Traditional Black Forest Cake

Traditional Black Forest Cake made from scratch. Easy to follow instructions.

Traditional Black Forest Cake

The traditional Black Forest Cake is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in Germany.

Ingredients for shortcrust pastry for traditional Black Forest Cake:

  • 150 g (5.3 oz) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cacao
  • 1 teaspoon Dr. Oetker baking powder OR baking powder
  • 75 g (2.64 oz) of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker Vanilla powder OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of soft cold butter

Shortcrust Pastry Black Forest Cake Recipe

Preparation of the shortcrust pastry:

Mix the flour, cacao, and baking powder and sift into a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla sugar, and salt and mix again. Spread the cold, but soft butter on top and knead with your hands until the shortcrust is smooth. Cut a circle of baking paper to cover the bottom of a springform. Form the shortcrust into a ball and place it in the springform (pan size 10″ or 11″).  Spread the crust evenly on the bottom of the form using a pastry roller. Make small holes in the crust with a fork. 

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Preheat the oven to 185° C (365°F). Place the cake on the middle rack and bake for about 15 minutes. Open the springform and let the cake cool down in the form before you take the ring of the springform off.

Ingredients for sponge cake:

  • 4 eggs XL
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) of sugar
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker Vanilla powder OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 75 g (2.64 oz) of all-purpose flour
  • 50 g (1.76 oz) of corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon of cacao
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of Dr. Oetker baking powder OR baking powder

Preparing Black Forest Cake

Preparation of the sponge cake:

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites using an egg separator. Mix the egg yolks with the hot water until it’s creamy. Add sugar, your vanilla flavoring of choice and mix until smooth. Combine the flour, corn starch, and baking powder and sift over egg mixture. Beat the egg whites with a handheld mixer until stiff and place the beaten egg whites on top of the egg yolks. Combine the flour, corn starch, and baking powder and sift over the eggs. Using a pastry blender or a large whisk, slowly fold the beaten egg whites and the flour mixture into the batter. Work in circles from the outside in. Do not beat or stir. Pour the batter in a buttered springform, the same size as the one used for the short crust cake.  

Sponge Cake Black Forest Cake Recipe

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and place your cake on the middle rack. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Once the cake is done, take your cake out of the pan immediately and let it cool down on a cooling rack.

Ingredients for cherry filling:

  • 750 g (26.45 oz) of pitted sour cherries OR 1 can/jar of Bing cherries
  • 75 g (2.64 oz) of sugar
  • 2–3 tablespoons of corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons of Cherry Brandy (Kirschwasser)

Cherry Filling Black Forest Cake Recipe

Preparation of cherry filling:

Pour the cherries in a colander and save the juice from the can in a saucepan underneath. Take 4 – 6 tablespoons of juice and save it in a separate cup on the side. Add sugar in the rest of the juice and bring it to a boil. Next, take the saved fruit juice and add the corn starch. Mix it into the boiling juice to thicken. Add cherry brandy and remove from the stovetop. Add the cherries to the juice, but make sure you set aside 12 to 16 cherries for decoration. Let the juice cool down. 


Ingredients for decoration of the traditional Black Forest Cake:

  • 944 ml (32 oz) of heavy whipping cream
  • 4 packages Dr. Oetker “Whip it” whipping cream stabilizer
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker vanilla sugar OR 1  teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) dark chocolate OR chocolate sprinkles

Decoration traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe

Beat the whipping cream and add powdered sugar and “Whip it” to stabilize the cream. 

Finishing of the traditional Black Forest Cake:

Place your short crust cake on a plate or on a rotating cake stand. Use half of the cherry filling and spread it on the cake. Use about ⅓ of the whipped cream and spread it on the top of the cherry filling.

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Cut the sponge cake horizontally in half. I usually start by making a small initial cut all around the side of the cake with a knife. After that, I use a thread and place it in the notch around the cake. Cross the thread and pull on both sides until the cake is sliced evenly in half. 

IMG_7539                     Sponge for traditional Black Forest Cake

Place one-half of the sponge cake on top of the filled shortcrust cake. Spread the rest of the cherry filling on the sponge and on it and ⅓ of the whipped cream before you place the second half of the sponge cake on top. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on the sides and finally on the top of the cake. Keep some whipped cream on the side for finishing off the top with a decorating tip.

Sprinkle the grated chocolate or the chocolate sprinkles on the sides. Mark the cake on the top to get even slices. You can use either a knife or a cake marker, which is available for 10, 12, 14, or 16 slices to press lines on the top. Use a cake lifter to place the cake on the serving plate before finishing the decorations on top. Place the Black Forest Cake in the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden.

Use a decorating tip to finish the top of the cake with the rest of the whipped cream and the cherries you set aside. You can easily prepare the cake ahead of time and store it in the freezer.

Finishing traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe

German American Thanksgiving

German American Thanksgiving. Add these delicious popular German recipes to your Thanksgiving menu.

German American Thanksgiving

German American Thanksgiving in Oma’s house. Give your traditional Thanksgiving meal this year an Oma twist while adding or combining the following recipes. I picked Classic German Recipes which I was taught by my mother and she was taught by her mother. A traditional German menu for holidays, celebrations and festivities. Try it out.

Instead of turkey, consider a beef roast with gravy. Replace stuffing or mashed potatoes with my dumplings. And try substituting green beans with red cabbage. Of course, Thanksgiving purest would never deviate from the traditional menu. That’s why these recipes—including my tomato soup with freshly baked baguette—also make great additions!

In my family, I keep everyone deliciously guessing. Some years it’s the bird. Others it’s the roast. And sometimes, depending on the number of guests, it’s both! Mixing and matching the traditional American feast with my “Germerican” alternatives keeps everyone happy and well fed. Pumpkin pie? Sure. But add my black forest cake plus Red Berry Compote with Vanilla sauce and it’s sure to be a Thanksgiving no one will forget.

Regardless of what menu you put together, Thanksgiving is all about getting together with family and being grateful for what we have. It’s in this spirit that I wish you and your loved ones a very blessed holiday. And hope you enjoy these tasty alternatives. As always, let me know what you think.

Yours, Oma

PS: For my traditional Thanksgiving menu, click here. (You’ll also find special short cuts, holiday traditions, and unique table decorations.)

Mix and match Oma’s Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes with Classic German recipes.

(Click titles for recipes. Click photos to enlarge.)

German American Thanksgiving dishes:

Tomato Soup




German Yeast Dumplings


Red Cabbage


Beef Roast with Gravy


Red Berry Compote with Vanilla sauce


Black Forest Cake