two times that you have three almost evenly thick cake layers. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake stand or plate and brush with cherry syrup lightly.
    • Spread with whipped cream and pipe an additional ring of whipped cream around the edges (together about ⅙ of the cream). Watch the photos and video for better understanding. Then spoon the half of the sour cherries (with very little liquid) on top of the cream but inside the piped ring. The ring makes sure that the cherries stay inside the cake and no syrup is running out the sides. Then spoon additional whipped cream on top of cherries and spread evenly to cover them (another ⅙ of the cream, so that about ⅓ of the cream is now used in total). Place the second cake layer on top and repeat.
    • Finish with the third cake layer on top and spread remaining ⅓ of whipped cream all over the cake and around the edges. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
    • Before serving, decorate with chocolate sprinkles, fresh cherries, and additional whipped cream to your preference. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.



    Consider these substitutions when making the best german cake:
    • Substitute the vanilla bean for 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
    • Garnish with shredded white chocolate instead of milk or dark chocolate
    • If you don't want to use kirsch you can use cherry juice instead. 
    For each egg you can substitute ¼ cup (125g) of the following:
    • Mashed bananas
    • Applesauce (you could even use cherry flavored applesauce)
    • Yogurt
    • Use high-quality chocolate as a garnish because it enhances the flavor
    • Always use dutch cocoa for this moist cake. 
    • Allow the baked cake to cool completely before frosting and cutting layers. 
    • Using sour cherries gives you a great flavor combination that goes well with the sweet chocolate. 
    *First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your sharp knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Then just use the seeds.


    Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 197mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 1420IU | Vitamin C: 1.1mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 2.2mg