Black Forest Gateau Recipe

A classic German dessert, Black Forest Gateau (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), is a rich and decadent chocolate cake layered with whipped cream and cherries, then finished with chocolate shavings. This cake is perfect for special occasions and sure to impress your guests.


For the Cake:

  • 1 2/3 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (80g) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (240ml) boiling water

For the Cherry Filling:

  • 2 cups (480ml) pitted and chopped dark sweet cherries (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) kirsch (cherry brandy) or cherry juice

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Decoration:

  • Chocolate shavings or curls
  • Whole cherries (fresh or maraschino)


Preparing the Cake:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Mix Wet Ingredients: In another large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.
  5. Add Boiling Water: Stir in the boiling water until the batter is smooth. The batter will be thin.
  6. Bake the Cakes: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Preparing the Cherry Filling:

  1. Cook the Cherries: In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens.
  2. Add Kirsch: Remove from heat and stir in the kirsch. Allow the mixture to cool completely.

Preparing the Whipped Cream:

  1. Whip the Cream: In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat.

Assembling the Gateau:

  1. Slice the Cakes: Once the cakes are completely cool, slice each cake in half horizontally to create four layers.
  2. Layer with Cherry Filling and Cream: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a layer of cherry filling over the cake, followed by a layer of whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  3. Frost the Cake: Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top and sides of the cake.
  4. Decorate: Decorate with chocolate shavings and whole cherries.


  • Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Slice and serve chilled.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Black Forest Gateau!

Leave a Comment