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German Black Forest Cake Recipe

The cake originated from the Black Forest region of Germany in the 16th century.This is the first century in which chocolate was incorporated into cakes and cookies, and the Black Forest region of Germany was famous for its cherries and cherry brandy.

The History Behind the German Cake

1. Cherry Brandy: Use a less expensive brand (bottom shelf) to keep this cake affordable. Or use Schladerer Kirschwasse (cherry schnapps). 2. Cherries: Use canned dark sweet cherries in a heavy syrup or jarred sweet cherries. Don’t use maraschino cherries or tart cherries. 3. Cherry Juice: Drain the cherries from the cans. Reserve the cherry juice in a separate bowl. 4. Dark Chocolate: Find a bar of high quality dark chocolate and grate it on a cheese grater.

Fill a medium sized pot with water. Choose a bowl large enough to sit on the rim of the pot to create a double boiler.



Separate the eggs, putting the yolks in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer. Turn the stand mixer to a high speed, and whip the egg whites until stiff.

In the medium bowl, add the granulated sugar to the egg yolks and beat with a hand mixer until the mixture turns foamy.



Pour the egg yolks into the melted chocolate and use a whisk to combine the batter.


Grease a 9” springform pan. Cut out a piece of parchment paper the size of the bottom of the pan, then lay the parchment paper in the pan.


 Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Make the cherry pie filling. Once thickened, add the cherries into the thickened juice and stir. Set aside to cool.

Make the homemade whipped cream. 

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE IN LAYERS:  Cake, Cherry Brandy, Cherries + Sauce, Whipped Cream, Cake, Cherry Brandy Cherries + Sauce), Whipped Cream, Cake, Cherry Brandy, Whipped Cream, Fresh Cherries

You don’t have to make a full cherry filling. Some recipes call for just putting the dry cherries in between the layers of cake. 

Expert Tip

The cherry brandy is necessary to keep some moisture in the cake. Black Forest Cake tends to be on the dry side so adding the cherry brandy gives some moisture back into the cake.

Expert Tip

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