Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe

Black Forest Cake from scratch

This traditional Black Forest Cake recipe, aka Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is one of the easier ones to make. This is one of those great German cake recipes that has become world famous because it is so delicious! 

Kirschwasser is drizzled over the sponge cake layers and also added to the cherries. Topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and cherries, the Black Forest Cake is as beautiful to look at as it is to eat. WUNDERBAR!

German Black Forest Cake Recipe

Ingredients: Cake

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
Filling and Decoration
  • 1 jar (720 ml) pitted sour cherries or 1 can pitted cherries
  • 4 tsp corn starch
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 packages Dr. Oetker Sahnesteif (Whip It) 
  • 2 Tbsp Kirschwasser (Cherry Liqueur) optional
  • 1/4 lb chocolate shavings/sprinkles


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Prepare 10-inch springform pan by lining bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  • Beat egg whites, slowly adding sugar and vanilla sugar, until stiff.
  • Mix egg yolks with 2 Tbsp lukewarm water. Gently fold into stiffly beaten egg white mixture.
  • Mix together flour, corn starch, and cocoa. Sift over egg white mixture. Fold in gently.
  • Pour into prepared springform pan, gently leveling top.
  • Bake 30 - 40 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto cake rack and remove pan. Remove parchment paper. When cake is cold, cover and let stand overnight (or a few hours) before filling.
  • Cut cake into 3 layers.
  • Drain cherries, saving liquid.
  • Mix cornstarch and vanilla sugar into cherry liquid and bring to boil. Once thickened, remove from heat and add cherries (saving a few for decoration). Let cool.
  • Whip cream, slowly adding Dr. Oetker Sahnesteif and icing sugar, until cream is whipped firm (DO NOT OVER-WHIP - you'll make butter!).
  • Drizzle Kirschwasser over cake layers.
  • Place bottom cake layer onto cake platter. Place springform pan edge around cake (will help cake remain neat while filling). Place half of cherry mixture on top. Add 2nd cake layer. Pour rest of cherry mixture over cake. Spread some whipped cream over cherry mixture. Add third layer. Press down slightly until levelled. Let cake sit in fridge for about 2 hours. (Refrigerate remaining whipped cream!)
  • Remove springform edge. Place some whipped cream into pastry bag with a fluted tip. Cover cake with remaining whipped cream. Pipe rosettes on top of cake. Decorate with cherries and chocolate shavings. Chocolate sprinkles are nice around the edge as well.


  • Want a really EASY version of this cake. Try this easy German Black Forest Cherry Cake -- this one uses a chocolate cake mix, whipped cream, and cherry pie filling.
  • Something a bit different? Try Black Forest Cherry Dessert -- uses soda crackers, cherry pie filling, and chocolate pudding. It's REALLY, REALLY good! (I know it sounds strange!)
  • A traditional Black Forest Cake has 1/2 cup cherry brandy (Kirschwasser) sprinkled over the cake layers after they are baked. As well, about 1 tbsp of cherry brandy is added to the whipped cream.
  • You can make your own vanilla sugar.

Looking for a nonstick springform pan that actually works?

This one is made in Bavaria by Zenker, one of the oldest and largest bakeware manufacturers in the world.

There's nothing quite like baking a German cake in an actual German cake pan.

Success ... every time! 

The springform I use most frequently is the 10-inch one. Click the photo to take a peek!

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, literally translated as "Black Forest Cherry Cake", originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. Josef Keller of the Cafe Ahrend in Bad Godesberg in 1915 is credited with its creation.

Traditionally, a dessert of cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser (cherry liqueur) on a chocolate sponge cake base, this Black Forest Cake recipe (and very many variations) is now famous throughout the world.

Additional notes on making Black Forest Cake

Note that the cake should be baked the day before it is filled, so take that into your "time" consideration. It should also be refrigerated about 2 hours before serving.

Even though it takes some time, this IS the cake to make that will impress your guests with your culinary skills.

Want a quick, easy Black Forest Cake?

For a quick and easy version, check out Easy German Black Forest Cake -- this one uses a chocolate cake mix, whipped cream, and cherry pie filling. It's easy and delicious and QUICK! Our family favourite - a very easy Black Forest Cake recipe.

By the way, that's me above, with our granddaughter, Alana, and her birthday cake.

The handsome young man?

Well, that's Richard, our youngest son. You can read about his culinary escapades in Rich's Meals.

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