Black Forest Cake

This black forest cake is the perfect showstopper of a dessert. It combines moist chocolate cake, homemade cherry filling and mascarpone whipped cream.

This black forest cake is the perfect showstopper of a dessert. It combines moist chocolate cake, homemade cherry filling and mascarpone whipped cream.

When I was in my 20’s I traveled to Germany and I fell in love. People always ask me “what is your favorite country you have traveled too” and my reply is always the same – Germany. Usually, people respond with an odd look and then a remark with “Have you been to Italy…or France?” Listen, I get that Italy and France get all the love and while I do in fact think they are gorgeous my heart still belongs to Germany.

On a practical level, I like Germany because it’s easy to get around, the people are friendly and it’s clean. Yes, cleanliness matters on my country ranking scale. On a food level, I love all things sausage and delicious beer is my life.

Plus, black forest cake. Sweet baby J yes!

This black forest cake is the perfect showstopper of a dessert. It combines moist chocolate cake, homemade cherry filling and mascarpone whipped cream.

The last time I was in Germany I was 23 years old and it was the middle of January. In case you’re wondering “Gee. I wonder if it’s cold in Germany in January?” the answer is yes. Very, very, very cold. I remember one day I took a tram up to the top of the mountain to visit a little cafe. I walked around outside for awhile but finally went inside to warm up. I ordered a big slice of black forest cake and a warm mug of mulled wine. The spicy wine mixed with the rich chocolate cake was a match made in heaven. {That’s 23 years old me in that picture}

Nutmeg Nanny in Germany

Since I have no plans on traveling to Germany anytime soon (but I would in a heartbeat if anyone needs me to come out for a trip…) I decided to relive my own memory in my kitchen. Plus I’m turning 33 years old today so it seems fitting.

10 years is just too long to wait for another slice of black forest cake.

Especially when that cake is birthday cake.

{Chocolate not your thing? Try this banana cinnamon streusel coffee cake or this butterscotch pumpkin bundt cake. Also, try my blogger friends twists on black forest cake – black forest smoothie, black forest cheesecake, black forest chocolate chunk muffins or this delicious black forest hot fudge! }

This black forest cake is the perfect showstopper of a dessert. It combines moist chocolate cake, homemade cherry filling and mascarpone whipped cream.

A short note on this cake: It’s a little non-traditional but still delicious. I used sweet cherries in the filling and mascarpone in the frosting. So really it’s my take on Black Forest Cake. Hope you enjoy!


Black Forest Cake

This black forest cake is the perfect showstopper of a dessert. It combines moist chocolate cake, homemade cherry filling and mascarpone whipped cream.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 65 minutes


For cake:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee
  • 1/4 cup brandy

For cherries:

  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups frozen whole cherries, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons kirschwasser

For whipped topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Adapted from Zoe Bakes


For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F, line the bottom 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper and spray the pans with non-stick cooking or baking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.

In a medium sized mixing bowl add egg, egg white, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together until well combined. Drizzle in the coffee and brandy while whisking constantly so you do not scramble your eggs, about 2 minutes total.

Pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to fully combine. The batter will be runny.

Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the middle. Cool completely.

For cherries:
In a small bowl mix together brown sugar and cornstarch.

In a small pot add cherries, dark brown sugar mixture and kirschwasser. Cook over low heat until the mixture cooks down and begins to thicken.

Once it's thick (about 10-15 minutes) remove from the heat and let cool. The mixture should thicken as it cools as well.

For whipped topping:
In the bowl of an electric mixer add heavy whipping cream and beat on high (using your whisk attachment) until soft peaks.

Add in mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste and whip until stiff peaks have formed.

For assembly:
Place one cake on the bottom of your cake stand or cake plate.

Top with 1/2 of the mascarpone whipped topping and 1/2 of the cherry mixture.

Top with remaining cake and spread remaining whipped topping on the top of the cake. Top the cake with the remaining cherries - I like to keep the cherries to the middle so that they do not drizzle too much.

59 Responses to “Black Forest Cake”

  1. #
    June Burns — February 6, 2015 at 6:11 am

    That looks amazing! Nothing like classic black forest cake 🙂

  2. #
    Sammie — February 6, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Oooooh this is my most favourite cake in the whole world. Every year when I was growing up I would have this as my birthday cake and now I’m older I still have it! Love the idea of mascarpone, will have to try.

  3. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — February 6, 2015 at 7:47 am

    I’ve not been to Germany, but my fam is German so i get to eat the food on the reg. It’s all about the sausage and ALL the deep fried dough.
    Oh, and the cake. THIS cake specifically. Gorgeous shots as always! Pinned!

  4. #
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen — February 6, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Happy birthday, luv! This cake looks like the perfect way to celebrate. It’s gorgeous and so are YOU!

  5. #
    Julie @ Tastes of Lizzy T — February 6, 2015 at 8:09 am

    This cake is gorgeous and so is the photography! Love! And happy birthday!

  6. #
    Meg @ The Housewife in Training FIles — February 6, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Well happy birthday and I love your non traditional spin on this cake. What is not to love? I am sucker for cherries!

  7. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — February 6, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Happiest birthday friend!! And what a decadent cake! I love every little crumb here

  8. #
    Liz@HoosierHomemade — February 6, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Happy Birthday!! What an incredible cake and delicious way to celebrate!

  9. #
    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles — February 6, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Happy Birthday! Oh, what a gorgeous cake!!

  10. #
    Martha @ A Family Feast — February 6, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Happy Birthday – this cake is a perfect way to celebrate! I haven’t been to Germany – only Italy – and if it’s better than Italy – it must be fantastic!

  11. #
    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — February 6, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Happy Birthday! What a gorgeous cake to celebrate your day.

  12. #
    Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker — February 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Hope you have an amazing birthday and what a delicious cake too!

  13. #
    Mallory — February 6, 2015 at 9:01 am

    This cake is gorgeous!!! With all the cold weather we’re having, I cold have a piece and imagine I’m in Germany!!

  14. #
    Shashi at RunninSrilankan — February 6, 2015 at 9:09 am

    Happy Happy Birthday – what a GORGEOUS cake to celebrate with!

  15. #
    Renee @ Two in the Kitchen — February 6, 2015 at 9:12 am

    This cake is stunning!! Happy Birthday!! 🙂

  16. #
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction — February 6, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Happy Birthday! Such a beautiful cake to celebrate with!

  17. #
    bb — February 6, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Gorgeous! I like the mascarpone variation.

  18. #
    Lauren @ Wicked Spatula — February 6, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Happy Birthday! What a beautiful cake!

  19. #
    Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits — February 6, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Germany is definitely one of my favorite places to visit in Europe. I’ve only been there during the winter, when the weather was waay too cold for my California girl sensitivities, but I still LOVED it, especially the food!

    Happy birthday! This cake is definitely the best way to celebrate your day!

  20. #
    Stephanie @ Back for Seconds — February 6, 2015 at 10:01 am

    I would love to go to Germany. My family has been there and loved it! This cake. WOah. Just beautiful!!

  21. #
    Heather / girlichef — February 6, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Oh, I’m so jealous – I’ve always wanted to travel to Germany (roots and all). This cake sounds like the perfect way to remember, and to celebrate your birthday – hope it’s a fantastic one.

    p.s. – you look too adorable in the pic. Aaaaah, to be 23 again…

  22. #
    Cookin Canuck — February 6, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I backpacked around Europe for 6 months in my early 20s. Before I left, I told myself that I’d probably spend a week in Germany and then move on. But I fell in love with it and ended up traveling around for a few weeks. Black forest has always been one of my favorites and yours looks fantastic!

  23. #
    The Food Hunter — February 6, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Loved Germany when I was there…and even in September it was COLD! awesome cake

  24. #
    Erin {Delightful E Made} — February 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

    This cake looks wonderful!! Such a fantastic way to treat yourself on your special day! Have a fantastic birthday!

  25. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — February 6, 2015 at 10:58 am

    My BFF is getting ready to go to Germany for work and hasn’t been super excited about it – definitely sending this to her so she can get excited about cake and mulled wine!

    I want a slice of cake now.

  26. #
    Michelle@Healthiersteps — February 6, 2015 at 11:23 am

    When I lived in England I would eat black forest cake. I just went online looking at some before I even saw your post. I would eat the whole cake by myself, mind you I was 20 years old at the time. I couldn’t get away with that now!

  27. #
    CakeSpy — February 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I am so, so, so into this. I have never been to Germany but hear it is a mecca for dessert lovers.

  28. #
    Cat @ Breakfast to Bed — February 6, 2015 at 11:30 am


    I LOVE sacher torte with cherries, and this looks similar, but better, actually.

    Imma make it.

  29. #
    heather @french press — February 6, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Happy Birthday to you!! I have not been to Germany but my parents have a few times and LOVED it. and hello mascarpone whipped cream, I am in heaven. This cake is simply stunning!! enjoy your day

  30. #
    Bea — February 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Happy, happy birthday to you!!! I am so excited to hear that my country is your favorite 🙂 – I am originally from a town that is in between the Black Forest and the Lake of Constance. Black Forest Cake is really a taste of home for me and I love your take on it.

    Again, happy, happy birthday to you!

  31. #
    Becky Winkler — February 6, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    This looks so fabulous. Happy Birthday! I love Germany, too, but don’t think I even had any black forest cake while I was there! I’ll have to go again, and make this recipe for myself in the meantime.

  32. #
    Marly — February 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I think Germany is now my favorite country too….because it inspired you to share this post. Dee-lishous!!

  33. #
    Lauren Kelly Nutrition — February 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    You have seriously outdone yourself with this cake! Happy birthday!!

  34. #
    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats — February 6, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Happy Birthday girl! I actually made Black Forest Cake for my husbands birthday last year, although it didn’t look near as delicious as this. Can’t wait to try.

    PS Germany totally rocks! 🙂

  35. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — February 6, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Brandy!! Happy Birthday!!! I freaking love this cake! This cake is epic!! and I’ve always wanted to go to Germany!! I wish I travelled more before the kids but that’s another story! 😛 hope you have a great birthday!

  36. #
    Laura O @PetiteAllergyTreats — February 6, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    WOW! I’d take this for a birthday cake or any day! Happy Birthday! Pinned this baby. 🙂

  37. #
    Jerry — February 6, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    You’re killing me here. Nothing this gorgeous should ever be shown to a hungry person who can’t get (or steal) a slice or three. I think this might just be my next birthday cake as well

  38. #
    Jennifer | Bake or Break — February 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    That is one gorgeous cake! Happy birthday, my friend!

  39. #
    Laura @MotherWouldKnow — February 6, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    What a decadent and delicious-looking dessert! I’ve made homemade mascarpone and it’s out of this world – I can just imagine what this cake would be like with it.

  40. #
    Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire — February 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Happy birthday!!! Germany is one of my favorite countries too. It’s such a beautiful country. And yes, very clean, (but lots of graffiti in many of the cities) this is such a gorgeous cake. I love it!

  41. #
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout — February 6, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Wow, this cake looks amazing! Black forest cake was one of the first cakes I remember eating. Lovely photos!

  42. #
    Melanie | Melanie Makes — February 6, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    One seriously gorgeous cake – hope you had a great birthday!

  43. #
    Patricia @ Grab a Plate — February 6, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    First, happy birthday! Second, third, and fourth, wow! wow! wow! This is a beautiful cake and I’m sure it’s such a treat!

  44. #
    Becky | The Cookie Rookie — February 7, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Okay…you make the most gorgeous desserts ever!!! LOVE this!

  45. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — February 7, 2015 at 10:20 am

    HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And yes, cake.

  46. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — February 7, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Bahaha. 😀 The people were friendly?! Were you in Bavaria and only Bavaria? I live in Berlin and Berliners are supposedly the rudest (I don’t even like leaving the apartment because of them) but man… you have such a different outlook on Germany! I wish I shared your love for Germany. I’d be so much happier. 😉

    And happy birthday! Your cake looks amazing. Mascarpone whipped cream puts all other whipped creams to shame. It’s really ruined the regular stuff for me.

  47. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — February 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    What a perfect cake to celebrate your birthday! Happy. Happy.

  48. #
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — February 7, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!! Ok, Happy Belated Birthday, but still! 🙂 Ooo I love Germany too, but I’ve only been there once. However I did get to go to the Black Forest and even bought a hand carved cuckoo-clock from a wood-shop in the middle of no where. haha. Totally in love with this cake and the tree cake stand!

  49. #
    Kim Beaulieu — February 8, 2015 at 3:43 am

    I hope you had the bestest darn birthday on the planet. You deserve it.

    This cake is just too gorgeous for words. Black Forest is my favourite kind of cake. I request it every year for my birthday. My daughter hates it so we get two cakes on my birthday. So it’s a huge win for me.

    Kiana is learning German. She already speaks French because I was that mean mom who forced her kids to go to french immersion for grade and high school. She always hated it. Now she just switched majors and is getting her degree in languages. She wants to be a polyglot, her goal is to master at least 5. My goals are naps and combing my hair every day. I think she might have been switched at birth. Ha

  50. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — February 8, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Happiest belated birthday, lady! Germany is the land of my people and my Oma would make the best Black Forest cake… but unfortunately with her passing we also lost the recipe. 🙁 This version looks like it could be just as delicious, though!

  51. #
    Rose | The Clean Dish — February 8, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    As a German girl living in the US, I’m just SO thrilled to hear that someone appreciates our cleanliness and infrastructure!! Two of the things I miss the most. I miss being able to walk to places, take the bus or train… sigh… Black Forest Cake is my favorite and the one you made looks JUST like my mom’s! Loving it!! Makes me homesick…. I bet it tastes amazing!

  52. #
    valmg @ From Val's Kitchen — February 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Oh. My. Heavens. That looks so good! I could go for a piece right now!

  53. #
    Carrie D. — February 10, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I just assembled mine. I can’t find how to add a photo or I would show you. It looks delicious. I made it for a Valentine’s day chocolate cook off at work. I hope we win.

    • nutmegnanny replied: — February 10th, 2015 @ 10:10 am

      Hi Carrie! I hope you love the recipe! Feel free to post a picture to the NN Facebook page 🙂 (

  54. #
    Joanne — February 10, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    You know, I’m just realizing that I have had a LOT of mediocre black forest cake in my life…and I really think I need to make up for it with this. My birthday IS coming up soon…

  55. #
    Michaela — January 11, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Dear Brandy, I am from Germany and of course I eaten many Black Forest cherry cake in my life…. BUT never ever such abrilliant delicious one !!!! Perfekt
    xx Michaela


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