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German Black Forest Cake Recipe

German Black Forest Cake Recipe

As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. + cooling Bake: 30 min. + cooling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) pitted tart cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cherry brandy or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of two greased 9-in. round baking pans; grease paper.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat milk, eggs, oil and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into milk mixture.
  • 3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  • 4. Meanwhile, for filling, drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. In a small saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch and reserved juice; add cherries. Cook and stir over low heat 10-12 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Cool completely.
  • 5. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form.
  • 6. Using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Top with 1-1/2 cups whipped cream. Spread 3/4 cup filling to within 1 in. of edge. Repeat twice. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining whipped cream, reserving some to pipe decorations, if desired. Spoon remaining filling onto top of cake. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 659 calories, 34g fat (15g saturated fat), 136mg cholesterol, 329mg sodium, 84g carbohydrate (59g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

Reviews for German Black Forest Cake

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Reviewed Sep. 27, 2017

"I haven't made THIS recipe, but when I do make a similar version I try to make it "more German" by adding cherry brandy or kirsch to the cherries!"

Reviewed Dec. 22, 2016

"This sounds delicious however, try this next time. Use a boxed mix such as Duncan Hines chocolate fudge or deep fudge, not devils food. When making cake, cut back on oil. Use about 2-3 Tbsp. This makes a sturdier cake. Use canned cherry pie filling, with a bit of almond flavor mixed in. Follow guide lines in cake recipe regarding assembly. After frosting with whipped cream, decorate with lightly toasted almonds that have been cooled . This will cut some time from the process"

Reviewed Sep. 27, 2015

"Great recipe! My whole family enjoyed. Thank you so much for sharing!"

Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

"I have been baking for over 30 years and have never had this much trouble with a recipe. I didn't use the wax paper on the bottom of pans, but I did grease and flour them. I made it in three 8" pans. All three cakes stuck in the pans, breaking and making a mess to get them out. I only used 1 can of tart cherries and reduced the other filling ingredients accordingly. The cherry mixture was way too runny even after refrigerating it overnight. I had to cook it again and add extra cornstarch to thicken. The whipping cream needed more powered sugar; it wasn't very sweet. After all these adjustments, it tasted good. If I were to make it again, I would probably use cherry pie filling and definitely use wax paper to line the pans."

Reviewed Mar. 6, 2014

"Delicious cake! I used Rich's whipped topping instead of whipped cream for increased stability."

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