Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

This black forest cake is a twist on a classic dinner party dessert. Scroll down for the recipe.Β 


Retro puddings have been making a bit of a come back. whether it’s Vienetta or jelly and ice cream, I’ve spotted a trend for the desserts of our childhood appearing on restaurant menus. When I think of parties in the 90s (that’s right I was a 90s child!) I automatically think of fruit and cream cakes that came out of the freezer isle at the supermarket. And my favourite of them all had to be the Black Forest Gateaux!

I’m all about nostalgic food right now so I thought I’d take this classic dessert and give it an upgrade. I like to think the styling is a bit more modern and there isn’t a glacΓ© or maraschino cherry in sight! In all honesty, I got a bit carried away slathering cream over layers of chocolate sponge and adding a tonne of cherry compote.

To stay true to the Black Forest Gateaux I’ve kept the traditional kirsch spiked dark chocolate sponge layers and they are sandwiched together with a sweetened, whipped cream. The main difference is the black cherry compote that I’ve used to fill the two sponge layers and as a sticky sweet topping to finish off the cake. If you wanted to give it more of a retro vibe then you could cover the whole thing in the cream and cover with dark chocolate shavings, but I’ll leave how you decorate the cake up to you.

Black Forest Cake

The recipe

There are a fair few processes in this recipe but I promise it is worth it.

The cherries are sweet and sticky, the cream rich and smooth, the chocolate cake the right amount of bitterness to balance it all out. What more could you want in a cake?!

Black Forest Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 1 large 2 layered cake

Serving Size: Serves 8


  • For the cake
  • 175g Self raising flour
  • 4 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 150ml Oil
  • 1 tbsp kirsch
  • 150ml Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Golden syrup
  • For the cream
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp marscapone
  • Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • For the cherry compote
  • 350 grams pitted cherries
  • 80ml water
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • Zest of half a lemon


  1. First pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4.
  2. Sieve the flour, cocoa and sugar into a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
  3. Lightly whisk the eggs before pouring into the well along with the kirsch, milk, oil and golden syrup. Using an electric whisk beat until smooth and frothy!
  4. Pour the mixture into two well greased cake tins and cook for 25mins or until they spring back when touched.
  5. While the cakes are cooking, place the cherries, sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  6. Once it has reached a boil, let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly until the mixture gets thick.
  7. Add the cornstarch and zest.
  8. Stir for a further 5 minutes and set to one side to cool.
  9. By now the cakes should be ready to come out of the oven, allow the cakes to cool completely before decorating.
  10. Once the cakes and cherry compote are completely cool, whisk together the cream, marscapone, icing sugar and vanilla until thick.
  11. The cream is sufficiently whipped when it is smooth, glossy and just holds its shape.
  12. Assemble the cake by spreading half of the cream over the bottom sponge layer.
  13. Top with half of the cherries before stacking the second sponge, cream and the remaining cherry compote.


Top tip: frozen cherries work well in this recipe so don't panic if they are out of season or if fresh cherries are not available in your local store.

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