Black Forest Cake

Recipe from A Sweet Taste of History 

This torte, or cake, as it is called in America, is mouthwateringly beautiful and delicious. It is famous world-round with its combination of cherries, chocolate and whipped cream.

Cherry Filling:

  • 24 cups pitted sweet cherries
  • 9 cups Kirschwasser
  • 6 cinnamon stick
  • 6 vanilla beans

Cherry Cream:

  • 2 cup Kirschwasser
  • 8 quart heavy cream
  • 2 oz packet granulated gelatin
  • 4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • cold water
  • cornstarch


  • Chocolate Cake layers
  • Kirschwasser
  • Whipped cream
  • Semisweet chocolate curls, as needed

To make the cherry filling, begin at least one day before assembling and serving the cake. Stir together the cherries and Kirschwasser in a medium bowl. Add the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean, cover, and set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator to macerate for 24 hours.

The next day, strain the macerating liquid into a small saucepan and reserve the cherries. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to medium low, and maintain at a simmer. Stir together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl and drizzle into the simmering liquid, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove the cherry filling from the heat and set aside to cool.

To make the cherry cream, pour the Kirschwasser and 2 cups of the cream into a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin overtop, and set aside until the gelatin is soaked (bloomed), about 3 minutes. Melt the bloomed gelatin by setting the bowl in a larger bowl of warm water no warmer than 86 ° F. and stirring until the gelatin is melted and dissolved.

Pour the remaining cream into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin whipping on medium speed. Gradually incorporate the confectioners’ sugar, and continue whipping to form soft peaks. Add the gelatin mixture, raise the mixing speed to high, and continue whipping to stiff peaks. (Watch the cream carefully, as over whipping will turn it to butter very quickly.) To assemble the cake, using 3 cake layers. Set one of the rounds on a cake plate, drizzle with Kirschwasser, and spread a thin layer of cherry cream over the surface. Spread a heaping tablespoon of thickened cherry filling over the cream, spreading it thinly, and arrange some macerated cherries on top. Continue assembling the cake in this manner, leaving the top layer plain. Frost the cake with whipped cream, being especially generous on the top. Fit a pastry bag with a star tip if desired, fill with some of the whipped cream, and pipe rosettes around the edges of the cake. Carefully press chocolate curls into the sides of the cake, and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before serving.