There are different variations of the Black Forest gâteau. In basic terms, it is a chocolate and cherry cake, infused with alcohol, with whipped cream. In reality — it is far more complex and far more delicious than that.
Traditionally speaking, a Black Forest gâteau is made up of several layers of chocolate sponge. This sponge is soaked in kirschwasser (a form of brandy) cherry syrup, or both.
The chocolate cake layers are separated and sandwiched between delicious whipped cream, and cherries. To decorate, whipped cream is piped onto the cake, cherries are added, and then the cake is topped with chocolate shavings.
There are some variations in this method. Within Germany, a Black Forest gâteau cannot be labeled as such, unless it contains kirschwasser.
In fact, Black Forest gâteau descents from Germany, so it’s the most traditional method. Within Britain and America, it is acceptable and normal to use kirschwasser, cherry syrup, rum, or a mixture.
Plus, often in European recipes, sour cherries are added to the cake layers.
The fun of the variations means you’ll never get bored by Black Forest gâteau.
What’s The Difference Between Chocolate Cake And A Black Forest Gâteau?
Well, there’s quite a big difference.
In America, chocolate cake contains a high amount of fat, and often other wet ingredients, like milk, buttermilk, and so forth.
A Black Forest gâteau is quite the opposite. It contains no fat, or a very small amount, and it also does not contain ‘normal’ wet ingredients, like milk and buttermilk.
The result is two different cakes. The American chocolate cake is very moist, and it is also very soft. The Black Forest gâteau is not designed to be that way, it’s designed to be a much drier sponge.
You may feel puzzled why a drier sponge is considered optimal. A Black Forest cake cannot be sustained on a normal chocolate cake recipe. It would collapse.
Think about the ingredients involved — lots of alcohol, lots of whipped cream frosting, lots of layers. It would result in a very soggy cake.
With all the hustle and bustle explained, let’s get back to the main point — me showing you 15 Black Forest cake recipes!
15 Black Forest Cake Recipes You Can Make Today
Below, I’m going to show you the best 15 black forest cake recipes that you can make today. They’re all a little different, but they all taste amazing.
Plus, I’ve included some eggless recipes, and some vegan recipes, so whatever your dietary requirements are, you can enjoy some delicious Black Forest cake.
1. Black Forest Cake
Okay, first up is this delicious black forest cake. It’s not a traditional Black Forest cake, because the recipe has been altered to make softer sponge layers.
They also use jarred cherries, over fresh cherries, as it worked better with the cake. It’s likely that it provided less moisture, but all the yummy flavor.
The cake looks absolutely gorgeous — I love the way they have decorated it, with the thick chocolate shavings in the middle. Enjoy!
2. Best Vegan Black Forest Cake (Black Forest Gateau)
Vegans, I will never forget about you! Enjoy deserves to enjoy delicious cake, and I’ve found a wonderful Black Forest recipe for you!
This is a gorgeous, decadent Black Forest recipe. It’s not traditional, as the baker uses a vegan chocolate ganache to decorate. It looks gorgeous though. You can either stick with this, or make it your own.
For the cream, the baker has used a dairy free whipped cream. You can get this in bottles, or as double cream.
Personally, I would recommend using double cream, but do what you think is best. It’s absolutely delicious, and is giving me winter wonderland vibes.
3. Black Forest Cake
I think this version of the Black Forest cake is the definition of traditional meets modern. It’s taken aspects of the traditional cake, but changed it to look like a 2021 showstopper.
This is achieved by placing chocolate shavings at the bottom, and having a chocolate layer on top. What I love is that they still did traditional whipped cream with the cherries, because that really brings forth the traditional vibes.
This recipe also uses cherry brandy, which I think works amazingly well!
4. Black Forest Cake
Okay, if you thought the last cake was a showstopper, wait until you see this Black Forest cake. It is incredible!
This is a stunning cake. The use of chocolate bark, all in different sizes, which sharp edges is so effective. It really helps create a strong, sleek and modern cake.
I love the use of piped whipped cream and fresh cherries on top too. It’s actually quite a simple cake in theory, but the design is just amazing — if you’re looking to impress, definitely recreate this! It uses cherry liquor, so it will be as sweet as it looks.
5. Black Forest Cake (Traditional German Recipe)
If you didn’t get it from the title, this is likely to be one of the most authentic German Black Forest recipes on the list.
It’s so great to see traditional recipes still being used. This cake uses kirsch, so it’s definitely German approved! I love how they’ve decorated it. It’s very simple, and very pretty.
If you’re not amazing at decorating, you’ll probably find this recipe easier to work with. It’s full of cherries, and the cream to cake ratio is very good. I am impressed!
6. Best Ever Black Forest Cake
This Black Forest cake is a thing of beauty, wow. Unlike the original recipe, it’s a much softer sponge. That means the filling is a bit less than other recipes, but you’ve got to compensate somewhere.
It uses both kirsch and cherry liquor, but the baker does note it is optional, so if you don’t want alcohol in your cake, it’s great for you. It’s a very yummy Black Forest cake.
7. Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe
So, this Black Forest cake uses a more traditional recipe, but makes it modern through the decoration. I really like this, because the Black Forest decoration isn’t loved by everyone.
It’s also nice to see more authentic recipes being utilized, while just changing the decor. The chocolate sponge layers are soaked in kirsch (yum!) and so are the cherries (double yum!). It’s fluffy, chocolaty and full of cherry — delicious!
8. Eggless Black Forest Cake Recipe
This is an eggless black forest cake. Some people cannot eat eggs, so it’s really great to see adapted recipes.
This recipe rattled my brain a little. I don’t know how they’ve managed to bake such a fluffy, decadent Black Forest cake without eggs, but gosh, they have! It looks amazing! It’s moist, full of cherries, and is alcohol-free!
So, this isn’t a vegan cake, however — it really could easily be made vegan. Just use vegan milk and vegan cream, and you’ll be pretty golden.
The milk might not react the same, so it won’t be exactly perfect, but I think you could make a decent go of it.
9. Black Forest Gateau
I would say this is a very beginner-friendly Black Forest cake recipe, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Whether you’re a newbie to baking or need to bake a cake in a rush, this is a lovely recipe.
I also like how they’ve used morello cherry jam, as it’s a great way of getting an extra kick of cherry.
I would say this recipe looks more like your standard chocolate cake, but it’s definitely a Black Forest. The design is just pretty simple, but still very cute.
10. Black Forest Gâteau
Wow, this Black Forest cake is insane. The use of chocolate shards here is phenomenal. It looks so sharp and sophisticated. It’s definitely a cake which would be ridiculously popular at any big event, like birthdays or anniversaries. To be honest, it’s a straight-up wow cake.
It’s filled with kirsch and cherries, which I absolutely love! It’s so perfectly balanced. I will the layers are much thicker than a traditional recipe, but to be honest, it does make it easier to do. Plus, it’s just as effective.
11. Dairy-Free Black Forest Cake
Whether you’re vegan, or you class yourself as dairy-free, this cake is suitable for you. It’s not only suitable for you, but it’ll blow your socks off because it is delicious!
This is a four-layered cake, soaked in cherry liquor. Instead of traditional cream, it uses coconut cream, which adds a lovely flavor to the cake. By looking at the cake, you’d never know it was vegan, or dairy-free. It’s very beautiful.
12. Proper Black Forest Gateau
This is a recipe provided by a UK supermarket… but hear me out, it’s oddly amazing.
So I obviously searched high and wide to find the best recipes (you’re welcome, no need to thank me), and I came across this recipe.
I was hesitant, how good can a supermarket recipe be? Oh my god, apparently so good! I then realized, it was actually made by a master pâtissier, but how cool is it that it’s found on a supermarket food website?
It’s a very yummy recipe, and I love the use of chocolate shavings all over.
13. Black Forest Gateau
Germans, look away now, you’re not going to want to see this.
This is a recipe for those who are very bad at baking. Any beginner bakers, or even baking with children for the first time.
Basically, it’s simple and technically not a real Black Forest cake. I know, though, that not everyone has the time to spend hours baking!
So if that’s you, you’re welcome. I might never be allowed to buy a real German cake again, again posting this, but I’m helping you bake a very easy, delicious cake.
So, it’s a Betty Crocker cake mix. You just have to add all the other usual ingredients, and then some kirsch. When it comes to the topping, you just add a pit of pitted cherries, some morello cherry jam, whipped cream, and icy sugar.
All jokes aside, it’s a great recipe if you’re on a very low budget. You can minus the kirsch if so, as well. You don’t have to go with traditional recipes, be creative and enjoy your time in the kitchen.
14. Gluten-Free Black Forest Cake
If you’re gluten-free, then don’t panic, I didn’t forget about you. This Black Forest cake recipe is delicious, and of course, contains no gluten.
It’s a very light version of the Black Forest cake, which I like. It has a wonderful balance of cherry and chocolate too. It’s three layers, so not as much baking required as the usual four-layered cake — but you could add another layer, or remove a layer, depending on how much time you have.
Interestingly, this recipe does not call for whipped cream. It instead uses an Italian buttercream, along with a black cherry compote. It’s very interesting, and I think it would work well. Of course, if you wanted to have whipped cream, you could just adjust the recipe.
15. Black Forest Cake
If you hate blogs that ramble on (I’m saying nothing), then you’ll certainly love this page. It contains the recipe, the ingredients and the video. Nothing else. No life story. None of it.
It’s a very good Black Forest cake. It’s moist, fluffy, and decorated very well. Likewise, it’s only two layers, so compared to some recipes on my list, it’s a pretty easy bake.
Also, the decoration might be nice, but it’s very simple. It’s good if you’re great with recipes, but very bad when it comes to the decor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Need To Use Cherry Syrup?
Honestly, it depends on the recipe.
Some Black Forest recipes on the list do not contain a leaving agent (e.g., baking powder). This means it only uses eggs to rise. While this is fine, it can make the cake a bit dry (eggs dry out baked goods). So, when you use cherry syrup, it provides the moisture needed for a soft cake. Plus, it adds a vital cherry flavor.
Do I Need To Use Kirsch, Or Cherry Liqueur?
No, you don’t need to use kirsch or cherry liquor.
If you can’t, or don’t want to consume alcohol, you’re not ruining the recipe. It can add vital moisture like the cherry syrup, but you know — you can just use cherry syrup.
It does add that lovely hit of alcohol and cherry, but it’s not a huge miss. You can even use reserved cherry juice, since you’ll likely have some of that spare.
What Cherries Do I Use? Fresh, Or Jarred?
Again, depends on the recipe.
If it’s a recipe without a leaving agent, use jarred cherries. They will add more moisture to the cake, and help the cherries stay juicy. While fresh cherries are often preferred, it does really depend on the other ingredients, which is why you should read the reasons for each baker’s choice.
If you can’t get jarred cherries, you can use frozen cherries. Just make sure they are thawed completely. The great thing about this is that you can use the cherry juice in the recipe.
Well, that brings me to the end of my article on 15 Black Forest cake recipes that you eat today!
Whether you’re vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, or cannot consume eggs — I’ve got you. Everyone deserves to eat delicious cake. I have tons of excellent and different recipes here, some traditional, some modern.
Enjoy, and let me know below if you end up baking any of them! Plus, let me know if you find any other great recipes, I’d love to check them out!