Black Forest Cake With Cherries

**This recipe was featured as part of our 2020 Virtual New Release Wine & Food Pairings.**

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  • Chambourcin 2019

The Chambourcin wine has dark fruit on the nose and a moderate tannin structure, which pairs well with dark chocolate. The wine has a red fruit character on the palate, which we have complimented by the addition of cherries between the layers.

Beef Bourguignon Over Polenta


Chocolate Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus some for dusting cake pans)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted (plus some for dusting cake pans)

  • 2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature

  • 1 cup hot water

  • 2 tsp vanilla

Cherry Liqueur Syrup

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • ¼ cup cherry liqueur

Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 4 cups whipping cream

  • 2 Tbs powdered sugar, sifted

Chocolate Bark (optional – adds extra chocolate richness)

  • ½ Lb good quality dark chocolate chopped


  • 2½ cups fresh cherries pitted and cut in half
    …or use 6 oz dried cherries: coarsely chopped, mix with 1 cup water in a bowl, microwave briefly, allow to sit until cherries soften slightly, drain off excess water.

  • 2 bars dark chocolate for shavings. Shave using a potato peeler.

  • 16 oz jar Maraschino cherries


Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8″ round baking pans with butter and dust with 50/50 mix of cocoa powder and flour.
  2. Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in very slowly as not to cook the eggs).
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
  5. Pour evenly into prepared pans. (I use a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.)
  6. Bake for 45 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out mostly clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Cherry Liqueur Syrup

  1. Drain the Maraschino cherries into a measuring cup. Add enough water to make ½ cup. Add ½ cup sugar. Stir and bring to a boil in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 1 min or until sugar dissolves, then remove from heat. Allow to partially cool.
  2. Stir in cherry liqueur and allow to cool completely.

Whipped Cream Frosting

Be sure that the whipping cream is cold. In a cold bowl, using cold beaters, whip cream and powdered sugar until attaining stiff peaks. Refrigerate.

Chocolate Bark

  1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in 20 second bursts in the microwave.
  2. Using a large spatula, spread melted chocolate in a thin layer on a large sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Roll up from the short side of the parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  4. Unroll to create chocolate bark.


  1. Cut each cake layer in half horizontally, creating four thin slices.
  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Generously brush the top of each layer of cake with cherry syrup.
  3. Top first layer with approximately 1 cup whipped cream frosting and spread evenly. Spread 1/3 of the cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers, with no cherries on the top layer. Frost the outside of the cake.
  4. Decorate with chocolate bark, chocolate shavings, and whole maraschino cherries.