Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe


Any easy adaptation of the classic German dessert that marries chocolate cake with cherries.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Serves: 12 servings

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  • For the Cake
  • 3/4 cup kirsch
  • 1 cup pitted dried cherries
  • Baking spray
  • 2 cups (about 14 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 8 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • For the Topping
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream, chilled
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 cups (about 36 ounces) pitted fresh cherries, quartered
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  1. For the Cake: Bring kirsch and cherries to boil over high heat in small saucepan or in liquid measuring cup in microwave. Set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 13- by 9-inch cake pan with baking spray.

  3. In large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until mixture is a thick paste.

  4. Pour kirsch-cherry mixture into batter through a sieve, reserving cherries. Add boiling water and stir batter until smooth. Stir in reserved cherries.

  5. Place chocolate in small bowl and microwave until smooth and melted, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping microwave to stir chocolate every 30 seconds. Alternatively, bring about 1 inch of water to boil in small saucepan. Place chocolate in small bowl over pan and stir until chocolate is smooth and melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer cake to cooling rack and cool completely in pan, about 1 hour.

  7. For the Topping: Whip cream and confectioners’ sugar to soft peaks by hand with large whisk or with electric mixer on medium speed and dollop over cake servings right before serving. Top with fresh cherries and chocolate.

Special equipment

small saucepan or microwave, 13- by 9-inch baking pan, sieve, cooling rack, large whisk or with electric mixer

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