This Black Forest Cake has lush chocolate cake layered with sweet cherries and cream cheese whipped cream and covered in smooth chocolate buttercream frosting. I promise you’ll cherry-ish this recipe forever!
This cake creation was a request from a dear friend of mine. I had never made a black forest cake before. I pondered on how I could make something delicious while keeping it simple. As per my usual, I broke almost all of the rules. I hope you’ll forgive me. I think it was worth it.
It is so important to use frozen or canned sweetened cherries. These are different from cherry pie filling, and are similar to the cherries my mom canned when I was growing up. They aren’t too sweet and they pair perfectly with the rich chocolate cake.
I felt like this cake would benefit from the smoothness of a chocolate buttercream frosting. I know, I know it’s not traditional, but it’s delicious! It adds to the chocolate dimension in a totally different way than the cake or chocolate shavings on top could. I think you’ll really appreciate the way it complements the cream.
The lovely cream cheese whipped cream cradles a generous layer of cherries. If you’re feeling apprehension about the cream cheese, it only adds a slight flavor and adds brightness and stability to the cream.
This is such a beautiful balance of chocolate, cherries, and cream. The fluffy sponge of the chocolate cake, the creamy whipped cream, and the smooth buttercream compliment the tart, sweet flavor of the cherries for a truly special Black Forest Cake experience. Don’t forget to add chocolate shavings to the top for the final decadent touch.
- 2 ¼ C (10 oz) all-purpose flour
- ½ C + 1 T (2 oz) cocoa powder
- 2 C (14 oz) white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp Dutch-processed cocoa
- 2 C (16 oz) buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 C minus 1T (7 oz) vegetable oil
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 C (8 oz) salted butter, room temperature
- ½ C (1.8 oz) cocoa
- 3 ½ C (16 oz) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3-5 T milk
Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
- ½ C (3.5 oz) white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ¾ C (14 oz) heavy cream, cold
For Filling & Garnish
- ¾ C (4 oz) Dark Chocolate Bar, shaved
- 1 Can (15 oz) Dark Sweet Cherries, drained OR 1 ¼ C Frozen Sweet Red Cherries, thawed
- Fresh Red Cherries for garnish
Make the Chocolate Cake.
- Preheat oven to 325*F.
- Prepare two 9-inch round cake pans. Spray with non-stick spray. Line bottom with a circle of wax paper, then spray with non-stick spray again.
- In a bowl sift together dry ingredients. Then add wet ingredients and mix for one minute to combine. Batter will be thin.
- Divide batter equally between two pans (about 25-26 ounces of batter per pan).
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until you can touch the center of the cake and it bounces back. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto wire cooling racks, peel the wax paper off the bottom and cool completely before assembling or decorating.
Make the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
- Soften the butter, but do not melt. Beat butter in mixer until smooth and silky.
- Add cocoa and powdered sugar. Beat butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar until combined and the mixture looks dry and uniform. Scrape bowl.
- Add vanilla and 3 T of milk. Beat until frosting is light, creamy, and soft. If frosting is too thick, add up to 2 additional tablespoons of milk.
Make Cream Cheese Whipped Cream.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Add sugar and vanilla and mix. Scrape bowl.
- Add heavy cream and mix for 30 seconds. Stop, scrape bowl, beat another 30 seconds, then stop and scrape bowl again.
- Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Put one layer of chocolate cake, top down, on a cake stand or plate.
- Pipe or spread a bit of chocolate buttercream on the top edges of the cake to act as a wall to hold cream inside.
- Fill the center of the cake with the cream cheese whipped cream and spread evenly. Sprinkle drained cherries on top of the cream.
- Place the second chocolate cake on top.
- Frost top and sides of cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Spread or dollop cream cheese whipped cream on top of cake and garnish with cherries and chocolate shavings.
- Store in the fridge until an hour before serving.