The Black Forest Cake – the ultimate chocolate cherry cake creation! This visually stunning cake is made with tender and moist chocolate cake layers, a simple cream cheese frosting and of course, loads of cherries! You’ll get fruity cherry flavor with every bite! When cherry season starts in the summer, I know it’s time to make my Black Forest cake. It’s one of my favorite summer treats! If you don’t have fresh cherries available, this cake will also taste great with canned cherries.
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How to Make Black Forest Cake
This stunning cherry cake is bound to become a family favorite! It starts with rich and delicate chocolate cake layers. I use a version of my ‘Perfect Chocolate Cake’ recipe from my ‘Back to Cake Basics‘ for this recipe. It yields the most amazing chocolate cake! Make sure to allow the cake layers to cool completely before assembling the cake!
The cake layers are then soaked lightly with cherry liqueur and filled with a creamy cream cheese frosting. I also like to add loads of fresh, pitted cherries on the inside. If you don’t have fresh cherries, frozen or even canned will also work in a pinch! If using frozen cherries, make sure to thaw them completely first and drain any juices. Allow the cake stand in the refrigerator for 1 day for best results.
Cream Cheese Frosting
You’ll love the creamy frosting I used for my Black Forest Cake! Check out my ‘5-Ingredient Cream Cheese Frosting’ for an in-depth video tutorial. This creamy frosting is the perfect complement to the rich chocolate cake and cherries! This frosting is a little bit on the soft side. If you experience problems with it being too soft, try refrigerating for 30 minutes. It will continue to set in the refrigerator!
Kirsch Cherry Liqueur
The origin of this cake can be traced back to Germany, where this cake is made extra boozy using cherry liqueur, or kirsch liqueur. I love to add the liqueur when I have it on hand for even more flavor! You can soak the cherries in the liqueur for a few hours, or you can soak the chocolate cake layers with a bit of kirsch for added moisture. With or without the liqueur, this cake tastes incredible! Don’t want to use alcohol? Try using cherry juice instead!
- Chocolate Cherry Mousse – the fluffiest and most delicious cherry cake with chocolate mousse!
- Honey Cherry Cake – easy and delicious cherry cake sweetened with honey!
- Pancho Torte – unique chocolate cake with pineapple, pecans and cherries!
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake – rich, chocolate cake with shredded zucchini! The best chocolate cake ever!
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Chocolate Cherry Cake - Black Forest Cake (video)
For Chocolate Cake:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup diced cherries
For Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
- 16 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoons rum or cherry liqueur, optional
- 2 cups halved cherries, for filling
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3, 8-inch cake rounds with parchment paper; set aside.
- Prepare the chocolate cake batter. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and cream together. Then pour in the milk. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, whisking just until combined. Fold in the diced cherries.
- Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans. I use my kitchen scale to divide the batter evenly. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake layers onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once cake layers have cooled, prepare the frosting. Place the softened butter and cream cheese into a mixing bowl and whisk on high speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is very light and fluffy. Begin adding the confectioner's sugar and whisk until fluffy. Add the salt, vanilla and rum last and whisk just until combined.
- Assemble the cake. Level off the tops with a long serrated knife. Spread a generous amount of frosting between each layer and add halved cherries. Frost the top and sides and garnish as desired. Keep cake refrigerated if not serving same day. Remove cake from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to serving to allow the frosting to soften.