Oma's Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe

This world-famous traditional Black Forest Cake recipe, aka Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, is one of the easier ones to make. I've decorated it with sliced almonds, a non-traditional way. You can do it with the more traditional chocolate sprinkles if you wish. 

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

Prep Time

60 minutes

Bake Time

40 minutes

Total Time

100 min + stand time


Makes 10 - 12 servings



  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup cocoa

Filling and Decoration:

  • 1 jar (720 ml) pitted sour cherries or 1 can pitted cherries
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 packages Dr. Oetker Sahnesteif (Whip It) 
  • 2 tbsp Kirschwasser (cherry liqueur) optional
  • ¼ lb chocolate shavings/sprinkles


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Prepare 10-inch springform pan by lining bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  3. Beat egg whites, slowly adding sugar and vanilla sugar, until stiff.
  4. Mix egg yolks with 2 tbsp lukewarm water. Gently fold into stiffly beaten egg white mixture.
  5. Mix together flour, cornstarch, and cocoa. Sift over egg white mixture. Fold in gently.
  6. Pour into prepared springform pan, gently leveling top.
  7. Bake 30 - 40 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. 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.
  9. Cut cake into 3 layers.
  10. Drain cherries, saving liquid.
  11. 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.
  12. Whip cream, slowly adding Dr. Oetker Sahnesteif and powdered sugar, until cream is whipped firm (DO NOT OVER-WHIP - you'll make butter!).
  13. Drizzle Kirschwasser over cake layers.
  14. 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 leveled. Let cake sit in fridge for about 2 hours. (Refrigerate remaining whipped cream!)
  15. 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 ½ 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.

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