Special Black Forest Cake Recipe

I love it when clients gives me full artistic freedom AND special cake flavors.   I so so so wanted to crack this cake open to show you guys the beautiful layers of this cake, the rich chocolate cake, cherry cream layers, and the dark chocolate ganache.  A black forest cake heaven!  

Here's what's in the cake.... The chocolate cake is drenched in sweet cherry simple syrup.  Usually it's spiked with kirsch liquor, this one is alcohol free.  I then filled it with cherry cream filling.  It's made by combining fresh whipped cream and cherry pie filling.  If you can find canned bing cherries get those instead.

That's all the tips I can give you.  Try making it on a weekend.  Task a family member to make one component of the cake.  Simple syrup, vanilla buttercream, and the chocolate cake can be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer.

I give you... 



For the cake

132 g cake flour sifted or 1 ¼ cups

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs separated

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cups sugar plus ¼ cups for the meringue

½ cups hot water

⅓ cups all natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cups olive oil plus 2 tablespoons

Simple syrup soak

1 cup cherry tea

½ cups sugar

A splash of cherry liquor like cherry brandy (optional)

Cherry whipped filling

I got 540 mL E.D. smith cherry pie filling because this is the only

one they have in the store.  398 mL M’Lord canned bing cherries is better.

1 cup whipping cream

¼ cup icing sugar

Vanilla Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups icing sugar, measured and then sifted

Chocolate ganache

16 oz semi sweet chocolate

8 oz whipping cream


  1. Preheat the oven at 350 F.  Line the bottom of two 9 inch wide by 2 inch tall round cake pans with parchment paper. 
  2. FOR THE CAKE.  In a small bowl whisk together: sifted cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  3. Whisk cocoa powder and into the hot water.  Make sure to mix until well incorporated and smooth.  Cool it down for 30 minutes.

  4. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. 

  5. Add ¼ cup olive oil to the cocoa powder slurry.

  6. Using the paddle attachment beat the egg yolks on speed 4.  Gradually add ½ cup of sugar into the egg yolk.  Beat until light and fluffy. 

  7. Beat in ⅓ of dry ingredients, ⅓ of wet ingredients into the egg yolk mixture.  Repeat this step 2 more times.  Pour egg yolk batter into another large bowl.  

  8. Wash your large mixer bowl well.  Water and grease will stop egg whites from whipping up, so make sure your mixer bowl is dry and clean.

  9. Pour egg whites into the clean mixer bowl and sprinkle cream of tartar on top.

  10. Beat egg whites on high speed 8 until foamy.  Gradually add in ¼ cup sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.

  11. Using a clean, grease free spatula scoop out some of the egg whites and mix it into the egg yolk mixture.  This will lighten up the egg yolk batter a bit which makes it easier to fold it into the egg white mixture.

  12. Fold in ⅓ of egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture.  Repeat this step 2 more times.  Mix well.

  13. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.  Bake the cakes in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.**   Note:  Each oven is different so make sure to check your cake after 20 minutes.

  14. To check for doneness insert a toothpick at the center of the cake.  The cake is done when toothpick comes out clean.

  15. Cool cake for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes remove the cake from the pan by running a knife along the sides of the cake, place a cooling rack on top of and invert it.    Cool on the countertop for 2 hours before icing the cake.

  16. CHERRY SIMPLE SYRUP. In a medium saucepan mix together cherry flavor tea (or cherry syrup from the canned cherries).  Simmer until sugar is fully dissolved.

  17. CHOCOLATE GANACHE. Pour the chocolate chips into a medium size heat resistant bowl.

  18. In a medium saucepan warm up heavy cream.

  19. Once the cream starts to simmer (bubbling along the saucepan wall), remove it from heat and pour over the chocolate chips.

  20. Let the cream and chocolate mixture settle in the bowl for 5 minutes.

  21. After 5 minutes use a carefully stir the chocolate mixture together.  Keep stirring, it will eventually turn a back into a smooth, chocolate mixture

  22. Cover ganache and let it cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  23. After 30 minutes the mixture should be nice and glossy and spreadable but not runny.

  24.  While we wait for the ganache to thicken prepare the cherry cream filling.

  25. CHERRY PIE FILLING. Using an electric mixer whip cream until stiff peaks form.  

  26. Fold in icing sugar into the whipped cream.

  27. Mix in the cherries.  If you are using pie filling pick out as much cherries as you can from the syrup.  The goal is to try to get as many cherries without including the syrup.  If you are using canned cherries, drain the liquid out.  You can save the liquid and use it for the soaking syrup.  Refrigerate

  28. VANILLA BUTTERCREAM. In a large mixing bowl, with wire whisk attachment whip softened unsalted butter until light and fluffy.

  29. Add sifted icing sugar, salt and vanilla.

  30. Whip on speed 4 for another 5 minutes.  Set aside.

  31. CAKE ASSEMBLY. You will need an 11 inch wide platter. 

  32. Spread a dollop of buttercream at the centre of the platter.  (This will keep the cake from moving about. )

  33. Using a bbq stick or chopsticks, poke holes on both of the cakes.

  34. Brush cherry simple syrup all over the cakes.

  35. Place one of the cakes (cake 1) right side up on the prepared platter.

  36. Fill a small ziplock bag with vanilla buttercream.  Leave some space on top.

  37. Snip off one of the bottom corners of the ziplock bag.   Opening should be about ½ an inch wide.

  38. Orient the snipped corner down.  Twist the top of the ziplock bag. Create a dam for the cherry cream filling by pipping icing along the top perimeter of cake1.

  39. Spread a generous amount of cherry cream filling on cake 1. Try to keep the cherry cream filling within the icing dam.

  40. Flip cake 2 upside down and place it on top of cake 1.

  41. Thinly frost the cake with some of the leftover vanilla buttercream to seal in the crumbs.  NOTE: You don't have to use all the buttercream. A thin coating of buttercream is enough.

  42. Give the ganache a quick stir.  If the ganache is too thin (dripping) wait another 10 minutes before using.  You should be able to scoop out some ganache with a rubber spatula without it dripping off the sides. If the ganache is too thick, add more warm cream until it has thinned out.  You may have to let it sit for another 5 minutes or so.

  43. Spread ganache all over the cake.  If you want a smooth ganache immerse your metal spatula in hot water for 5 minutes. Use it to smooth out the surface.

  44. Garnish with a bit of cherry pie filling on top and your done. Enjoy!

  45. If chocolate ganache is not your thing you may use Sweetened Whipped Cream frosting to cover your cake.


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