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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.

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!

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}

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! }

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.