Black forest cake redemption?

A couple of years ago, we had some of my husband’s friends over for his birthday and I thought, maybe I would surprise him with one of his favourite desserts – black forest cake.  I don’t often go to bakeries so I didn’t know which bakery made the best black forest cake.  What would one do in such a situation?  Go online and google of course!  Oddly enough, the search showed that a certain Chinese bakery made the best black forest cake in town.  I thought this was kind of strange, but this bakery had very good reviews for their black forest cake and that was all I needed to know.  I mean, all the information you find online is supposed to be accurate and correct, right?  Boy was I wrong!  I’m no cake connoisseur, but this cake was nothing like a black forest cake!  It had mixed fruit on top, like other Chinese fruit cakes, and I think it even had a layer of jello in the middle.  It didn’t have much, if any, cherry, Brandy or chocolate flavour to it.  So this year, I thought I would try to redeem myself by baking him a “real” black forest cake.  Happy Birthday to my better half!

The cake ingredients.

The filling ingredients.

In between the layers.

Hope it tastes better than it looks!

Happy Birthday!

Recipe (adapted from

Cake batter

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


  • 1/2 cup kirschwasser (cherry Brandy)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp strong brewed coffee
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans pitted Bing cherries, drained


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp kirschwasser
  • 1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line the bottoms of two 8 inch round pans with parchment paper circles.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.
  4. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  5. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined.
  6. Pour into 2 round 8 inch pans.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely (1.5-2 hours).
  9. Remove paper from the cakes.
  10. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total.
  11. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.
  12. In a medium bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
  13. Add confectioners sugar, pinch of salt, and coffee; beat until smooth.  If the consistency is too thick, add a couple teaspoons of cherry juice or milk.
  14. Spread first layer of cake with 1/3 of the filling.
  15. Top with 1/3 of the cherries.
  16. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  17. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to stiff peaks.
  18. Beat in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1 tbsp kirshwasser.
  19. Frost top and sides of cake.
  20. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler on semisweet baking chocolate.

Notes and Tips:

I didn’t have two 8 inch round pans, so I just used my 9 inch springform pan, which I greased with butter and dusted with cocoa powder.  I baked the cake for 45-50 minutes and cut the layers by wrapping kitchen twine around the cake and pulling it towards me.  I didn’t have kirschwasser, so I sprinkled the layers with 1/4 cup cherry juice containing 1/2 tsp Brandy extract.  For the buttercream filling, I doubled the recipe, but used 3 cups of confectioners’ sugar, which was still pretty sweet, 1/4 tsp salt and 50ml of brewed coffee to get it to what I thought was the right consistency.  However, after putting the cake in the fridge, I found the buttercream hardened.  I used the rest of the buttercream to cover the top and sides of the cake instead of using the frosting.  For the frosting, I halved the recipe and only used it on top of the cake.  I also added 1 tbsp non-fat dry milk so that the whipped cream will keep its shape longer and 2 tsp confectioner’s sugar to the frosting, but didn’t add kirschwasser.  I made chocolate shavings by using a grater.


6 thoughts on “Black forest cake redemption?

  1. Pingback: Not just another cupcake recipe! « trials in food

  2. Pingback: A birthday black forest cupcake | trials in food

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