Double Chocolate Black Forest Cake

Double Chocolate Black Forest Cake

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This double chocolate black forest cake is a homemade layer cake filled with chocolate and cherries. It’s a wonderfully delicious chocolate cake with cherry filling, whipped cream, and chocolate ganache topped with fresh cherries.

This cake does need some time and work to prepare, but the end product is well worth it.

Hello there! Before you browse, there’s a lot of vital information in this article!includes the FAQ section, which may help you with any queries you have regarding this recipe. Enjoy!

To begin with, this cake is not for the faint of heart. That is, you will need to devote some time to this one.

This cake is created entirely from scratch, so it will need some time and effort. Just keep it in mind.

Personally, I believe the time and effort were worthwhile since the cake came out fantastic, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Let’s Talk About Some of The Ingredients in this Black Forest Cake:

Cocoa Powder: Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder rather than Dutch cocoa powder. (You can read more about why in this post: Which Cocoa Powder Do I Use?)

Buttermilk: Don’t worry, your cake will not taste like buttermilk. Buttermilk just provides taste and moisture. If you can’t get buttermilk, be sure to read the FAQ section of this page for alternatives.

Cherries: You’ll need frozen, pitted cherries that have been thawed for approximately a day for this dish.

No, your cake does not taste like coffee. It only enhances the chocolate taste. (For replacements, see the FAQ section below.)

small Chocolate Chips: For this recipe, you’ll need small chocolate chips since they don’t sink to the bottom as much as full-sized chocolate chips.

Whipping Cream: Not to be confused with whipped cream or Cool Whip. This will be in the milk area of the shop, labeled either heavy cream or whipping cream (whipping cream is not available in the freezer department).Extra Heavy Cream

Semi-sweet chocolate chips, regular size: These will be used to create the ganache.

Mixing Method for this cake:

For this one, the mixing process is straightforward. You’re actually simply combining the dry ingredients in one dish and the liquid components in another (save for the heated coffee).

Then combine everything and bake it with the coffee, micro chocolate chips, and cherries.

Making the filling, whipped topping, and ganache will take some time, but simply follow the assembly instructions in the recipe below and you’ll be good.

Tips & FAQs for making a black forest cake:

What’s the difference between black forest cake and regular chocolate cake?

Black forest cake is a chocolate cake containing cherries in the batter, as a filling, or both, and it is often topped with whipped cream and chocolate ganache.

Make sure to read the instructions in the recipe card all the way through…even the assembly instructions.

You’ll need to make some things in order, so plan ahead of time.

Make sure to use thawed cherries that are pitted.

I used frozen ones since they are quick and simple.

Can I use fresh cherries?

Sure, but be certain they’ve been pitted.

Why does the recipe say not to use Dutch processed cocoa powder?

Natural unsweetened cocoa powder is acidic, however Dutch processed cocoa powder is not. Natural unsweetened cocoa powder gives a richer flavor in baked items.

If you use Dutch processed, you will need to change the recipe to replace the baking soda since baking soda is intended for acidic foods, however keep in mind that substituting baking powder for baking soda does not work because they are not the same.

You’d have to make some adjustments that could or might not work, so it’s quicker to simply use what the recipe says for if you can obtain it.

Can I substitute buttermilk?

True, but using actual buttermilk is preferable. If you’re worried about the cake tasting like buttermilk, don’t be.

Buttermilk has long been used in cakes because it improves the taste and increases moistness.

If you can’t get buttermilk, use the following: Pour one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup for every cup of buttermilk asked for. Pour in enough milk to fill the measuring cup to 1 cup. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes after stirring before using.

I don’t like coffee (or have coffee), do I have to use it?

No, however if you do use it, your cake will not taste like coffee. It only enhances the chocolate taste. If you don’t have it and don’t want to use it, you may substitute warm water, but don’t leave out the liquid.

Use heavy cream (or whipping cream) when making the whipped cream and not already whipped cream, or Cool Whip.

Whipping cream (sometimes known as heavy cream) is not the same as Cool Whip or previously whipped cream.

One, homemade whipped cream is significantly sweeter, and two, the whipped cream in this recipe is stabilized, which means it will hold up significantly better than Cool Whip.

Furthermore, unlike manufactured whipped cream, the scratch version here does not leave a greasy film in your mouth.

I don’t have a stand mixer. Can I still make this cake?

You very certainly can. Your arm may grow weary from holding the mixer while beating the cream, but it is doable.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Supplies used for this cake:

  • Colander to drain the cherries
  • KitchenAid stand mixeror a hand mixer
  • Beater attachment for stand mixer
  • Whisk attachment for stand mixer
  • Stainless steel measuring cups and spoons set
  • 8 inch round pans
  • Cooling rack
  • Plastic cake turntable
  • Flat buttercream spatula
  • 1M or 2DPiping tip (for the top piped border)

Ok lets get to the recipe!

***I write recipes in volume (cup) measures since that is what people in the United States are accustomed to seeing and using. Click the metric button beneath the ingredients in the recipe card to get weight in metric measures. The weights are converted by a software, not by me, and the results are an educated approximation. Please keep in mind that while I prepare recipes in cups, I cannot guarantee that weighing the components will provide the same results.

Double Chocolate Black Forest Cake

This double chocolate black forest cake is a scratch layer cake that’s full of chocolate and cherries. A moist chocolate cake with cherry filling, whipped cream and then covered in ganache.



Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: black forest cake, cherry cake, chocolate cake
Prep Time: 2hours
Cook Time: 35minutes
Thawing Cherries: 1day
Servings: 12servings
Calories: 983kcal


For the Cake:

  • 2 cupsall purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (does not have to be Dutch processed; see FAQ section)
  • 1 teaspoonbaking powder
  • 1 teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1teaspoonsalt
  • 1cuppacked brown sugar
  • 1 cupgranulated sugar
  • cupbutter(1 stick softened)
  • cupvegetable oil
  • 2teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 1cupbuttermilk(see notes for substitution)
  • 3large eggs
  • 1 cup thawed, pitted frozen cherries (mashed and drained) (see defrosting notes)
  • 1 cup warm coffee (or warm water–it should be warm but not hot enough to melt the chocolate chunks)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, mini(Use tiny chips rather than regular sized chips, which are excessively huge and may sink to the bottom.)
  • Chocolate sprinkles(for garnish)
  • Fresh cherries(for garnish)

For the Cherry Filling:

  • 3 cups thawed pitted frozen cherries (drained of juice)
  • cupsugar
  • cupwater
  • 1 tablespooncornstarch

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups chilled heavy cream (also referred to as whipping cream) (NOT cool whip or whipped cream)
  • 1cupconfectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespooncornstarch

For the Chocolate Ganache Drip:

  • 1cupheavy cream(or whipping cream)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (large, not micro)


For the Cake:

  • Place your frozen cherries in the refrigerator to defrost overnight or at least for a day. Make careful to drain the frozen cherries in a colander with a basin underneath to catch the juice. Do not discard the juice. Place it in a basin and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Take one cup of the defrosted cherries and thoroughly crush them. Remove the juice. Save the juice, along with the liquid from defrosting the cherries. Set aside the bowl of crushed cherries since you’ll be using it for the cake batter.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking dishes. (If you only have two pans, don’t attempt to bake the whole mixture in two pans; it will be too much.) (Pour a portion of the mixture into each of your two pans and refrigerate the remaining batter, covered, while your cakes bake. After they’ve been done and taken from the pans, clean one of them and bake the remaining batter in it.)
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl: all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, packed brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Set away after thoroughly whisking.
  • In a separate dish, combine the liquid ingredients: softened butter, oil, extract, buttermilk, eggs, and crushed cherries (do not yet add the heated coffee). Combine thoroughly.
  • Don’t be concerned if your butter clumps. Everything will be OK. Simply keep going.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and blend on medium speed.
  • Mix in the steaming coffee only until everything is properly blended. (You may add the coffee in two portions to prevent the batter from splashing.)
  • Mixing the batter for many minutes is excessive. When everything is properly blended, stop mixing.
  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the basin and mix for another 10 seconds.
  • Mix in the small chocolate chips by hand.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes in three greased and floured 8-inch round baking pans. (If you only have two pans, see above.)
  • Set the cake layers on wire racks to cool for approximately ten minutes, then flip out onto the racks and remove from the pans to cool fully.
  • Before stacking the cake layers, make sure they are totally cool.

For the Cherry Filling:

  • Heat the three cups frozen and drained pitted cherries, sugar, and water in a skillet over medium heat until the sugar melts. Periodically stir.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil once the sugar has been dissolved, then decrease the heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce somewhat.
  • Add a little of the cherry mixture to a bowl or shaker, followed by the cornstarch. If using a shaker, thoroughly combine the ingredients. (This prevents the cornstarch from clumping when added back to the cherry mixture.)
  • Stir the cherry and cornstarch mixture back into the cherry mixture in the saucepan.
  • Cook the mixture for another few minutes on low heat until it thickens.
  • Pour the cherry filling into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once it has cooled somewhat, cover it tightly and chill it in the refrigerator until ready to use in your cake.
  • If you add hot or warm cherry compote to your cake, the whipped buttercream will melt and you’ll have a large mess.

For the Whipped Cream:

  • (If you wish to use the whipped cream to cover the whole cake rather than just the crumb coat, prepare a second batch.)
  • In a large mixing basin, whip the heavy cream on high using a whisk attachment or electric beaters. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar gradually. Mix in the cornstarch well. After scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, beat on high until firm peaks form.
  • Add to a cooled cake according to the assembly directions below.

For the Chocolate Ganache Drip:

  • Set aside the chocolate chips in a medium-sized mixing dish. (Be careful to choose a bowl that can withstand hot liquids.)
  • Heat on high until it starts to softly simmer. Don’t let it boil, and keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. It helps to keep stirring it.

    In a small saucepan, boil the cream over medium-low heat.

  • Remove the pan from the heat as soon as it seems to be ready to boil and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chunks.
  • Don’t stir it yet; instead, let it alone for approximately 10 minutes before stirring. You want to stir it gently so that you don’t whip bubbles into it. Stir it until it is completely smooth.
  • If there are any remaining unmelted chocolate pieces, microwave it for approximately 30 seconds and mix it again.
  • Set the bowl aside to cool until it reaches drip consistency. (Depending on your surroundings, it might take anything from 20 minutes to over an hour.)
  • You may use a spoon or a squeeze bottle to effortlessly drizzle the ganache onto the cake. Make sure your cake is cool or cold before adding the heated ganache.

Timeline and How To Assemble:

  • Assemble your cake, cherry filling, cherry juice, and whipped cream.
  • Place a layer of cake on a cake plate. (This helps in leveling the tops of your cakes.)
  • Top with a few teaspoons of cherry juice (drained from your cherries).
  • Then, on top, spread a thin layer of whipped cream. To prevent the cherry filling from squishing out, create a whipped cream icing dam around the cake.
  • Add half the cherry filling.
  • Add another layer of cake, cherry juice, whipped cream, the icing dam, and the remaining cherry filling.
  • Add the last layer of cake and a little extra cherry juice.
  • Spread whipped buttercream over the whole cake. Make sure to save extra buttercream to pipe some gorgeous swirls on top. (If you want more than a thin coating of whipped cream, create twice as much whipped cream.)
  • Fill the bottom of the cake with chocolate jimmies. (optional)
  • Place your cake in the refrigerator to cool and firm up. (Approximately 20-30 minutes.)
  • Pour the ganache on top and let it to flow down the edges. You may either use a spoon or pour the ganache into a squeeze bottle. Just make sure your ganache isn’t too hot and your cake isn’t too warm. Add the ganache to the top of your cake, covering it fully and dripping down the edges.
  • Return the cake to the refrigerator for another five minutes to cool.
  • Finally, pipe a few swirls of whipped buttercream around the top of your cake and top each with a cherry.
  • Enjoy!



Keep this cake covered and in the fridge as the whipped cream is perishable and it is a softer icing.Buttermilk Substitute: Buttermilk will give you the best results, but if you can’t get it, you can use this substitute – For every cup of buttermilk called for, add one tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a liquid measuring cup. Add in milk to fill the measuring cup to 1 full cup. Stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes before using it.Make sure to watch the video for any questions on mixing and assembling this cake.Make sure to check out the TIPS & FAQs for this recipe in the blog post, which may answer questions about substitutions, mixing and assembling.Nutritional values are an estimate.*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifyingpurchases.*This recipe card may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Calories: 983kcal | Carbohydrates: 118g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 36g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 504mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 85g | Vitamin A: 1291IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 167mg | Iron: 4mg

Okay, that is a LONG recipe, and I understand how complicated it is, but if you’re going to create Black Forest Cake, I say go all out. It’s well worth it!

Other Posts You Might Like:

  • Which Cocoa Powder Do I Use?
  • Double Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
  • Chocolate Butter Cake


What’s the difference between chocolate cake and black forest cake?

What is the difference between black forest and chocolate cakes? Traditionally, black forest cake is constructed with chocolate sponge cake layers coated with kirsch, cherry filling, and whipped cream as icing. It has maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings on top.

What is the difference between a black forest cake and a black forest gateau?

The number of layers distinguishes Black Forest ‘cake’ from ‘gateau’. A cake typically has two layers, but a gateau often has three or four.

What is special about Black Forest cake?

The ultimate combination of chocolate, whipped cream icing, and cherry liqueur served with fresh cherries is black forest cake. It looks luxurious and tastes divine, which is all that is required for any sweet and cheerful occasion.

What is the difference between white forest and black forest cake?

What is the difference between white and black forest cakes? A black forest cake is made with chocolate cake layers, whilst a white forest cake is made with vanilla cake layers. Both have whipped cream and cherries within.

Which is better red velvet or Black Forest?

Is a red velvet cake more delicious than a black forest? No. A BFG is made up of several chocolate cake layers, actual whipped cream, kirsch-infused cherries, and chocolate embellishments. A red velvet cake is often a dry, reddish-colored, flavorless chocolate cake topped in an excessively sweet vanilla buttercream.

Is red velvet cake the same as Black Forest cake?

Red velvet cake has a higher cocoa content than chocolate cake. Black Forest Cake is a cherry-flavored dark chocolate cake with layers of chocolate cake, whipped cream, and cherries between each layer. The quantity of cocoa used in each recipe varies.

What is the fancy name for Black Forest cake?

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (German: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, pronounced [vatsvld ktt] (listen), meaning “Black Forest Cherry-torte”), also known as Black Forest cake (American English), is a chocolate and cream cake with a rich cherry filling based on a German dish.

What are the cherries in the Black Forest cake called?

The cake is called after Schwarzwalder kirschwasser, a delicacy of the Black Forest area (Der Schwarzwald) in the German state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.

What is a substitute for kirsch in Black Forest cake?

If Kirsch is not available, fruit-based brandy or rum might be substituted. Replace the cake with fruit juice when serving it to children.

Should you refrigerate Black Forest cake?

Because of the whipped cream, a Black Forest Cake should always be refrigerated.

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