Schwarzwald Cake Recipe

Discover the magic of the Black Forest Cake - a tantalizing journey through Germany's sweet traditions and how to create this masterpiece at home!

Schwarzwald Cake

    Schwarzwald Cake

  • Cuisine: German
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 12
  • Calories: 350 calories

The Black Forest Cake, known as "Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte" in German, is a renowned and cherished dessert originating from the Black Forest region in Germany. This iconic cake is celebrated for its delightful combination of flavors and elegant appearance.

At its heart, the Black Forest Cake consists of layers of moist chocolate sponge cake generously soaked with Kirsch, a cherry schnapps, and layered with a rich, sweetened cherry filling made from morello cherries. Whipped cream is used to sandwich the layers and cover the cake, adding a light and creamy contrast to the deep chocolate and tart cherries.

The cake is traditionally adorned with chocolate shavings or curls, along with maraschino cherries on top. This combination of flavors and textures creates a harmonious balance between the bitterness of cocoa, the sweetness of cherries, and the lightness of whipped cream.

The Black Forest Cake is not just a dessert; it's a symbol of German culinary excellence and has earned international acclaim. Its name pays homage to the enchanting Black Forest region, which is known for its dark, dense forests and picturesque landscapes. This cake has become a classic indulgence, loved by people worldwide, and it continues to be a centerpiece at celebrations and gatherings.


Indulge in our Schwarzwald Cake recipe – a taste of Germany's iconic dessert. Learn to make it from scratch and savor every bite.


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the Cherry Filling:

  • 1 jar (24 oz) morello cherries, drained (reserve the juice)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup kirsch - optional

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For Garnish:

  • Chocolate shavings or curls
  • Maraschino cherries

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually stir in the boiling water until the batter is well combined. It will be thin; don't worry.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. While the cakes are baking, prepare the cherry filling. In a saucepan, combine the drained cherries, sugar, cornstarch, and kirsch (if using). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  7. For the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until stiff peaks form.
  8. Once the cakes are done, let them cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a layer of whipped cream on top, followed by the cherry filling. Repeat with the second layer.
  10. Cover the entire cake with whipped cream, and decorate with chocolate shavings or curls and maraschino cherries.
  11. Refrigerate the cake for at least a few hours or overnight before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

Recipe Video

Schwarzwald Cake

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Recipe Tags: Schwarzwald Cake, Schwarzwald Cake Recipe, Recipe


Serving a Black Forest Cake, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is a delightful experience. This is how to do it:

  • Chilled: Make sure the cake is well-chilled. The cold temperature enhances the flavors and makes it easier to slice.
  • Slice: Use a sharp knife to cut clean, even slices. It's a rich cake, so smaller portions are often ideal.
  • Plate: Place each slice on a dessert plate. Ensure the plate is large enough to accommodate any additional garnishes or cream that may be served alongside.
  • Garnish: Decorate each slice with a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a maraschino cherry. The garnishes not only add visual appeal but also complement the cake's flavors.
  • Optional: Some variations include drizzling a little extra Kirsch (cherry schnapps) on each slice for an extra burst of flavor. This is entirely optional and should be done sparingly, as Kirsch can be quite potent.
  • Serve: Present the plated slices to your guests. Black Forest Cake pairs wonderfully with a hot cup of coffee or a glass of milk.


  1. Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality ingredients, especially for the cocoa powder, cherries, and chocolate. This will greatly impact the final taste.
  2. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure the eggs and buttermilk are at room temperature. This helps the cake batter mix more evenly.
  3. Properly Grease Pans: Ensure that you grease and flour your cake pans thoroughly to prevent the cakes from sticking.
  4. Cooling Time: Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. This helps them hold their shape.
  5. Cherry Filling: If you're using canned cherries, make sure they're well-drained. Reserve the cherry juice for adding flavor and moisture to the cake layers.
  6. Kirsch (Cherry Schnapps): While Kirsch is traditional in this recipe, you can omit it if you prefer a non-alcoholic version. You can also substitute with cherry juice for a kid-friendly version.
  7. Whipped Cream: Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, but be careful not to overbeat, as it can turn into butter.
  8. Chilling: Refrigerate the cake for several hours or, ideally, overnight. This allows the flavors to meld and the cake to set properly.
  9. Slicing: Use a sharp, clean knife to slice the cake for neat and attractive portions.
  10. Garnish Creatively: Be creative with your garnishes. Chocolate shavings, curls, and maraschino cherries can be arranged in various ways to make the cake visually appealing.
  11. Storage: If there are leftovers, store the cake in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you need to substitute certain ingredients in a Black Forest Cake recipe, I have some alternatives you can consider:

  1. Egg Substitute: If you need an egg substitute, you can use applesauce, yogurt, mashed bananas, or a commercial egg replacer like Ener-G.
  2. Buttermilk Substitute: You can make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk (or non-dairy milk) and letting it sit for about 5 minutes until it curdles. This can replace buttermilk effectively.
  3. Cherry Filling: If you can't find morello cherries, you can use other types of canned cherries, or you could even use fresh cherries when they're in season. Just adjust the sugar level to taste.
  4. Kirsch (Cherry Schnapps) Substitute: To make an alcohol-free version, you can use cherry juice or a cherry syrup. You'll get the cherry flavor without the alcohol.
  5. Whipped Cream Substitute: If you're looking for a non-dairy or vegan alternative, you can use coconut whipped cream or a dairy-free whipped topping like Cool Whip.
  6. Chocolate Shavings/Curls: If you can't find chocolate for shavings, you can use chocolate chips or cocoa powder to sprinkle on top. It won't provide the same texture, but it will still add chocolate flavor.


May your homemade Black Forest Cake bring joy to every celebration. Share the love and tradition of this iconic German dessert with your loved ones!

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