FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Home > Dessert > Cake > Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This Black Forest Cake is my version of the famous German chocolate cake, aka “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.” It has 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch-infused cherries and a light whipped cream.

It is a stunning and decadent cake but it’s fairly simple to make with just 11 ingredients (which is peanuts for a cake!). The chocolate shavings make this Black Forest cake very forgiving in terms of decoration for those of us who are cake styling impaired :).

Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

This black forest cake is an adult cake as it has kirsch (a cherry liqueur) and isn’t overly sweet. The kirsch is not overpowering but you can tell it’s there. I figured if you slice it into 12 generous pieces, each would have 1 tsp of kirsch. If making this cake for children, omit the kirsch and add a 1 Tbsp sugar to the cherry syrup for more flavor.

*Recipe Tips:  You can use thawed frozen cherries or canned cherries. If using canned cherries, select cherries in water or juice, omit the 1/4 cup additional water and use the juice from the can instead. Also, maraschino cherries can be used for the topping/decor. A golden rum would taste good too, but kirsch is more authentic. Watch our easy video tutorial on how to measure correctly!

*Note:

Recipe for the Black Forest Cake updated 4/22/16 to be more fail proof. Several of you mentioned your cakes did not rise as much as mine. I heard you and re-baked the cake. After some testing, I noticed the best results when increasing the mixing time to 8 minutes (rather than 5) and using 4 Tbsp butter (rather than 8). It rose beautifully and perfectly. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake Layers:

9 large eggs, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour *measured correctly
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

What you’ll need:

Two 9″ cake pans and flour sifter or fine sieve

Black Forest Cake

Ingredients For the Filling:

4 cups (1 lb) bing cherries, pitted, plus 12 whole cherries for decor (If not in season, see *Recipe Tips)
3 Tbsp kirsch (a cherry liqueur)
1/4 cup cold water

For the Frosting/Topping:

3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup Confectioners sugar
1 Tbsp kirsch (cherry liqueur)
4 oz good quality dark chocolate

Black Forest Cake-2

How to Make Black Forest Cake Layers: 

If you’ve never made a European Sponge Cake, watch the video before you get started to see what the batter should look like.

Prep: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of two 9″ round pans with parchment paper (don’t grease sides).

1. Beat 9 large eggs with the whisk attachment for 1 min on high speed. With the mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating on high speed a full 8 min. It will be thick and fluffy.

Tip from reader, Hilda: “How do you know u get the right consistency? Lift up your beater (whisk) from the batter. Make a figure “8” using the batter that drip off the beater. Then count to 10 seconds. If the figure 8 still remains on top of the batter, then u have the right consistency. If the figure 8 sinks into the batter before 10 secs, then u need to beat it longer.”

Black Forest Cake-18

Tip: the mixture it should fall off the whisk and still ‘stand up’ on the cake mixture

2. Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup cocoa powder and sift in thirds into the batter, folding with a spatula between each addition. Once all flour is in, continue to fold just until no streaks of flour remain, scraping the bottom of the bowl to get any pockets of flour hiding at the bottom; do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.

3. Gently fold in 1/2 tsp vanilla and room temp butter, folding as you add butter in a steady stream and scraping from the bottom to make sure you don’t have butter pooling at the bottom. Fold just until incorporated. Divide batter equally between two prepared cake pans and BAKE RIGHT AWAY in fully preheated oven at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes (my oven took 22 min), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: Once the butter is added, it must be transferred to baking pans and put into the oven immediately or the batter can deflate quickly.

Black Forest Cake-19

4. Let cool in pans for 10 min then run a knife or thin edged spatula around the edges to loosen cake. Transfer to a wire rack and remove parchment backing. When cakes are at room temp, and you’re ready to assemble, slice cake layers in half with a long serrated knife.

Black Forest Cake-20

Making the Syrup for Black Forest Cake:

1. Roughly chop pitted cherries and place in a medium bowl with 3 Tbsp kirsch. Let sit at room temp for at least 30 min, stirring a couple times, then drain cherries in a sieve over a bowl. Keep the cherries and syrup. Add 1/4 cup cold filtered water to the syrup to get about 3/4 cup total syrup.

Black Forest Cake-14

Making the Cream:

For best results freeze bowl and whisk attachment 15 min before using.

1. Beat 3 1/2 cups heavy cream with whisk attachment on high speed until soft peaks form, add 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp kirsch and beat on high until stiff and spreadable (1-2 min). Refrigerate until ready to use (tip: keep whisk attachment in the bowl – you can whip it another 30 seconds if it seems slightly loose after refrigeration).

Black Forest Cake-15

Assembling your Black Forest Cake:

1. Place first cake layer on a cake stand and brush with 1/4 of the syrup. Cover the top with about 3/4 cup frosting (3 ice cream scoops’ worth) and top with 1/3 of the chopped cherries. Repeat with remaining layers and top with the flattest layer. Transfer 1 1/2 cups frosting to a pastry bag with a large flower tip and refrigerate until ready to use (don’t handle the bag too much or the cream will soften). Fill the cracks along the sides of cake with frosting then frost the top and sides with remaining frosting.

Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

2. To make chocolate shavings, you can either melt chocolate in the microwave, spread it thin over the back of a baking sheet with the help of a food scraper, then refrigerate a few minutes and use a food scraper to create bark-like shavings. This is the more authentic way. Alternatively, you can use a potato peeler to shave a chunk of chocolate, It will still be pretty but it won’t have the same “black forest cake” feel to it.

3. Cover sides and top of cake with chocolate shavings leaving a 1″ perimeter on top for piping frosting. Pipe rounds of frosting around the top of the cake and place a whole cherry over each one. Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving for the flavors to meld.

Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

Black Forest Cake Recipe

4.65 from 129 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com
This Black Forest Cake is a German chocolate cake with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and a light whipped cream. If making for children, omit kirsch and add 1 Tbsp sugar to the cherry syrup.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Medium
Cost to Make: $18-$20
Keyword: Black Forest Cake
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 -14 slices

Ingredients

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake Layers:

What you'll need:

  • Two 9" cake pans and flour sifter or fine sieve

Ingredients for Cherry Filling:

  • 4 cups 1 lb bing cherries, pitted, plus 12 whole cherries for decor (see *Recipe Tips)
  • 3 Tbsp kirsch a cherry liqueur
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For the Frosting/Topping:

  • 3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Confectioners powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp kirsch cherry liqueur
  • 3 oz good quality dark chocolate

Instructions

How to Make Cake Layers: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Line bottoms of cake pans with parchment (don't grease sides).

  1. Beat 9 eggs with the whisk attachment for 1 min on high. With the mixer on, gradually add 1 cup sugar and continue beating on high speed a full 8 min. It will be thick and fluffy. Tip: the mixture it should fall off the whisk and still ‘stand up’ on the cake mixture
  2. Whisk together 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup cocoa powder and sift in thirds into batter, folding with a spatula between each addition. Once all flour is in, continue to fold just until no streaks of flour remain, scraping the bottom of the bowl to get any pockets of flour; do not over-mix or you will deflate the batter.
  3. Gently fold in 1/2 tsp vanilla and room temp butter, folding as you add butter in a steady stream and scraping from the bottom to make sure you don't have butter pooling at the bottom. Fold just until incorporated. Divide batter equally between two prepared cake pans and BAKE RIGHT AWAY in fully preheated oven at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes (my oven took 22 min), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: Once the butter is added, it must be transferred to baking pans and put into the oven immediately or the batter can deflate quickly.
  4. Let cool in pans for 10 min then run a thin edged spatula around edges to loosen cake. Transfer to a wire rack and remove parchment backing. When cakes are at room temp, and you're ready to assemble, slice cake layers in half with a long serrated knife.

Making the Syrup:

  1. Roughly chop pitted cherries and place in a medium bowl with 3 Tbsp kirsch. Let sit at room temp for at least 30 min, stirring a couple times, then drain cherries in a sieve over a bowl. Keep the cherries and syrup. Add 1/4 cup cold filtered water to the syrup to get about 3/4 cup total syrup.

Making the Cream: For best results freeze bowl and whisk attachment 15 min before using.

  1. Beat 3 1/2 cups heavy cream with whisk attachment on high speed until soft peaks form, add 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp kirsch and beat on high until stiff and spreadable (1-2 min). Refrigerate until ready to use (tip: keep whisk attachment in the bowl - you can re-whip if it seems slightly loose after refrigeration).

Assembling your Black Forest Cake:

  1. Place first cake layer on a cake stand and brush with 1/4 of the syrup. Cover top with about 3/4 cup frosting and top with 1/3 of the chopped cherries. Repeat with remaining layers and top with the flattest layer. Transfer 1 1/2 cups frosting to a pastry bag with a large flower tip and refrigerate until ready to use (don't handle the bag too much or the cream will soften). Fill the cracks along the sides of cake with frosting then frost the top and sides with remaining frosting.
  2. To make chocolate shavings, you can either melt chocolate in the microwave, spread it thin over the back of a baking sheet, then refrigerate a few min and use a food scraper to create bark-like shavings. This is the more authentic way. Alternatively, you can use a potato peeler to shave a chunk of chocolate.
  3. Cover sides and top of cake with chocolate shavings leaving a 1" perimeter on top for piping frosting. Pipe rounds of frosting around the top of the cake and place a whole cherry over each one. Refrigerate cake for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe Notes

*Recipe Tips: Measure flour by spooning it into a measuring cup and level off top with back of a knife. You can use thawed frozen cherries or canned cherries. If using canned cherries, select cherries in water or juice, omit the 1/4 cup additional water and use the juice from can instead. Maraschino cherries can be used for the topping/decor.

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag banner

♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥
Shown in this post: (no one paid us to write this; just affiliate links for stuff we love):
*The lovely turquoise Fiesta Cake Plate with Server.
*The OXO strainer/sifter is totally multi-purpose!
* This OXO Cherry Pitter (works for olives too!)
*Ofcourse the “workhorse” of the kitchen: KitchenAid Pro 6Qt
*We sure enjoy our Wusthof knife block set. Great knives are essential.
Visit our Shop to see all the tools we use and love.
Black Forest Cake (a famous German Chocolate Cake) with 4 chocolatey layers, 1 lb of kirsch infused cherries and whipped cream. So good!! | NatashasKitchen.com

Admit it, you want a slice! 🙂 What’s your favorite cherry dessert (besides this one of course)?

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Alena
    June 8, 2017

    I love baking, and this cake turned out AMAZING, I made this for a graduation party and every loved it!! I used a hand mixture, (because you know, I’m a college student and can’t afford a nice one right now:( ) I ended up beating for almost 18 min. It made it super fluffy. I remember my mom would always make this sponge cake, she would just leave the mixture whipping, she would alway say “it’s not done until the sugar is completely melted. When you taste it there shouldn’t be any sugar crystals.”

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 8, 2017

      I’m happy you love the recipe Alena! Great tip from your Mom! Thanks for sharing <3

      Reply

  • Valerie
    June 6, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    So excited to make this cake for my brother’s birthday!! Your recipe looks perfect… as always.
    For the whipped cream frosting, do you think stabilizing it with gelatin would help? Also what are your tips for frosting without a turntable I need so much help LOL

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 6, 2017

      I haven’t tried anything for stabilization so I can’t really say, but that definitely gives me ideas for a future recipe post! I also don’t have a turntable and I just use an offset spatula and work my way around the cake, turning the cake platter as needed. I make due without one 🙂

      Reply

    • Bunny
      June 7, 2017

      Valerie,

      The best way to stabilize Whippe Cream is by using powdered agar agar. Most Health Food Stores carry it, and one gal in my newbie baker page on Fb, found it at her WalMart in the Asian section. Here’s some info, and the recipe to stabilize whipped cream.

      Agar Agar
      WHIPPED CREAM RECIPE:
      Ingredients:
      1 c. whipping cream
      2 T. confectioners sugar
      1 t. powdered agar agar
      Whip cream until almost ready. Add confectioners’ sugar and agar agar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. This cream topping/filling will stay firm and not separate.

      Agar forms a gel at 88° F and does not melt below 136°F. It is unflavored and is rich in iodine and trace minerals.

      Agar’s setting properties are stronger than unflavored gelatin and will set at room temperature after an hour. It is a high protein food and should be refrigerated for storage.

      The basic Agar Gel recipe is 2 t. of powder to 2 c. of liquid. Soak the agar in the liquid for about 10-15 min. Bring to boil and simmer stirring until the agar completely dissolves (about 5 minutes).
      If you are unsure of the setting ability of the gel, you can test it by placing a small amount of the cooked gel on a cold saucer. It should set within 20-30 seconds. If not add more agar and re-cook.

      If it is too firm, add more liquid and repeat cooking steps. The beauty of agar is that it can be boiled and re-melted if necessary.

      Agar can also be used as a stabilizer, keeping whipped cream toppings firm and preventing separation. Add 2 T. confectioner sugar and 1 t. agar powder to 1 c. heavy whipping cream that is almost whipped. Finish whipping until stiff peaks form.

      It also aids with your meringue toppings as well. Beat 3 egg whites with ¼ t. cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add 5 T. sugar, beating until sugar dissolves. In a small bowl combine 1 T. sugar, ½ t. agar and 1 T. boiling water. Stir mixture well. Add to egg whites and continue beating until mixture stands in stiff glossy peaks. Spread on top of pie, sealing the edge of pastry. Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden.

      Some other names assigned to Agar Agar powder are: Japanese gelatin, Japanese isinglass, Chinese gelatin, vegetable gelatin, Chinese isinglass and Angel’s hair – a member of a group of food additive products of gels, thickeners, emulsifiers and jellies. Agar is commonly available in flakes, powder and bars A substitute would be un-flavored gelatin but the gelatin is made from animal by-products and unacceptable for vegetarians.

      Agar’s gelling ability is affected by high acidity. More acidic foods like strawberries and citrus may require a higher agar to liquid ratio.

      Some foods will prevent gelling. Fresh kiwi is too acidic and pineapple, fresh figs, paw paws, papaya, mango and peaches contain enzymes, which break down the gelling ability of the agar.

      Cooked fruit seems to lose this effect.

      Chocolate and spinach also prohibit gelling.

      My signature frosting is a ‘Mock Whip’ and one ingredient is agar agar. It helps stabilize the frosting since it starts with 1 cup of any liquid – water and a flavor, champagne, kirsch, framboise, Limoncello, etc.

      When I was the pastry chef at our local Ramada Inn, the GM asked if I could put a Black Forest Cake on the Dessert Cart, so I made a Kirsch Mock Whip, since it would hold up in a warm room indefinitely.

      I also have many wedding cakes in the Thousand Islands, where I live. My cakes are in hot tents, at resorts, and on private islands. My Mock Whip is stabilized up to 110 degrees.

      I also add it to my French Buttercream Frostings to help them hold up in the heat.

      Reply

    • Bunny
      June 7, 2017

      Valerie,

      When I was first starting out my business, 50 years ago, I used a plain ole Rubbermaid turntable. I put a white plastic Wilton separator plated on top of it, and I had a cake turntable.

      I’m redoing my pantry right now, and I got some cheap cake pans at the dollar store. I fill one with marbles, and put a second cale pan on top of the marbles. to make turntables for everything – spices, condiments like soy sauce, etc. Quick and easy.

      Reply

  • Anne
    May 16, 2017

    I split into three pans, followed directions exactly, it is flat, 1/3″, throw away, and I am good cook

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 16, 2017

      Hi Anne, with this classic European sponge cake (genoise), it is critically important to beat the mixture long enough on high speed with a high powered mixer since the cake relies on the volume of the eggs to rise. Also, it is very important to bake the cake right away without letting it sit on the counter so your oven should be preheated by the time you are done dividing the mixture between the pans. I hope that helps for next time!! Also, if you are new to making sponge cakes, I would highly recommend watching my sponge cake video tutorial.

      Reply

      • Anne
        May 16, 2017

        I followed directions exact, had oven on, even timed beating eggs 8 minutes, cake straight in, must say I’ve never messed up a cake this bad before

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 16, 2017

          Hi Anne, what did you use to beat the eggs and sugar? I recommend a high powered mixer and if using a hand mixer, you do need to beat a little longer since a stand mixer whips in air more efficiently. Also, was your butter no longer warm when you added it? That could also cause it to fall. I hope that helps!!

          Reply

  • Marina
    May 1, 2017

    Natasha, I noticed that when I add batter to the recipe, the flour curles up in a ball again even if I sift it (when I start mixing it in). Then streaks of flour persist throughout the cake (as I am afraid to flatten the mixture, I am never sure how much mixing it will take). Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 1, 2017

      Hi Marina, If you are adding cocoa with the flour, you definitely want to be sifting it in and I found it really helps to sift in thirds and folding between each addition. I fold an extra 5-7 times after I no longer see flour streaks and make sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl to catch any hidden pockets of flour.

      Reply

  • Darcia Darcy
    April 20, 2017

    This was the best cake that most people at my mom’s birthday party said they’d ever had. I was shocked that the whipped cream held up SO well. It was still beautiful 4 days after I had made it (for the last of the leftovers!). I used home-canned bing cherries as fresh were out of season, but WOW, everything about this cake was perfect.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 20, 2017

      I’m happy to hear that! Thanks for sharing your awesome review Darcia!

      Reply

  • Madeeha Maham
    April 19, 2017

    Hi Kristina, I love this recipe but I don’t want to add alcohol to the cake. What can you use as a substitute for cherry liqueur making the cake alcohol free.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 19, 2017

      Madeeha, cherry juice of sugar water with a splash of lemon juice would work as alcohol alternative. Let me know how it turns out 😬

      Reply

      • Madeeha Maham
        April 19, 2017

        Thank you very much! I will make it and let you know. I have also looked at your other recipes, they look amazing 🙂

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          April 19, 2017

          Thank you! I look forward to hearing your reviews!

          Reply

      • Madeeha Maham
        April 19, 2017

        Thank you very much! I will make it and let you know. btw I had a look at your other recipes, they seem amazing 🙂

        Reply

  • Ann Thomas
    April 15, 2017

    Hey Natasha! I was really excited to try out this recipe, and I made it as 3 batches since I found that I had so much batter. And even though I am sure I followed your instructions, the final cake appeared to be little more on the eggy side than chocolatey. I wonder what I did wrong… :/

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 15, 2017

      Hi Ann, It’s hard to say without being there but I am always happy to help troubleshoot – hearing that you made it in 3 batches – I’m wondering if you possibly had the unbaked cake layers sitting on the counter while the first and second one baked? This cake should be baked right away as soon as it is made. Otherwise, the other 2 reasons for the cake to be on the “eggy” side is if the eggs and sugar and not whipped sufficiently and the mixture does not rise. Did your batter look like mine before it went into the oven? I hope that helps!

      Reply

    • CC
      August 14, 2017

      Our cake turned out just like the photo and was tasty, but I didn’t find I could really taste the cherries and kirsch.

      Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        August 15, 2017

        Hi CC, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 We try to keep the kirsch on the lower side so it is appealing to most, but you can absolutely add more to give it even more flavor 🙂

        Reply

  • Zuki
    March 31, 2017

    Hi Natasha

    I would like to try the cake but cover it with fondant. I want to do it on Saturday evening and frost it, then cover with fondant and decorate on Sunday then eat on Monday, but i am worried about the whipped cream and the cherries that i will use on the cake as i do not put my cakes in the fridge…please help how does the frosting and the syrup do outside the fridge for 2 days?

    Many thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 31, 2017

      This cake should be refrigerated overnight. Generally, when there is dairy in the frosting, it should be refrigerated for food safety reasons.

      Reply

  • J Patel
    March 31, 2017

    How to the proportions convert if I try to make it for half the serving size? Should I cut everything into half?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 31, 2017

      Are you thinking to make just 1 layer instead of dividing it between to cake pans? I think that would work fine. I would bake the same length of time and just make have the recipe and pour it all into 1 9″ cake pan.

      Reply

  • Komal
    March 30, 2017

    Hi i didnt see baking powder in the recipe can i put 1 tsp or not?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 30, 2017

      Hi Komal, it isn’t necessary in this one but it wouldn’t hurt to add 1/2 tsp baking powder if you were more comfortable doing that. This cake relies on the volume of the eggs for leavening/rising so it will rise as long as you beat the eggs and sugar properly, bake right away and make sure you do not overmix once you add the butter. I hope that helps! 🙂

      Reply

    • Bunny
      June 9, 2017

      Hi Alena,

      The entire point of a Genoise is that it gets its leavening from beaten eggs. That’s why there are no other leaveners in the recipe, i.e. baking powder.

      Here’s the definition of a genoise –

      A genoise is an Italian sponge cake named after the city of Genoa and associated with Italian and French cuisine. Instead of using chemical leavening, air is suspended in the beaten eggs during mixing to provide volume

      Genoise should not be confused with pain de Gênes (“Genoa bread”) which is made from almond paste, but it is similar to pan di Spagna (“Spanish bread”), another Italian sponge cake.

      It is a whole-egg cake, unlike some other sponge cakes for which yolks and whites are beaten separately. The eggs, and sometimes extra yolks, are beaten with sugar and heated at the same time, using a bain-marie or flame, to a stage known to patissiers as “ribbon stage”.

      A genoise is generally a fairly lean cake, getting most of its fat from egg yolks, but some recipes also add melted butter before baking. This is the technique I’m most familiar with.

      I’ve taught courses in International Cuisine, and Baking, at our local culinary school. The first lesson in my syllabus, for my baking class, is Genoise Cake – white and chocolate.

      For the college’s 25th Anniversary, my baking students made a cake that served over 1,000 people. It was a facsimile of the campus (an aerial view). The base cake was 10 half sheet cakes, and the buildings were also made with cake – some were one layer for one story buildings, and others with more layers for taller buildings.

      It’s not as familiar in American kitchens as it is in European kitchens. It was the first lesson when I was a student in culinary school, in fact, I’d never heard the word before.

      I’ve won several medals and trophies in Culinary Salons, but I entered a Chocolate Genoise the year I won “Best of Show”. In fact, the chef judges were not familiar with it, and interviewed me as to how it was prepared. I macerated the cherries in Kirsch and frosted it with a Stabilized Whipped Cream made with heavy cream, kirsch, 10X sugar, and agar agar.

      Reply

    • Bunny
      June 9, 2017

      Hi Komal,

      Please read my reply to Valerie above. It explains why no baking powder is needed in a Genoise.

      Reply

  • Hazellam
    March 26, 2017

    Hi! Can I know that how many ml refer to 1 cup?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 27, 2017

      Hi there, 1 cup in liquid measurements equates to 240ml or 8oz.

      Reply

  • Kristina
    March 17, 2017

    can I make cake layers today but the frosting and assembling leave for tomorrow?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 17, 2017

      Hi Kristina, yes that would work fine. Once the cake layers are at room temp, cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.

      Reply

      • Kristina
        March 18, 2017

        thank you! I did that.. everything worked out very good) Cant wait to try it!!)

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 18, 2017

          I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for reporting back 🙂

          Reply

  • Sabreena Iqbal
    March 15, 2017

    My son wanted a black forest cake for his 16th birthday. So i made this today. OMG soo great. The texture the taste. I usually don’t like the taste if the store bought cake. But this tasted really good.
    Thank yoy for a wonderful, easy and tasty recipe.
    P.s
    I didn’t use kirsch. Instead i used the syrup from the cherries.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 15, 2017

      You’re welcome Sabreena! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review!! 😀

      Reply

  • Bonny
    March 15, 2017

    I recently read a question about where to find Kirsch. It should be available at any liquor store. Sometimes it’s called Kirschwager. If you can’t find it I would suggest adding cherry juice (perhaps from drained frozen dark cherries) to Vodka. It’s a very generic liquor used to make Vanilla Extract as well as Limoncello.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 15, 2017

      That is a wonderful suggestion! thank you!! 🙂

      Reply

  • kristina popkov
    March 13, 2017

    Hi Natasha. Really want to try this cake. i tried your cakes before and everything always turns out sooooo good, thank you!
    So where I can buy this liqueur? looks like I cant find it in my city:(

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 13, 2017

      Hi Kristina, most of the time, liqueurs are only sold in liquor stores. Have you checked your local liquor store?

      Reply

      • kristina popkov
        March 14, 2017

        yeah they have only regular liqueur and just a couple more with another flavors.

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 14, 2017

          Oh bummer! It would still be good to use a golden rum if you aren’t able to find the kirsch.

          Reply

          • kristina popkov
            March 14, 2017

            Last question:) Do you think another cherry liqueur would work? not exactly the one you use.

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            March 14, 2017

            I’m guessing that would be fine. Let me know what you end up trying! 🙂

          • kristina popkov
            March 14, 2017

            I will. Thank you for answering 🙂

          • Natasha's Kitchen
            March 14, 2017

            🙂

  • Yuliya
    March 8, 2017

    Hello Natasha! What do you think if I’ll marinade my cherries in the liquor overnight?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 8, 2017

      I think that would be even more flavorful and should work great! 🙂

      Reply

  • Ashlee
    February 24, 2017

    If I don’t want to use the liqueur what do I make the syrup with to brush on the cake layers? Thank you so much for this recipe, my grandma use to make black forest cake for every birthday and I’ve been wanting to make it for so long.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 24, 2017

      You can use water, sugar and add lemon juice to taste and omit the liqueur 🙂

      Reply

  • Victoria
    February 20, 2017

    Hi! This looks so good. Was wondering if it would keep in the refrigerator for two nights before serving. What do you think?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 20, 2017

      Hi Victoria, if you are using fresh cherries inside the cake, that should be fine, but with frozen/thawed cherries, I think 1 day ahead is a safer bet.

      Reply

      • Victoria
        February 20, 2017

        Thank you!

        Reply

  • ally
    February 16, 2017

    I accidentally got Whipping Cream instead of Heavy Whipping Cream! Will that destroy it?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 16, 2017

      Hi Ally, for best results, HEAVY CREAM is always recommended for whipped cream. It has a higher fat content so it whips easier and will hold it’s shape longer. You might be able to get it to whip but it might slouch faster. If you test it, be sure to freeze your mixing bowl and whisk attachments for 15 minutes before using.

      Reply

      • Bonny
        March 15, 2017

        Whipped Cream can be stabilized with powdered Agar Agar which is available at a Health Food Store. I buy it online at http://www.barryfarm.com/nutri_info/thickeners/agar.htm. It’s very inexpensive online, plus, some heath stores only carry the flaked, not the powdered.
        STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING RECIPE:
        Ingredients:
        1 c. Heavy Cream
        2 T. 10X Confectioners’ Sugar
        1 t. Powdered Agar Agar

        Whip cream until it’s almost ready.
        Add sugar and agar agar.
        Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
        This topping/filling/frosting will stay firm and not separate.

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          March 15, 2017

          That’s so awesome of you to share!! Thank you Bonny!! I’ll be sure to try that after I buy some agar agar! 🙂 If it works for me, I would love to share this on my blog in the future – giving you credit ofcourse 🙂 Thanks Bonny!!

          Reply

      • Nadine
        May 25, 2017

        Hi Natasha,
        I would like to try this cake but i want to change it a bit 🙂 How do you think will be good if instead of cherries I will use mixed berries?
        Thanks

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          May 25, 2017

          Hi Nadine, I do think that would work well to use mixed berries and then decorate with fresh berries on top.

          Reply

          • Nadine
            May 25, 2017

            Thank you for your suggestion, will try it today & will let you know;)
            Good day

          • Natasha's Kitchen
            May 25, 2017

            Of course Nadine! Please do 🙂

        • Bunny
          May 25, 2017

          Hi Nadine,
          A chocolate cake with mixed berries sounds very good – but it wouldn’t be this famous German “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte”, (not to be confused with our American “German Chocolate Cake”). It is also known as a “Black Forest Gâteau” (British English) and “Black Forest Cake” (American English).

          “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte” (a very specific recipe) is a European Chocolate ‘Genoise’; moistened with a Kirsch Simple Syrup; filled with a Stabilized Kirsch Whipped Cream and Kirsch macerated Dark Cherries (fresh or frozen); frosted with Stabilized Kirsch Whipped Cream and garnished with fresh Dark Cherries. It is often sprinkled with chocolate shavings or curls, or garnished with 3 dimensional piped chocolate trees perched on top of Kirsch Whipped Cream Rosettes. I entered this cake in a Culinary Salon in The Thousand Islands, in the 80’s, and won a “Gold Medal” and the “Best of Show Trophy”. The chef judges interviewed me before the judging because they had no idea what a “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte”, or a “Genoise” was. The trophy is still in the showcase at the Ramada Inn where I was the Pastry Chef.

          The cake is named for the Schwarzwald or Black Forest region in southeastern Germany, so it’s often known outside German-speaking countries as “Black Forest Cherry Cake” or “Black Forest Gateau”. It is one of the most famous of German dessert, which is interesting when you consider that it (or the inspiration for it) actually came from Switzerland. Certainly, the Kirschwasser, or cherry firewater on which the modern cake is based, came originally from the land around the central Swiss lakes, a region still famous for it, and home to great Kirsch brands such as Etter and Dettling. In any case, the spirit wandered north to the Rhine Valley and the neighboring Black Forest, where it started to be manufactured widely in the mid – to late 1800’s.

          Reply

  • Michael
    February 16, 2017

    OMG that looks delicious! Is as delicious as it looks?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 16, 2017

      It certainly IS Michael! 🙂

      Reply

  • Nancy
    February 10, 2017

    Hi Natasha! Would this work with 8″ round pans? What kind of adjustments would I have to make with the cooking time? Many thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 10, 2017

      Hi Nancy, I haven’t tried this in an 8″ so hopefully it won’t overflow your pans but for baking time, I would aim at baking for 25 minutes.

      Reply

      • Nancy
        February 10, 2017

        Thanks Natasha! I’ll let you know how it goes. I am going to attempt this for my husband’s birthday.

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 10, 2017

          Please do!

          Reply

          • Nancy
            February 11, 2017

            Well Natasha the cake actually turn out. I say that because I don’t really bake very much. I just filled the pans about 2/3 (415g) high which meant I left out about less than 1/2 cup of batter. I got a thumbs-up from everyone who tried it. Thanks for the recipe!

          • Natasha
            natashaskitchen
            February 11, 2017

            I am so happy to hear that!! Thank you for sharing your amazing review! 🙂

  • Yulia
    February 8, 2017

    Hi Natasha, I want to make Black Forest cake but don’t know where to buy kirsch (a cherry liqueur). Where did you buy it?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 8, 2017

      Hi Yulia, liqueurs are only available in liquor stores in most states. I purchased the kirsch in a local liquor store.

      Reply

  • Fardeenah
    January 16, 2017

    Hello Natasha
    It seems like a great recipe and I will definitely try it. I was just wondering if I could use one large rectangular cake tin instead of two 9″ round ones. Will the cake cook as nicely?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 16, 2017

      It sounds like a good idea but I haven’t baked this particular recipe that way so I can’t say for sure. I baked my rectangular 9×13 strawberry cake that way and it took about 20 minutes at 350˚F.

      Reply

      • Fardeenah
        January 16, 2017

        Thanks for your reply. Will let you know when I try it 😀

        Reply

  • ghazala Ahmed
    January 13, 2017

    I made cake
    It’s so yummy
    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe.👍👍

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 14, 2017

      You’re welcome! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂

      Reply

  • Tejashree
    January 1, 2017

    Hi Natasha
    I had made this cake without kirsch and everybody including me just loved it. Thanks for such a delicious recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 2, 2017

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply

  • Anastasia Mireyko
    December 31, 2016

    Made this cake for my Grandmother’s Birthday – her favourite. Our whole family loved it. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 31, 2016

      Reviews like this put a big smile on my face! Thank you for sharing Anastasia 🙂 Happy New Year!!

      Reply

  • Kiwi
    December 30, 2016

    Hi Natasha,

    Thanks for the recipe. It is a great cake ever. I made this black forest cake for my son’s birthday. It is so delicious (not too sweet at all, surprise!) and everyone loves. I made this cake again for New Year party as requested.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 30, 2016

      Awesome! I love hearing reviews like this!

      Reply

  • Tejashree
    December 27, 2016

    Hi Natasha I will try this recipe for the first time and also the basic sponge cake recipe. There is baking powder used in sponge cake but no baking powder in this cake is that correct?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 27, 2016

      Hi Tejashree, I did not add it to this cake and it rose well without it. It wouldn’t hurt to add a 1/2 tsp baking powder but it isn’t necessary in this recipe 🙂

      Reply

      • tejashree
        December 27, 2016

        Thanks Natasha for prompt reply. Will surely comment after baking cake🙂

        Reply

    • Bonny
      December 27, 2016

      Hi Tejashree,
      This recipe is a European Genoise. If you want to do a little research, it is how you make an authentic “Black Forest Cake”, not to be confused with a “German Chocolate Cake”. That’s completely another animal, and not even a cake made in Germany (German Chocolate gets its name from the chocolate used – German Sweet Chocolate – invented in America.) When I teach the Baking and Pastry Classes at our local Culinary Arts College, the first thing my students learn is how to make a “genoise”. It is unique in that the only leavening agent is the beaten eggs – no baking powder is used. It can be made also with out chocolate. Genoise is the most basic cake made in Europe.

      Reply

  • Anna B
    December 21, 2016

    Hi. Can I sub this heavy wipping frosting on any other kind of frosting? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 21, 2016

      Hi Anna, are you looking to use a different frosting for this cake or use this frosting on a different cake? I’m not sure I understand your question.

      Reply

      • Anna B
        December 23, 2016

        I’m looking to use a different frosting on this cake if it’s possible

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 23, 2016

          Hi Anna, this is a good cake base to experiment different frostings. Let me know what you end up trying! 🙂

          Reply

  • Karina
    December 10, 2016

    I attempted to follow every step precisely, however when it came to mixing the flour & cocoa into the mix it clumped up. I followed the steps shown in the video by slowly adding the flour and cocoa to the mix and by folding it in so you dont overmix it but it was really hard to get it happening and eventually the batter deflated. I dont know what I could to differently to make the flour dissolve easier into the batter.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 10, 2016

      Hi Karina, it’s really important to sift the cocoa and flour since cocoa can tend to clump and it would really difficult not not to overmix if you’re seeing clumps of cocoa. Also, make sure that once you add the butter, you BAKE RIGHT AWAY, just as soon as you stir it in because it deflates quickly if you let it sit with butter in the batter. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Kiwi
    December 8, 2016

    Hi, I only have 8 inch mold. Can you help me to tune the ingredients. Thanks a lot

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 9, 2016

      Kiwi, I haven’t tested it in an 8″ pan, but I think mixture might overflow. You might have to experiment.

      Reply

  • Christa
    December 8, 2016

    I made the recipe with what I had and it turned out amazing!!! The cake was exactly as shown but I used Costco frozen cherries and their juice from thawing rather than kirsch. In the whipped cream I used a drop or teonofbalmond extract. Amazing all around!!
    I wish I could post thebepic picture of my cake !!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 8, 2016

      Christa, thank you for sharing such a nice review!

      Reply

  • Nadia
    December 6, 2016

    Can I use canned cherries in syrup (the kind they sell at the Russian stores? When do I add the Kirsch? Thank you in advance!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 6, 2016

      Hi Nadia, yes that would work fine. Use 1/2 cup of the cherry juice instead of water for more flavor and add the kirsch to the cherries and half cup of juice just like you would with fresh cherries and water.

      Reply

  • Patricia
    December 6, 2016

    Hi, Natasha. May I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      December 6, 2016

      Hi Patricia, yes that should work fine 🙂

      Reply

  • Raji
    November 28, 2016

    Frosting was a disaster. It became lumpy. How long do we need to mix the heavy cream and sugar for the first round?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 28, 2016

      Hi Raji, overbearing heavy cream will cause a grainy/lumpy whipped cream. You can repair it by adding a little more cream and beating it in, but you should not be beating any longer than 2 minutes (please see step 1 under “making the cream”).

      Reply

      • Bonny
        December 27, 2016

        Raji,
        If you over beat whipped cream, I would suggest mixing in extra heavy cream by hand, i.e. folding, don’t whip it any more.

        Reply

  • Heather Lavers
    November 24, 2016

    Thank you for adjusting the recipe. I tried last year and they layers failed to rise. This year they look perfect, the extra whipping seemed to help. I do believe I overcooked them though (my fault as still learning how to use convect), but should be able to fix with extra syrup on the layers. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 24, 2016

      I’m so happy to hear you had better results this time! Thank you for sharing that with me. Yes, that is what I love about moist cakes, even if you overbake them a little, the syrup will rescue them!

      Reply

  • Heather
    November 23, 2016

    I want to omit the liquor. You say to add a tablespoon of sugar to the syrup, but what do I use to soak the cherries instead? Or would you recommend canned cherries in juice in this instance instead?

    Reply

    • Heather
      November 23, 2016

      After reading through I’m seeing that if I use fresh cherries, I can soak them in a bit of water to get the syrup and then add enough water and sugar to get 3/4 cup. Would you also recommend adding almond extract as I’ve seen others do? If so, how much?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        November 23, 2016

        Hi Heather :). I would start with 1 to 2 tsp or add it to taste.

        Reply

  • Elaine Retz
    November 12, 2016

    In the printed recipe above you do not include the 1/2 tsp of baking powder which you instruct to whisk together with the flour in your video. I did think it odd there was no leavening in the recipe since the eggs were not separated and the whites beaten stiff. Can you please fix the recipe to include the baking powder?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 12, 2016

      Hi Elaine, the recipe is correct. It doesn’t require baking powder. I have always baked this cake without baking powder. The cake relies on the whipped eggs for leavening. Traditionally, baking powder is not used in the European sponge cake. You can add it if you wish but it isn’t necessary in this recipe.

      Reply

  • elizabeth
    November 11, 2016

    Hi! I’m making the non-alcoholic version with frozen cherries. Can you help me make the syrup?! I don’t have almond extract..

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 11, 2016

      You can just use cherries in their juice with a little water and omit the alcohol. It will still taste great :).

      Reply

  • Sidney
    October 24, 2016

    Someone sent me this recipe. This was my first sponge cake… it came out too dense and did not rise very much (about half of what I expected). I used regular egg beaters (hand mixer) and I folded with a regular spatula. Cooked in springform pans. Any idea what I did wrong? I am hesitant to try again if it is not an easy fix. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 24, 2016

      Hi Sidney, did you have a chance to watch the video on how to make a sponge cake to see if your cake batter resembled mine? If you used an electric hand mixer, it usually takes a few minutes longer to beat the eggs and sugar since it doesn’t incorporate air as quickly as a stand mixer with whisk attachment. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Moe
    October 24, 2016

    Hi again, on of my cakes had areas that were puffier than the rest. Any idea what causes this? Thanks again. 🙂

    Reply

    • Moe
      October 24, 2016

      After cooling, the puffiness dissipated and the cake now looks perfect! This was definitely a learning experience. Thank you so much again for your website. 🙂

      Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        October 24, 2016

        Oh good!! I’m so glad to hear that! 🙂

        Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 24, 2016

      I wonder if maybe you didn’t fully fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture? I’ve never had that happen before but that is my best guess. Also, this cake is meant to be baked in a standard conventional oven, not convection, just in case that helps.

      Reply

  • AB
    October 23, 2016

    Hello Natasha,
    I followed this recipe step-by-step yet when I removed my cake from the oven, only the top half part of each cake was fluffy and airy like a regular cake. The bottom half turned out to be more like a fudge consistency. I could not use it for the cake I was planning to make. Maybe I overbaked it, underbaked it…really not sure. I would appreciate your help and tips.
    Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 23, 2016

      I’ve never had that happen before but I’m always happy to help troubleshoot. Do you mean one of the cake pans was fluffy and the other fudgy or did you bake it all in one pan? Did you change anything about the recipe? Did you beat the eggs and sugar long enough with a high powered stand mixer (that is usually the biggest thing that affects how the cake rises since the cake relies on the eggs for leavening)? I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Xavier
    October 18, 2016

    I am going to try to make this, but I will use chocolate icing and decorate it like the one from portal. image here

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 18, 2016

      I hope you love the cake!

      Reply

  • Moe
    October 17, 2016

    Hello, I am going to try a non-alcoholic version (gasp! – I know, I know). Would you happen to have any tips for making the syrup without kirsch? I have heard of others using almond extract, sugar, or nothing at all to make up for the lack of kirsch. Any help appreciated. 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 17, 2016

      Hi Moe, you could try almond extract and sugar and water – those combined with the cherry juice will still produce a tasty cake 🙂

      Reply

      • Moe
        October 21, 2016

        Perfect, thank you. 🙂

        Reply

  • Karla Westerfield
    October 17, 2016

    I just served this at a party last night and got rave reviews! Personally, I don’t like the cake feeling soggy with the cherry syrup and so I will probably skip that step. Mine might have been a little “wetter” than normal though since I had to use frozen fruit (no fresh available). It makes a big cake, enough for 16-20 people.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 17, 2016

      I’m so glad to hear everyone enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Rifat
    October 14, 2016

    Hi Natasha, this looks really good and reading the comments I really want to try this but can you give the measurements in grams and also should I double the recipe as I want to make a 14″ cake for an anniversary

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 14, 2016

      Hi Rifat, I don’t have everything measured out in grams and due to time constraints, I wouldn’t be able to do that unless I re-made the cake. I would suggest using an online conversion resource like this one in the mean time. It depends on the size of the walls of your cake pan – if they are the same height as mine, you might be safer making 1 1/2 times the recipe so you don’t overflow your cake pans.

      Reply

  • George Strauch
    October 7, 2016

    I make same cake but after cake cool I poke the layers with a fork and pour kirsch liquer over the top so that they soak it up

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 7, 2016

      George, thank you for sharing your version with us. After your comment, I’m really craving this cake 😁.

      Reply

  • Caron
    October 6, 2016

    This is a very special cake,my favourite in fact,i am going to make one nearer Christmas as a after christmas dessert,fingers crossed it goes well.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 6, 2016

      I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Daphne
    September 11, 2016

    This cake is delicious – it was thoroughly enjoyed by my in-laws as part of a birthday celebration!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 I will definitely be keeping this recipe in my “must make again” repertoire! 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 11, 2016

      Hi Daphne, I am so happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Reply

  • Christine Nabhan
    September 9, 2016

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!! The cake was so delicious; the syrup adds much flavor! However, I used an 8in pan and each layer turned out only 1in high. I had to double the recipe to get 4 layers.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 9, 2016

      Hi Christine, I’m so glad you liked it! Usually the primary reason a European sponge cake doesn’t rise is due to under-beating the eggs and sugar. Did you use a high powered stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat on high speed for the recommended time? Also, did you make sure not to add the butter while it was still hot? I sure hope that helps for next time!

      Reply

      • Christine Nabhan
        October 11, 2016

        I did use a high powered stand mixer and mix for the recommended time, but didn’t add the butter when it cooled a bit. Good news is that I tried it the next time and it worked!!! Thanks!

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          October 11, 2016

          I’m glad to hear that it worked out second time 😀.

          Reply

  • Lucas
    September 6, 2016

    Hi, just wondering how thick the cakes should be? Mine turned out about 1 inch thick each.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 6, 2016

      Hi Lucas, mine were a little taller than that. I didn’t measure them when I baked them so I can’t say for sure. Did you use a 9″ pan?

      Reply

      • Lucas
        September 6, 2016

        Yes I used a 9″ pan. Is it likely I over mixed the flour/cocoa into the batter?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          September 6, 2016

          It’s possible if you really overmixed but more likely the cake doesn’t rise to it’s full potential if you under-beat the eggs and sugar. This cake relies on the volume of the whipped eggs for leavening which is why it’s important to make sure you beat the eggs long enough. Did you use a hand mixer or stand mixer? Most hand mixers take slightly longer than stand mixers. I hope my relpy helps for the next time you make a European sponge cake.

          Reply

          • Lucas
            September 6, 2016

            That must be it! I used a hand mixer, so mustn’t have underbeated the eggs.

  • WF
    September 6, 2016

    Hi Natasha, I made this cake for my daughter’s 18th birthday, and it turned out really well! Bought black forest cakes tend to be too sweet, and yours is just right for us. I found your instructions very clear and easy to follow. I did find that I did not end up using all of the cherry syrup, and I think next time I may do what another recipe I read says, and poke little holes all over the cake layers before sprinkling, rather than brushing on the syrup. The cake was lovely as it was, but I am hoping with this minor adjustment, it will be able to absorb more syrup for maximum moisture and flavour.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 6, 2016

      I am so happy you enjoyed the cake and thank you for the wonderful review! I do like your idea of poking holes in the cake for it to absorb the syrup quicker. Thanks again! 🙂

      Reply

      • WF
        September 6, 2016

        No, thank you for sharing your recipe! My daughter was very happy. This was the first time I tried a recipe on your website. I will be coming back for more!

        Reply

  • NitM
    September 4, 2016

    The picture of the cake looks so good and the step by step instructions seemed so clear that I had to try it. Unfortunately for me, this turned out a disaster. I followed the whisking times of the egg as mentioned in the recipe and it looked perfect until I folded in the flour/ cocoa & butter. It immediately turned flat and watery despite folding gently . I can only assume that the power of my hand mixer was high that it I over mixed the eggs & sugar. I threw it out , tried a second time slightly under mixing and it didn’t rise much and had a floppy texture. Then I over mixed the frosting. Needless to say I wasted quite a lot of ingredients !! This is definitely a technically cake and by no means simple.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 4, 2016

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Did you have a chance to watch the sponge cake video that I linked in this recipe to see what the egg and sugar mixture should look before adding the flour and cocoa? For a classic European sponge cake, underbeating the eggs can result in a flat cake since this cake relies on the eggs as leavening to rise. With European sponge cakes, it’s always safer to overbeat it rather than underbeating it. Various mixers can yield different results as well and in general, an electric hand mixer will take longer to beat than a stand mixer. In the future, when making whipped cream, be sure to keep a close eye on it. It is easy to overbeat whipping cream and turn it into butter and it really only needs the instructed beating time. Also, if you overbeat whipped cream (as long as it’s not too far overbeat, you can save it by whipping in a little more heavy whipping cream to thin it). I hope that helps for the future!

      Reply

  • Deni
    August 25, 2016

    Hello, I am making this for children. You mentioned leaving out the liqeuer than.. how do I make the cherry syrup without the liqeuer?

    Do I just add 1 tbsp of sugar to the cherries and let them sit for 30 mins?

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 25, 2016

      Hi Deni, you can replace it with more water and add a Tbsp of sugar. You’ll still want to add the water since it becomes your syrup for soaking the cake layers.

      Reply

  • Natasha Roth
    August 21, 2016

    Hi Natasha,
    Do you think it would be a bad idea to use 4 cake tins instead of 2? I’ve never halved a cake before and I’d feel more comfortable splitting the cake batter into 4 cake tins instead.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 21, 2016

      Hi Natasha, I think that could work, but I would recommend putting in into 3 pans since the layers might be a little difficult to spread into 4 pans. You might bake for just 20 minutes since it would bake faster being thinner layers.

      Reply

      • Natasha Roth
        August 22, 2016

        Thanks so much for responding so rapidly! I will try it with 3 cake tins 🙂

        Reply

  • Inna
    August 18, 2016

    Hi, thanks for the recipe! Quick question: the original sponge cake recipe on your website lists 6 eggs to 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of sugar. Is there a reason why this one has 9 eggs instead? Seems like the same amount of flour and sugar. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 18, 2016

      Hi Inna, this one also has chocolate and butter and the additional eggs help to keep the cake fluffy without falling.

      Reply

  • Niki
    August 16, 2016

    Hi,
    I was just wondering about the no salt in this recipe? Im cautious about how it will taste….
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 16, 2016

      The cake has so much flavor that you won’t miss the salt, I hope you’ll love it 😀.

      Reply

  • Isabella
    August 13, 2016

    I’ve only got a springform pan or tart pan…can I use one of these?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 14, 2016

      A springform pan would work but you really need 2 pans since it isn’t recommended to leave the batter on the counter while the first one bakes or it will deflate.

      Reply

  • Lana13
    August 7, 2016

    Hi!

    Can you please tell me if the cream actually should be refrigerated before spreading it on the chocolate layers? And if yes, for how long?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 7, 2016

      Hi Lana, if you aren’t using it right away, then you want to refrigerate the cream, otherwise, you can frost it right away if your cake layers are at room temperature and ready 🙂

      Reply

  • Amret
    August 1, 2016

    Hi natasha, just want to ask you how heavy is the cake roughly? Because I plan to make a 2 kg forest cake using your recipe. If this one is a 2 kg then great! But if not, can you tell me how I can make it into a 2 kg cake. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 1, 2016

      I Amret, I never weighed the cake so I can’t say for sure but I don’t think it’s anywhere near 2 kg. I think its probably closer to 1 kg, max 1.5 kg since it has 1 lb of cherries, but really I can’t remember how heavy it felt in my hands to gauge the full weight of the cake. I would suggest adding more cherries to make it heavier.

      Reply

  • Shveta Singh
    July 26, 2016

    Hi Natasha,

    I am planning to make this cake for my daughter’s first birthday. Please can you give the measurements in grams as I don’t want to take any chances and the cup measurements can differ based on their make.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 26, 2016

      Unfortunately, I didn’t measure this out in grams when I made it. We usually don’t measure in grams so most of our recipes are in US measurements.

      Reply

  • kate
    July 18, 2016

    Amazing recipe!
    (btw is this the type of cake thats in portal? im just wondering since it looks like it)

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 18, 2016

      Hi Kate, I’m so glad you like it! I’m not sure what portal is though?

      Reply

    • asdf
      July 21, 2016

      Hi kate,

      It looks the same, but according to Serious Eats, the Portal cake is a chocolate chiffon. Similar though, as it also has 9 egg yolks in it!

      http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/04/the-portal-cake-is-delicious.html

      Reply

  • Valerie
    July 15, 2016

    Hi, Natasha
    I was wondering if instead of the whipped cream frosting I can use the one you used in your honey cake with the sour cream and whipped cream ?
    And also what can I use instead of Kirsch , so It can be OK for kids to eat ?
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 15, 2016

      Hi Valerie, the sour cream frosting is looser than the whipped cream but I think it would work. Also, you can omit the kirsch and add cherry or berry juice, or even a little water/lemon juice/sugar simple syrup. Let me know how you like it! 🙂

      Reply

    • Beverley Ojalammi
      August 14, 2016

      Dear Natasha: Thank you for such a beautiful recipe. The cake was so light! The eggs became so fluffy and full after beating them…amazing to see!! I love the whipping cream frosting too…so light and not too sweet! My guests were amazed at the appearance and thought that it was store bought 🙂

      Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        August 15, 2016

        I am so happy you enjoyed it and impressed your guests! Thank you so much for sharing your great review.

        Reply

  • Shukriyarizwan
    July 5, 2016

    Hi.. I just want to know that making of cake recipe there is no baking powder or baking soda why? Without those ingredients can I make this cake pls reply me soon …

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 5, 2016

      Yes, this is a classic European sponge cake base – watch the video in this post to see how and why it works. It rises from the volume of the eggs. You can add 1/2 tsp baking powder but I haven’t found it to be necessary in this recipe. I usually don’t add it when I make it. Just BE SURE to beat the eggs and sugar for the time that the recipe specifies.

      Reply

    • Lency
      August 27, 2016

      Hi Natasha !
      Since the frosting on the cake is whipped cream, would heavy cream work too? And does the cake need to be kept in the refrigerator?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        August 27, 2016

        Hi Lency, I do use heavy whipping cream to make the whipped cream frosting. Also, yes, it should be refrigerated until ready to serve since it is a dairy-based frosting 🙂

        Reply

  • Himani
    June 24, 2016

    Hey Natasha, Dont you think 9 eggs are a little too much and will cause a rathr hard cake?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 25, 2016

      Hi Himani, this is a classic European sponge cake and it relies on the eggs to rise which is why it is super important to beat them long enough and then not to overmix after adding the four/cocoa. Here is a video where I make a similar cake base but omit the cocoa to make it a white cake. I hope it’s helpful to you! 🙂

      Reply

  • SuanneKhoo
    June 20, 2016

    Hi Natasha,
    I tried yr recipe but the cake turned out hard. I think you miss out the baking powder in your above recipe (as it was mentioned in your video when I viewed it after baking).

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 21, 2016

      Hi SuanneKhoo, I actually did not use baking powder in this recipe. The most common cause of the cake turning hard or not rising is under-mixing. The cake relies on the volume of the whipped eggs to rise. When you watched the video, did your cake batter look similar (fluffy and thick) before adding the cocoa/flour? I hope that helps for next time! 🙂

      Reply

  • Suganya velmurugan
    June 7, 2016

    Hi Natasha,

    I don’t have kirsch ( cherry liqueur) or golden rum now but I have dark rum on handy, Will the dark rum works for this recipe?? Or anything I can substitute for it??

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 7, 2016

      I have not tried it with dark rum, but gold rum does have a sweeter flavor. I think dark rum could still work though.

      Reply

  • Annie Campbell
    May 31, 2016

    Hi Natasha. I made this for my son’s 40th birthday and it was sensational. Looked like I’d laboured for hours but it was really so simple, especially with your amazing guidance. I used 2 tins of pitted black cherries in syrup & some cherry liqueur I had in the cupboard and it turned out just fine. Thankyou for making my son one very happy man!! Warm regards, Annie

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 31, 2016

      Awww that’s the best! Annie, thank you so much for sharing that with me :). I’m all smiles!

      Reply

  • Mike
    May 29, 2016

    I’m having trouble finding these cherries you refer to! In my grocery store, I can only find frozen pitted cherries, can of cherrie pie filling, or fresh cherries.
    I’m thinking of going with the frozen Cherries, what do you think?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 29, 2016

      The frozen cherries would work fine except probably not for decorating the top.

      Reply

  • Teresa
    May 29, 2016

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I want to make this cake for my parents anniversary next weekend. I don’t have two cake pans the same size. Do you think it would be possible to make the cake in 1 pan and cut it in four? Or, shound I split the recipe and bake the two cakes separately?

    Also, can I assemble the cake the day before, store it in the fridge, and put the frosting on the day of?

    Thank you for your help, and posting the recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 29, 2016

      HI Teresa, I haven’t tried it in one pan so I can’t give you an exact baking time but it will take longer to bake and you will need a tall pan (at least 3-inches). To be on the safe side, you could split the recipe and bake the two cakes separately but you would have to make batches since this batter should not sit on the counter very long before baking. You can definitely make the layers ahead of time and assemble the day you are serving. It would also be ok to assemble the entire cake the day before and refrigerate it until ready to serve.

      Reply

  • Amena
    May 28, 2016

    This is an excellent recipe and my cake turned out beautifully! I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe as follows: I omitted the kirsch and used some of the cherry juice that my preserved cherries came in for the cake and the frosting. I used a bain marie to combine the eggs and sugar for the genoise and they fluffed up incredibly when whisked. I also used clarified butter (to reduce lactose) and it didn’t change the taste. I did find that I didn’t have enough whipped cream for my four-layer cake, so I used another 2 cups of cream and it was perfect. Overall great recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 28, 2016

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed it! I love the bain marie idea. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! 🙂

      Reply

  • Nataliya
    May 24, 2016

    Hi Natasha, would love to make this cake for the weekend. Can I not use kirsch (cherry liqueur) or anything i can substitute for it? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 25, 2016

      Hi Ntaliya, it would still work if you omit the kirsch and use juice or sugar water instead – you won’t have the same depth of flavor but it will still be good. You can also substitute with golden rum if you have that on hand 🙂 P.S. If you do end up buying the kirsch, I have a new recipe coming next week that uses it and it’s A-MAZING!!

      Reply

  • Shameera
    May 20, 2016

    Hi😃Natasha this is Shameera I made it thank you soooo much I will send some pictures is it ok I couldn’t cut or eat but my daughter said everybody ate it so quickly it was that good I grew up eating this cake often but making it for first time thanks my only difficult y was folding in the flour since my first attempt so cake didn’t rise that well but it was fine it was bit dry is it supposed to be like that any way this is a fantastic recipe if I can make it anybody can it is that good😘Again THANKYOU.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 20, 2016

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing that with us 🙂

      Reply

  • Sujana Pradhan
    May 19, 2016

    Natasha, I read your article several times before I attempt to make black forest cake. It was my brothers graduation last week, and black forest is something we grew up eating back home in Nepal from a expensive bakery stores. Your instruction were perfect, and I have to come back to your page and thank you . The cake turn out perfect, I was so proud of myself. Thank you so much. I will be definitely coming back to your page for more recipes. Thank you again.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 19, 2016

      I’m so happy for your success! That is a great feeling when a cake turns out really really good! 🙂

      Reply

  • Cristina
    May 19, 2016

    Hi
    I’m glad I found your beautiful cake decorated and filled with fresh cherries. I want to ask you what do you mean by “cherry “- maybe it seems a silly question, but I’m not a native English speaker and I have found Black Forest Cake recipes that used the same word for sour cherry too, just like “cherry”- and that confuses me. In your photos seem to be sweet cherries, can you tell me what kind of cherries did you use, please? Thank you very much!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 19, 2016

      Hi Cristina, it is a great question – they are sweet cherries but I think sour cherries would work if that is all you had 🙂

      Reply

      • Cristina
        May 20, 2016

        thank you for your quick response. I actually have the right cherries :)))

        Reply

Add comment/review

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating




As Featured On

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

5 Secrets to

Be a Better Cook

FREE EMAIL SERIES

Natasha’s favorite tips to unleash your inner chef!

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.