Cakes, Dessert, Sweets & treats

Black forest cake Version II

Black Forest Cake

I know I’ve posted a black forest cake attempt before, but this one follows a different recipe for the chocolate sponge and look, this time I have fresh cherries on my cake so it looks like a proper black forest! 🙂

Hello hello! I hope that the new year has started well for everyone! If not, that’s ok too. You have the the whole year to better it. 🙂 It’s currently a very toasty summer here, so that also means cherries are at their prettiest and freshest to buy and eat. Black forest cake is one of my parents’ favourites and they asked me to make one when our relatives came over for a new year lunch.

When I’m making a cake for a rather large party and I want to make sure that everyone gets at least one slice should they want a piece, I sometimes like to use the decoration as a guideline. For example, there were 15 people (including 2 children) that day, so 15 cherries on top it was.

Black Forest Cake

As you can see I really didn’t do anything fancy to decorate this cake yet I think it turned out rather pretty. I really love my dark reds, so I particularly like how the cherries look against the cream. For the chocolate shavings I generally use dark chocolate, reasons being I like the darker colour and that dark chocolate is not as sweet, but hey when you’re the baker, the choice is yours!

It has only occurred to me just now but this cake is really the cake of three Cs: Chocolate, Cream and Cherries. (How did I just realise this now??) and it’s a very nice combination indeed.

Black Forest Cake

For a while now I’ve been trying out a lot of cake recipes that don’t require butter in the batter. My reason for this is because a lot of the time I have to make my cakes in advance (i.e. they might be in the fridge for a few hours before serving) and I find no matter how much simple syrup I add, my cake layers end up much too firm for my liking. When you make a cake that contains whipped cream in the summer and it is not going to be eaten immediately, you don’t really have a choice but to put it in the fridge.

A bit of digging around the internet led me to Elena of As Easy as Apple Pie and her Chocolate Italian Sponge Cake, and I think from now on this will be my go-to chocolate sponge. Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 1.17.03 PM
Her recipe yields a cake that is delicious on its own, but while it remains firm enough when cooled to slice into layers, it still remains springy and soft even after it has been stacked to make a cake and put into the fridge. What’s especially good is that it is simple to make and her recipe does not call for any fancy or fidgety ingredients that you might have to go out of your way to buy. If you’re looking to make this cake in a different size, Elena has also listed the amount of ingredients needed on her page 🙂

*Added 17 Jan 2016: I think when making sponge cakes the type of flour you use is important, as it will play an important part in how soft and airy-fairy your cake will eventually turn out. No one wants a ‘tough’ sponge, and this is where using cake flour will help. Don’t fret if you do not have cake flour on hand because you can easily make your own by substituting out 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch from every 1 cup of plain flour you use. And then it’s just a matter of sifting the cornstarch in with the plain flour very thoroughly. If you’d like to understand how this combination works,have a read of Joy the Baker’s post on the science of it all: Baking 101.

As I have mentioned before in another post, my family isn’t too keen on too much cream, so I generally use just enough to pipe and cover the cake. I usually find that about 600ml of whipping cream is enough for me, but if you’re a cream fan, go ahead and add about 300ml more cream and 15 grams powdered sugar to whip!

For all the curious bunnies, l’intérieur de mon gâteau:

Black forest cake interior

So there you have it! Another Black forest cake attempt from me and I am personally quite satisfied with my efforts. If you try making this cake following the recipe listed below then I’d love to hear how you went! If there is anything you don’t understand or didn’t work, please feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment below 🙂 I will get back to you in a jiffy! Thank you for visiting and may your baking adventures be successful for the 2016 year:)

Black Forest Cake


Black Forest Cake
Adapted from Joy of Baking
Chocolate Sponge recipe from: As Easy as Pie
Makes: One 22cm/9 inch cake


Cherry Filling

350 ml (12 ounce) jar of Morello Cherries in syrup
4 tablespoons Kirsch or Cherry Brandy (optional)
25 grams (1/8 cup) granulated white sugar

Chocolate Sponge:

5 eggs at room temperature
150 grams granulated sugar
120 grams cake flour
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder

Whipped Cream Frosting

600 ml (2 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream (double cream)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (35 grams) icing sugar



Drain the cherries, reserving the liquid. Halve cherries, making sure all pips are gone. If using brandy, place the cherries in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons Kirsch. Cover cherries with plastic wrap and set aside. Place 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the reserved cherry syrup in a small saucepan, along with the sugar, and heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat; if using cherry brandy add 2 tablespoons to mixture and let cool.

Chocolate sponge:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (338 degrees F).
Butter and flour or spray with baking spray a 22 cm (9 inch) pan.
Beat the sugar and eggs until very fluffy and pale yellow (about 15 minutes on medium/high speed, or mixture has tripled in volume).
Sift the flour and cocoa powder on top of the egg mixture, a little at a time, and fold it gently with a spatula or wooden spoon, from bottom to top.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Don’t smooth the top or bang the pan on the counter, leave it as it is.
Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. (Don’t open the oven for the first 20 minutes as this will cause the cake to collapse.)
Turn off the oven but leave the chocolate Italian sponge cake inside for at least 10 minutes. You may use a wooden spoon to prop open the oven door slightly to help the cake cool slowly. After removing the cake from the oven, continue to let it rest for another 10 minutes before turning it out. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting into desired amount of layers.

Whipped Cream Frosting

In your mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla extract, and icing sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, then beat the mixture just until stiff peaks form.

Assemble Cake: Using a sharp knife, cut the sponge, horizontally, into two layers. Turn over the top layer of the cake (top of cake becomes bottom) and place on your serving plate.

Brush the cake layer with 1/4 cup (60 ml) cherry syrup.
Mix in the halved morello cherries with 3/4 to 1 cup of whipped cream before spreading it onto the moistened cake layer.
Place other half of cake layer onto the cherry filling and brush the second sponge layer with remaining syrup. Remember to reserve one cup (240 ml) of whipped cream (for piping) and spread the remaining cream over top and sides of cake. Place reserved cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe rosettes on top of cake.
Decorate the sides and top of the cake with dark chocolate shavings. Cover and refrigerate cake for several hours (preferably overnight) before serving. Place cherries or other fresh fruit on top of the cake before serving.



17 thoughts on “Black forest cake Version II

    • I used to just use plain flour instead of cake flour when I was just starting to make sponge cakes and while I don’t think there’s much of a difference between using the two flours if you’re going to eat the cake as it is shortly after it comes out of the oven, I found out that the differing protein content in the flours contribute to how ‘tough’ the cake might turn out once completely cooled and set aside for later use.
      There is a very good solution if you don’t have cake flour on hand (like me), and that is to substitute out 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch from every 1 cup of plain flour you use. And then it’s just a matter of sifting the cornstarch in with the plain flour very thoroughly.

      Of course I will check out your blog! Thank you for visiting mine ^^

    • Thank you! I must say I am happy with the way it turned out too, and it was relatively hassle free, which is always good! 🙂 Thank you very much for stopping by.

  1. Wow looks so delicious!! I really wish I can make cake like black forest one day.. So I can make birthday cake too 🙂
    Should I try this? Is this recipe ok for beginner like me?

    If you don’t mind, Please visit my blog ( or my Instagram (lazymom_cooking) for some recipe ideas 🙂

    • Don’t be fooled by how fancy some cake shops make their Black Forest Cakes! Having made this cake a few times now I don’t believe it to be too hard to make 🙂 For the large part, the sponge of the cake is the most important part, and this recipe I’m following is easy as it is tasty 🙂
      Thank you for visiting my blog and of course I will visit yours too! All the best with your baking! 🙂

  2. What an elegant cake. I’d love to try it myself…great directions. I am confused about one thing. It looks like this is a 2 pan, double layer, cake yet recipe says use one 9″ pan. Just how tall is your pan? Anxious for any answer or help. Thank you. I’ll be a new follower for sure.

    • Hi Lexy! I’m always happy to help 🙂 So yes, I used just one normal 9 inch cake pan to bake my chocolate sponge, only that I used a knife later to cut the cake into two even layers after it had cooled completely. My pan is nearly 3 inches in height (approx. 7cm). I have on occasions separated my batter into two (even three!) separate 9 inch pans (of the same height) when baking cakes and cooked them simultaneously, but since I didn’t do so with this recipe I am hesitant to give you alternative cooking times as I haven’t tested it out myself. Let me know if you’d like any further clarification- love helping out where I can and thank you very much for visiting! 🙂

  3. chillidoug says:

    What a great recipe, Joyce! I made it for Christmas dinner and it was fantastic. I did have to adjust the recipe a bit since I had frozen black cherries. I thawed the cherries and kept the juice, added kirsch to the juice when I made the syrup, then added about a tablespoon of kirsch to the whipped cream. Thank your for the recipe I will be making it again, soon!

    • Hi Doug,

      That’s wonderful to hear that your cake was a success!! 🙂 I’d love to try adding kirsch the way you did if I get the chance to make this cake for only adults. Thank you very much for coming back and letting me know of your baking success. All the best to you for the new year!

  4. AzizB says:

    Joyce I tried making the plain non-chocolate version of this cake. I followed the recipe to a tee but it came out pretty tough in my opinion. This weekend I want to try your black forest so lets see how that goes. I noticed that the original recipe calls for 4 extra large eggs yet you are listing 5 eggs. Did you use large eggs as opposed to XL? When I weighed my eggs for the plain cake they were less than 70 grams each, maybe thats why my cake was on the hard side? I’m thinking a little extra egg won’t kill this cake so better to be over 70gm/egg than under right?

    • Hello! Well, to answer your first question about the number of eggs I used – Elena’s (As Easy as Apple Pie) original recipe using 4 eggs is for a 18-20 cm / 7-8 inch baking pan. She helpfully added in conversions for those wanting to scale up/down the amount of cake batter and in my case, I wanted to scale it up to bake in a 22 cm /9 inch pan, hence my recipe above calling for 5 eggs. I’ve never been so particular as to weigh my eggs, but any eggs I buy from the supermarket are all marked as extra large.

      When whisking the sugar and eggs together, your mixture should be very thick and fluffy and quite voluminous before you add in any dry ingredient! As a test, when you lift the beaters up from the mixture, the mixture should fall back in a thick continuous ribbon- when that happens you’ll know your egg and sugar mixture is well whisked, and has incorporated lots of air.

      While it’s true that eggs are important in cake to help with the leavening process as well as texture and flavour, how much you stir the mixture especially after you’ve added in flour is just as critical in how light and fluffy your cake will turn out – try to mix as little as possible; most recipes will suggest mixing until just combined. Remember to sift your flour and cocoa, and you can fold your flour into your batter in portions rather than attempting to stir it all in in one go to help prevent over-mixing.

      I hope that helps! Let me know how you go! Or if you’ve got any other questions 🙂

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