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Black Forest Cake

Olivia with Liv for Cake
Black Forest Cake is deep dark chocolate cake, brushed with cherry liquor simple syrup, and layered with lightly sweetened whipped cream and macerated fresh cherries.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12


For the Cherry Liqueur Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Kirsch cherry liqueur

For the Cherries

  • 2 pounds fresh cherries divided

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For the Chocolate Bark

  • 10 ounces dark chocolate chopped

For the Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream very cold
  • 1/3 cup confectioners sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla optional


For the Cherry Liqueur Simple Syrup

  • Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil then remove from heat. Stir in cherry liqueur and allow to cool completely.

For the Fresh Cherries

  • Select the 12 prettiest cherries with stems and set aside. Remove stems and pits from remaining cherries and cut in half. Place in a bowl and pour chilled simple syrup over top. Refrigerate until ready to assemble. Drain cherries, reserving syrup for brushing cake layers during assembly.

For the Chocolate Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla - then slowly whisk in hot water.
  • Add dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Stir to combine. Add buttermilk/egg mixture and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes. Scraping down sides once.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, the turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

For the Chocolate Bark

  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in 15 second increments. Lay out a 24" long piece of parchment paper. Pour chocolate onto parchment paper and spread in a thin layer using an offset spatula. Roll the parchment paper from the short side and freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

For the Whipped Cream Frosting

  • Chill metal bowl and whisk for 10 minutes. Whip heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.

For Assembly

  • Place first cake layer on cake plate. Brush generously with reserved cherry simple syrup. Spread 1 cup of whipped cream, topped with 1 cup of sliced cherries. Top with next cake layer and repeat with simple syrup, whipped cream and cherries. Add final cake layer and frost the outside of the cake, reserving about 1 cup to make piped rosettes.
  • Unroll chilled chocolate bark and arrange pieces around the sides of the cake. Crush any unused bark and sprinkle on top of cake.
  • Using a pastry bag with a piping tip, make 12 whipped cream rosettes around the top of the cake. Place a whole fresh cherry onto each rosette. Refrigerate until ready to serve.