Black Forest Cake

My mother-in-law is a baker extraordinaire. She worked for several years as a caterer’s assistant and is talented and creative. Her cakes are stunning confectionery creations.

I am not that baker.

One of Tim’s favorite desserts is his mom’s Black Forest cake. I’m not particularly fond of cherries myself so it isn’t a recipe I have ever tried. This, however, not being my birthday I decided to make Tim a special treat. I began an extensive search online and ended up at the Taste of Home website. My goodness, pages of delicious recipes, most complete with gorgeous pictures. As a faithful subscriber (I’ve gotten Taste of Home and Simple & Delicious for years and years) I have access to the website’s collection of recipes.

I spent almost as long looking at pictures and recipes as I did in making the actual cake. Of course, looking at the pictures of my creation and the Taste of Home’s original, one might suggest I spend a little more time working and less dreaming.

Here’s the cake I was striving for:

taste of home

Not my actual cake.

Really, how hard could it be to make a ‘little’ chocolate cake?

Here’s a shot of my work in progress:

what happened here?

Yes, the cake slid, slipped and took some sort of a nose dive during the chilling portion. True, I tweaked the recipe along the way, but I didn’t see any warnings about potential cake earthquakes.

Ah, it reminds me once again that I will never be a truly excellent chef. I’m afraid I don’t have patience for the details. I used a cake mix rather than making the cake from scratch. I relied on canned cherry pie filling instead of mixing my own. While I was cutting the cake into layers I had a child help me hold it. Sadly, the knife didn’t cut evenly and we ended up with a nice, jagged tear in the top half. The recipe called for cherry filling only in the bottom layer (look closely at the Taste of Home picture and you’ll see what I mean), but I put the filling on two of the four layers.

I’m just a rebel that way.

I tried to follow the directions for the cream and chocolate fillings; here are the ingredients and assembly instructions:

6 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 to 5 tablespoons half-and-half cream

1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixing bowl, beat cream filling ingredients; cover and refrigerate. In a mixing bowl, beat cream, syrup and vanilla until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate.

To assemble, split each cake into two horizontal layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate; top with 1/2 cup cream filling. Place 1 cup cream filling in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a 1/2-in. triangle in one corner of bag. Make a rim of filling 3/4 in. high around outer edge of cake.

Make a second rim 2 in. from edge. Spoon cherry filling between rings. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread chocolate filling over second cake layer; place over cherry filling. Spread remaining cream filling over third layer; place over chocolate filling. Top with fourth layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls, cherries and mint. Store in the refrigerator.

It’s okay. My family ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ over the cake. Tim was touched that I would take the time and effort to make one of his birthday favorites. I may never win any culinary awards, but I have a solid fan-base here at home.

one of my biggest fans

If you are a Taste of Home subscriber, I heartily recommend popping over to their website and browsing through their recipes. Yum and double yum.

For other Works for Me Wednesday posts, stop by Rocks in My Dryer.


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15 thoughts on “Black Forest Cake”

  1. Ah, memories! I made a black forest cake for Mark before we were married, and it came out very much like yours did! I don’t think I’ve made one since! Their mother spoiled them for us amateur bakers! (But I believe she uses cake mix, so we’re okay on that front at least!)

  2. Still looks tasty! Sweet wife you are to attempt that during a regular homeschool week of the Y, Co-op and your big year of all in full time school schedules. I’m glad Tim was touched, that makes it all worth it!

  3. Oh my, be still my heart. I love Black forest cake. And not had one since we moved. Thanks for the reminder of them, And the recipe.

  4. Black forest cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. Then the cake is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top. Traditionally, Kirschwasser is added to the cake, although other liquors are also used. In the USA, black forest cake is most often prepared without alcohol.

    Guaranteed ROI

  5. I have a solid fan base here at home.

    That was my favorite line in your blog this morning, dear Katherine. I love you. I’d like to try the cake sometime. I, too, am NOT good at details. It looks like slippage could always be a problem.

    I love you. Thanks for the recipe. Aunt Kate

  6. When we lived in Germany (Schwetzingen bei Heidelberg) many years ago, the nearest Konditerei made the most wonderful Schwarzwälderkirschtorte. I spent many years looking for recipes, and even trying some of them. Finally I found what I remember: the recipe in the Time-Life Germany cookbook. It is not easy! The filling is made with sour cherries, ie., non sweetened. The cake layers are soaked with Kirschwasser. One of the hardest parts, for me at least, is putting little chocolate sprinkles on the icing.
    If anyone is interested, I can probably send the recipe.

  7. Being fully German, one of my husband’s favorite cakes is the Schwarwalderkirschtorte! He has always said it but it’s so fast that I can never decipher the exact name – so, thank you Aunt Stephanie! I would LOVE to have that recipe. Thanks for being willing to share! I’ve wanted to attempt one – and never have.

    Kath-I laughed out loud when I scrolled down and saw your cake! :) You are precious to me!!!! hehehehe One trick to remember for cake slicing is to freeze it for a while before you cut it. It firms up and is easier to assemble and frost! I found that tidbit on a Bobby Flay Throwdown episode! :)

    Thanks for giving me the giggles first thing on a Tuesday a.m.! :)

  8. I also get impatient with the details and tend to “tweak” recipes–they never do come out looking/tasting like the original, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t good! I would have loved a taste of your cake.

  9. Well, serves me right for laughing at your cake. I made your famous banana muffins and plum forgot to add the melted butter. Oooops. At least Zoe likes ‘em, sort of.

  10. BAHAHAHA on the cake, Kathy! My dd made a jello salad the other night for dinner. It wasn’t the first time she made it. It was the first time, however, that it came out like jello soup. I don’t know what happened, but you can bet I wasn’t going to actually complain about it. I don’t want to be the one making it next time!

  11. I love your cake :O). My best friend makes the most beautiful cakes and mine well….. look like your’s no offence. I love your blog. I really want to start blogging too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. God bless you.

  12. When is the best time for cake? Why anytime, of course. I love ice cream cake, and cookies and cream cake, and especially any type of chocolate cakes. Cakes are appropriate for any and all occasions big and small: A good

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