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5 from 16 votes

Black Forest Cake Recipe

This is the best homemade cake recipe that looks like it was actually created by a professional baker!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Cooling Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 Slices
Calories: 436kcal
Author: Neha


  • Electric beater/mixer


To make the cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dutch processed)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs (Room temperature)
  • ¼ cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • ¾ cup Buttermilk (Room temperature)
  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee or hot water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can (15 oz) cherries (to place between cake layers)
  • ½ cup Shredded chocolate (for topping on frosted cake)

For Syrup:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cherry liquor

To make the chocolate ganache:

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounce semi-sweet chocolate bars (finely chopped)
  • ¾ tsp corn syrup (optional)

To make the whipping topping:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. To make this recipe as written with the ingredients listed, grease three 6-inch pans and then add parchment paper. Once the parchment paper is added, grease the top of that as well. .
  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set the bowl aside. Grab your mixer and beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk. Once mixed, combine the dry and wet ingredients together, add in the hot water or coffee, and beat until mixed.
  • Take and divide the cake batter between your three greased baking pans evenly. Pop them in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till they pass toothpick test. Once they're done baking, take them out of the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. They will need to cool for about 15 minutes in their baking pans and then you'll want to take them out of the baking pans and allow cooling on the rack.
  • Once the cakes have cooled down completely, take a serrated knife and cut off a thin layer of the tops of cake layers. This will create a flat surface.
  • To make the syrup: Add water and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. This will take about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add and cherry liquor. Cool down and then use that liquid to brush over the tops of all the cakes.
  • To make the chocolate ganache: add the corn syrup and chocolate bits into a bowl. Put the cream into a small saucepan and heat it up on the stove. Once it starts to simmer a bit (no boiling - that's too much heat!) you can take off the heat and pour over the top of the chocolate. Let this sit for about 3 minutes and then stir slowly. *You can also make this chocolate ganache in microwave, using small increments.* Set the melted chocolate aside to let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  • To make the homemade whipped cream: grab an electric mixer and whip the sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla on medium high. You're wanting to create sift peaks which will take about 3 minutes of time or so.
  • Now is the time to assemble the cake! Put the first cake layer on your cake plate. Grab 1 heaping cup of the homeamde whipped cream and spread it carefully on top of the cake. Add some cherries and then put second layer of cake and repeat the same exact process. Then add the third cake later and use the remaining whipped topping on the top and around the sides of the cake. Make it as smooth as possible.
  • Grab the ganache that was made earlier and pour it on top of the cake. Spread it around gently so that it falls down over the sides of the cake. Make whipped cream swirls and add your whole cherries on top and put the frosted cake in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes before slicing.


Storing Information:

You can store leftover cake at room temperature covered tightly at all times for 1-2 days or it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Cherry syrup:
  • Use canned dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup. Then reduce the heavy syrup with cherry liquor for brushing cake layers.
  •  Or if you want your cherries to look even prettier in these layers, add bright red ones in the layers and make simple syrup using sugar, water and cherry liquor.
Buttermilk - If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own. Add 2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup and then fill the rest with milk till you reach ¾ cup mark.
hot water or coffee - Hot liquid blooms cocoa and allows it to mix well in the batter. Add coffee in the cake batter for an extra kick of chocolate flavoring. You won't taste any coffee in the baked cake.
Cocoa Powder: Both natural unsweetened or dutch processed cocoa will work well in this batter. You can even use a combination of both.
Cherries: I used red glazed cherries. You can find them here- not affiliated. Canned dark sweet cherries in heavy syrup, fresh dark sweet cherries or even  maraschino cherries can be used here..


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 436kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 282mg | Sugar: 35g