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Black Forest Cake made with layers of Devil's Food Cake, whipped cream and cherries.

Black Forest Cake

  • Author: Rebecca Blackwell
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 generous slices


Every bite of this Black Forest Cake is loaded with creamy chocolate and juicy cherries. Three deep, dark, rich and chocolaty Devil's Food Cakes are doused with cherry liquor, layered with sweetened vanilla whipped cream and tart Morello cherries, and topped with dark chocolate ganache.



  1. Drain the cherries over a bowl to catch the juice. Combine 2 tablespoons of the cherry juice with the Kirsch or cherry liquor and brush over each of the cake layers while they are still warm, letting the liquid soak into the cakes. Let the cakes cool completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour. (*See note)
  2. Put the chopped bittersweet chocolate into a bowl. Heat 8 ounces of the heavy cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until it is just beginning to simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate, let it sit for 5 minutes undisturbed, then stir until all the chocolate is melted and it's perfectly smooth. Place, uncovered, in the refrigerator until thick enough to spread, stirring from time to time.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the remaining 12 ounces of heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Make sure to beat the cream until it's quite thick - beating it almost to the point where it begins to transform into butter.
  4. Combine the drained cherries with the cherry preserves, stirring gently so that you don't smash the cherries.
  5. Lay one cake layer on a serving platter. Top with 1/2 of the whipped cream, spreading the cream to within about 1/2 -inch of the sides of the cake. Top with 1/2 of the cherries, spreading them out over the cream. Top with a second cake layer. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the second cake layer and top with the remaining cherries, reserving 8-10 cherries for the top of the cake. Top with the third cake layer.
  6. Spread the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and decorate with the reserved cherries. Let the cake sit out at room temperature for 3-4 hours to allow it to thaw. If you're not serving it right away, cover it loosely and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • Freezing the cake layers simply makes the cake much easier to assemble. Devil's Food Cake has a very tender crumb - a quality that makes it meltingly delicious, but also makes stacking a bit challenging. Freezing the cake layers for at least 1 hour (and up to 3 months) makes assembling Black Forest Cake a piece of cake. 🙂
  • If your cake layers have been frozen for more than 1 hour, let the assembled cake sit out at room temperature for 3-4 hours to thaw before serving. After letting the cake thaw at room temperature, refrigerate the cake if you're not serving it right away.
  • Excellent advice from one reader: "Don't be afraid to liberally apply the cherry juice/Kirsch mixture. I was worried about the cake being too wet, but it can definitely stand up to a significant amount."
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes