Black Forest Cake

By Marge Perry & David Bonom
Assemble this glorious show-stopper of a cake just two hours before serving, but the cake layers may be baked a day ahead; wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated. The cherries may also be prepared a day ahead, but the whipped cream should be made as the cake is assembled.
  • Course: Dessert


  • All Purpose Flour
  • Almond extract
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • buttermilk
  • Cake:
  • Cherries:
  • cold semi-sweet chocolate
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • eggs
  • frozen dark sweet cherries
  • Garnish:
  • heavy cream
  • kirsch
  • Salt
  • Semi-sweet chocolate
  • sugar
  • Topping:
  • unsalted butter
  • Vanilla Extract


  1. Combine the cherries, kirsch, and sugar in a bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl down occasionally. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 15 seconds
  5. Bake in the center of the oven until top of cake springs back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-37 minutes. Cool in pans on a wire rack 15 minutes
  6. Drain the cherry mixture, reserving liquid. Set aside 15 whole cherries and coarsely chop the remaining.
  7. Combine the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, kirsch, and almond extract in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat to stiff peaks.
  8. To assemble: Cut each cake horizontally in half to make a total of four layers. Place each layer cut side up on a flat plate or board: brush the cut side of each layer with about 1 tablespoon of the reserved cherry liquid. (The remaining liquid may be discarded or used for another purpose.)
  9. Place 4 12-inch long by 3-inch wide strips of paper (parchment or way) around the perimeter of the cake platter. Place one layer, cut side up, on the platter, partially over the paper. (When you are finished frosting the cake, the paper is removed, leaving the cake platter clean.) Place about one-third of the chopped cherries on the cake and spread about 1 ½ cups whipped cream over them in an even layer. Repeat with the next two layers