Black Forest Cake – Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

The Black Forest Cake is a cream cake that has spread all over Germany since the 1930s and has become the most popular German cake over the years. Today it is considered the classic German cake and is known all over the world.

There are various explanations for the naming of the cake.The first one is that the grated chocolate topping could have led to the name, as it is reminiscent of a dark forest like the Black Forest. The next explanation, is that the ingredient kirsch could have led to the name, since it is produced in the Black Forest. Another explanation might be due to the colours of cake being based on the traditional Black Forest women’s costume with Bollenhut.


120 ml (½ cup) dark chocolate
80 ml (⅓ cup) butter or margarine
180 (¾ cup) sugar
3 eggs, separated
180 ml (¾ cup) ground hazelnut or almond
2 tablespoons ground hazelnut or almond
6 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
60 ml (¼ cup) sugar
590 ml (2 ½ cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
750g (1.65 lbs) pitted cherries
¾ L (26.4 oz) whipping cream
80 ml (⅓ cup) sugar
2 teaspoons Kirschwasser
1 teaspoon corn starch
16 cherries
dark chocolate, grated


Melt chocolate in water bath.

Once melted, add butter to chocolate, then together until foamy.

Slowly add egg yolk and 180 (¾ cup) sugar, continuing to beat for some time.

Stir in salt, Vanilla, nuts and milk.

In separate bowl, add together egg whites and 60 ml (¼ cup) sugar, then beat until very firm, having a cutable consistency.

Mix flour and baking powder.

Gently, mix all three separate components together, best done with large spoon.

Pour into greased cake pan, then bake 45 to 60 minutes in oven preheated to 175°C (350°F).

Once done, remove from oven, let cool, and let stand overnight.

Following day, remove cake from pan.

Cut cake horizontally into two equal layers.

Mix 1 tsp Kirschwasser with 50 ml (1.8 oz) cherry juice and moisten both halves of cake.

Thicken 250 ml (1 cup) cherry juice with 1 tsp starch.

Spread over bottom layer of the cake, then add cherries on top of the glaze.

Beat whipping cream with dab of Kirschwasser and vanilla until suitably firm.

Spread roughly half of cream over cherries and put second layer on top.

Spread rest of cream over entire cake.

Decorate with rest of cherries and grated chocolate.

Notes: Bake chocolate cake one day before needed.

Credit: Ilona Beck, Rouleau