Corner Café

June 15, 2008

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte / Black Forest Cherry Cake

Filed under: Cakes & Cupcakes — SeaDragon @ 10:38 pm
Tags: , ,
Black_Forest_Cake 07

Black_Forest_Cake 08

The Black Forest Cherry Cake, or its original German name of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, originated in the Black Forest region of Germany. The Schwarzwald (Black Forest) region is known for its sour cherries (Morello cherries) and the cherry liqueur known as ‘Kirschwasser’ (or just ‘Kirsch’ in English) distilled from the sour cherries.
Many people mistakenly thought that chocolate is the main ingredient in making the Black Forest Cake, and using it in combination with any berry fruit can be called a ‘Black Forest Cake’ but it is not so. Remember that cocoa trees only grow in the tropics, and chocolate only arrived into Europe around the 16th century, so chocolate would not be an ingredient used in making cakes in Germany before that time. The Kirsch and the sour cherries are actually the most important ingredients as can be noted in its German name, ‘Kirschtorte’ which implies cake made from Kirsch. Chocolate is only used as a compliment to the Kirsch and the sour cherries when the version of the cake we know and love today made its appearance around the beginning of the 20th century.
Black_Forest_Cake 14

Makes one 22cm cake

Chocolate Sponge Cake:
4 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon salt
200g caster sugar, sifted
120g plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Cherry Compote:
680g-jar pitted sour cherries (see picture below), drained well
125ml cherry juice, from the jar of sour cherries
35g (2 tablespoons) caster sugar
20g (2 tablespoons) cornflour
20ml cherry juice, from the jar of sour cherries

The jar of Pitted Sour Cherries I used.

125g dark chocolate
100ml thickened (whipping) cream

Kirsch-Flavoured Crème Chantilly:
500ml thickened (whipping) cream
50g (3 tablespoons) caster sugar
30ml (1 1/2 tablespoons) kirsch

For Assembly:
50ml kirsch, for brushing cake layers
maraschino cherries with stem, drained well on kitchen paper, for decoration
chocolate curls, for decoration
Chocolate Sponge Cake:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm round springform cake tin and line the base with baking paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, cream of tartar and soda twice.
2. Beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, spoonful by spoonful, and beat until stiff peaks form.
3. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Fold in sifted dry ingredients gently but thoroughly, do it in two or three batches.
4. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Give the tin a light tap on the kitchen bench to get rid of any large bubbles in the batter.
8. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked.

Cherry Compote:
Dissolve cornflour with 20ml cherry juice. Bring 125ml cherry juice to the boil with the sugar until sugar dissolved. Lower heat and add the cornflour paste and the drained cherries, stirring quickly to combine. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Fill into a piping bag without a nozzle attached.

Black_Forest_Cake 01

1. Break the chocolate into small pieces. Warm the cream in a saucepan over very low heat then add and melt the chocolate until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

Black_Forest_Cake 02

2. When cold, beat until soft and plaer in colour then fill into another piping bag fitted with a round nozzle.

Black_Forest_Cake 03

Kirsch-Flavoured Crème Chantilly:
Beat cream, sugar and kirsch until stiff. Fill half of the cream into another piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

1. Cut the cake into three layers.
2. Place the first cake layer on the cake board. Drizzle or brush the cake layer with 25ml of kirsch. Then pipe alternate rings of Cherry Compote and Ganache over the cake.

Black_Forest_Cake 04

3. Place the second cake layer on top. Press lightly to secure. Drizzle or brush the layer with the remaining 25ml of kirsch. Pipe alternate rings of Cherry Compote and Crème Chantilly over the cake.

Black_Forest_Cake 05

4. Place the final cake layer on top. Press lightly to secure. Frost the cake all over with the Crème Chantilly not filled into the piping bag.
5. Pipe rosettes of remaining Crème Chantilly in the piping bag on top to decorate. Place a maraschino cherry with stem on top of each rosette. Scatter chocolate curls over the top to finish.

Black_Forest_Cake 11

Texture: Sweet & sour flavours with a moist texture
Consume: Best within 2-3 days
Storage: Chill, covered, in the refrigerator
Recipe Reference:Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte’ recipe in Japanese at .tsuji


  1. SD,
    Would like to confirm with you that there’s no oil in the sponge cake? Wouldn’t it be too dry?

    Comment by delia — June 16, 2008 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  2. delia,
    Correct, there’s no oil added in the sponge. This type of sponge cake is always used as a base for filled or decorated cake. You don’t serve it plain like a chiffon cake, but once filled with cream, moist filling as well as being brushed with syrup or liqueur, the cake will be very moist to the taste.

    Comment by SeaDragon — June 16, 2008 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  3. Hi SD,
    Thanks for the illustration of cream and cherry compote placement on the cake. Your tip of wiping the maraschino cherry is a good one. I made BFC the other day and the sauce from the cherry bled to the cream rosette.

    Do you use a vegetable peeler to make your chocolate curls?

    Have you tried to make your own pitted sour cherry before or have an idea how to? Cherries are in season in the US now. 🙂

    Thanks SD.

    Comment by mrshbt — June 17, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  4. mrshbt,
    For the chocolate curls, I used a knife to shave the chocolate. First melt the chocolate and spread onto a flat surface like the back of a large dinner plate or better still a marble slab. Wait until it just hardens then shave off thin curls.

    If you can buy fresh Morello cherries, then I would think just remove the stones and use them straight. I can only buy the sweet varieties of cherry here in Aus, have never seen the fresh sour Morello cherries for sale, so I am not sure if you need to do anything else to it before consuming.

    Comment by SeaDragon — June 18, 2008 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks SD, for instruction on making the chocolate curls. Now, I can get some big fat chocolate curls.

    We have two kinds of fresh cherries sold here locally, Rainier (Yellow) and Dark Red Cherries. I have not seen sour Morello Cherries either. 🙂

    Comment by mrshbt — June 19, 2008 @ 1:19 am | Reply

  6. Hi SD,

    I have been a silent but an ardent fan of yours since “Cafe of the East”, and was jumping for joy that I realised that you started CornerCafe. They (both your sites) is an invaluable resource for new bakers like myself.

    Thanks SD, for your time and effort in maintaining your blog, and not forgetting your generosity in sharing your recipes.

    Oh, I applied to be a member of your forum, but have not receive any response from you yet. Can you please look into it, please?


    Comment by Celine Ooi — June 20, 2008 @ 11:22 pm | Reply

  7. Celine,
    Welcome, thanks for the kind words 🙂

    I just checked the forum membership, you’re listed as a member already. Let me know if you’re still having problem logging in, yeah?

    Comment by SeaDragon — June 21, 2008 @ 9:08 am | Reply

  8. SD,

    Tried to log-in but was asked for the activation code (which I was supposed to receive via email). I did not receive any email. Can you please send it to me?

    My username – celineooi
    Email add –



    Comment by Celine Ooi — June 27, 2008 @ 12:12 am | Reply

  9. Celine,
    Hmm, I don’t actually send out the activation code personally, it is done automatically by ‘Aceboard’ who provides the free forum service I’m using.

    Check your junk mail section in your email and see if the mail is put there because it could be regarded by your email as spam. If not, let me know and I’ll try to contact ‘Aceboard’ and see if there’s anything I can do.

    Comment by SeaDragon — June 27, 2008 @ 7:32 am | Reply

  10. SD,

    Checked my spam box and it is not there. Can you please check with ‘Aceboard’?

    Sorry to be a pain, but I truly want to join your forum.

    Thanks alot!

    Comment by Celine Ooi — June 28, 2008 @ 5:24 am | Reply

  11. Celine,
    I’ve done a change to registration at my forum, now I’m accepting registration without the email confirmation. So I’ve deleted your previous registration. Please can you register again, hopefully this time there will be no problem. Fingers crossed 🙂

    Comment by SeaDragon — June 28, 2008 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  12. SD,

    Thanks for taking all the trouble re my registration. I truly appreciate it – I am happily browsing and learning from your forum, which is invaluable to a newbie like me.

    Oh, just wanna let you know that I tried many recipes from your old blog with lots of success – hummingbird cake, banana chocolate cake, mochi, pineapple tart, etc.

    Keep up the good work, and keep the recipes coming.

    Warmest regards,

    Comment by Celine Ooi — June 29, 2008 @ 12:40 am | Reply

  13. Hey im from UK and i can’t find no where to buy them cherries in a jar? anyone help?

    Comment by Angel — April 2, 2009 @ 6:52 am | Reply

    • Angel,
      Maybe ask at your local supermarkets for ‘morello cherries’ or ‘sour/tart cherries’, they may be sold in tins rather than in jars over there in UK?

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 2, 2009 @ 9:27 pm | Reply

  14. Great Article , I considered it exceptional

    I look ahead to more similar postings like this one. Does This Site have a newsletter I can subscribe to for new postings?

    Comment by Treardimperse — November 24, 2009 @ 7:03 am | Reply

    • Sorry, this is just a hobby blog, so I don’t do newsletter.

      Comment by SeaDragon — December 5, 2009 @ 10:35 am | Reply

      • Hi…what parts of this can I make a day ahead?

        Comment by cleopatra — November 25, 2010 @ 2:03 am | Reply

        • You can make the whole cake a day ahead but you must keep it in the fridge overnight in a container.

          Comment by SeaDragon — November 25, 2010 @ 7:45 pm | Reply

  15. How many peaces did you get out of this cake?

    Comment by Marie Engling — June 13, 2012 @ 5:59 am | Reply

    • 8 to 12 depending on how big or small you cut them.

      Comment by SeaDragon — June 13, 2012 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

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