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Black Forest Cake

Prep Time:

30 mins.

Cook Time:

35 mins.


1 (3-layer) cake

This rich, chocolatey cake features layers of homemade whipped cream frosting and fresh cherries cooked with kirsch, a cherry liqueur. Plus, in every bite there is just a hint of coffee flavor.



  • 2 1/4 cup sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons kirsch

Cherry Filling

  • 1 pound fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup kirsch


  1. MAKE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350℉ and grease and line 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs, oil, buttermilk, coffee and vanilla extract in a large bowl until fully combined. (Set kirsch aside to be brushed on cake layers later, when assembling cake.) Sift dry ingredients over wet ingredients and fold them together until flour mixture is combined. Evenly divide batter into prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until inserted tester comes out clean. Let cake layers cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.
  2. MAKE FILLING: Place cherries, confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow to simmer until cherries soften. Mix kirsch with cornstarch to make a slurry and add to cherries. Stir until combined and let simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. MAKE FROSTING: Whisk heavy whipping cream to soft peak stage. Add vanilla extract, powdered milk and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk to stiff peak stage and whisk in kirsch.
  4. ASSEMBLE CAKE: Fill pastry bag fitted with a star tip with 1 1/2 cups Whipped Cream Frosting and set aside. Brush first layer with 2 tablespoons kirsch, then 1/3 of the cherry filling, then layer with 1/3 of the remaining whipped cream frosting. Repeat process with second and third layers of cake, reserving some frosting for the crumb coat. Assemble cake layers and spread the remaining 1/3 cherry filling in the center of top of cake. Give the remaining surfaces of the cake a crumb coat of frosting (smooth side of cake with a bench scraper or offset spatula), then pipe rosettes around the top with the frosting in piping bag, garnishing each rosette with a stemmed cherry.