This fudgy Black Forest Brownie Cake is a slice of heaven. Layers of torte-like chocolate cake, whipped cream, cherries and dark chocolate. It’s super moist and pleasingly messy.
Layer up the cake with Morello cherry preserve for a sweet and sticky contrast against the dark chocolate cake and vanilla cream.
This Black Forest Brownie Cake recipe is…
- Alcohol free
- Nut free
A celebration cake for every chocolate lover
I must admit, of all the food throwbacks there are, Black Forest Cake has to be at the top of my list. A classic layered cake reminiscent of retro dinner parties. I love everything about it. Black Forest Cake is based on the classic German cake, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, a torte made with layers of chocolate cake, sour cherries, cream and kirsch (a cherry-flavoured brandy).
My version is a little riff on the treasured classic, bringing textures of brownie to the party. Any sour cherry jam will do the job. My favourite varieties are jams made with Morello or Amarena cherries but you can use any you like the taste of.
How to make eggless Black Forest Cake
Skip the eggs and make a simple Black Forest Brownie Cake that’s both economical and easy to throw together.
I use a combination of self-raising sponge flour, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, light brown sugar, oil, buttermilk and baking soda. Together, these ingredients create a cake with a luxurious, truffle-like texture. Alongside cream, cherry jam, sour cherries and more dark chocolate, this dessert is a gâteau-lover’s dream.
Can I make Black Forest Cake without alcohol?
The most traditional Black Forest Cakes contain Kirsch (German: Kirschwasser – ‘cherry water’), a fragrant cherry brandy which adds both flavour and moisture to the sponge. If you cannot find Kirsch, I recommend replacing it with Amaretto, which lends a welcome hint of roasted almond to the cake.
When I make an alcohol-free version of Black Forest Cake, I like to replace Kirsch with cherry juice. This can either be fresh cherry juice or juice from a can of cherries.
Tips for making Black Forest Cake
- Soak the sponges with the alcohol or juice while they are still warm, then wrap each sponge in cling film and leave overnight. They will soak up beautifully.
- Like many cakes, Black Forest Cake always tastes better the next day. Try to make it a day or two in advance for a moist and delicious finish. Keep refrigerated.
- If you can’t find fresh cherries, tinned cherries in juice work perfectly well. They’re also inexpensive and available all year round. I find that as well as cherries, many tinned fruits (peaches, pineapples, mandarins, etc) are a great store cupboard item to have on standby.
- Add a touch of vanilla extract to the whipped cream if you like. It’s so good!
- For an extra chocolatey hit, grate dark chocolate in between the layers of sponge, jam and cream.
More cakes you might like
Can I freeze Black Forest Cake?
Feel free to make the sponges in advance, wrap in cling film and freeze until you’re ready to use. Do not freeze the assembled cake if you are using regular whipped cream as it will split. If you’d like to freeze the assembled cake, I recommend using a buttercream recipe in place of fresh cream.
What kind of chocolate should I use?
I use a combination of melted chocolate and cocoa powder for an intense chocolate aroma. Use a good-quality 70% cocoa chocolate bar. Lindt and Green & Blacks are both great choices.
How to make self-raising flour
If you are unable to find self-raising flour, feel free to replace it with plain flour. Will however, need to add your own raising agents. Add 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda to the flour mix in the recipe below.
Watch the full recipe video & subscribe
What size cake tin do I need?
2 x 6-inch cake tins for a 4-layer cake. Or 3 x 8-inch tins for a 3-layer cake (no need to split the sponges if using 3 tins). Grease and line the tins with butter/oil and non-stick baking parchment.
Equipment (contains affiliate links)
Black Forest Brownie Cake recipe
For the cake:
- 240 g self-raising cake flour
- 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 150 g soft light brown sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 100 g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 200 ml boiling hot water
- 250 ml buttermilk
- 100 ml oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 300 g Morello cherry preserve, or any sour cherry preserve/jam, stirred to loosen
- 500 ml double cream, cold
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 220 g tin pitted cherries, reserve 125ml of the juice if not using Kirsch
- 125 ml Kirsch or cherry juice
For the decoration:
- Chocolate shards
- Icing sugar
- Grease and line 2 x 6-inch cake tins with butter/oil and non-stick baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
- Place the dark chocolate in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir gently and allow to melt into a smooth liquid.
- In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cornflour, salt and sugar.
- In a jug, beat together the buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract.
- Add the butter milk mixture and chocolate mixture to the sifted dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about a minute.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared tins and smooth out the tops. Rasp the tins on the counter top a few times and then bake in a pre-heated oven at 160°C/320°F for 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Split the cakes in half lengthways. You should have a total of 4 sponges. Pour around 2 tablespoons of the cherry juice or Kirsch over the sponges.
- Beat the cream with a tablespoon of icing sugar, until it reaches a soft peak stage.
- Place one of the sponges on a board, top with whipped cream, some of the pitted cherries and a few tablespoons of Morello cherry preserve. Top with another sponge and repeat until all the sponges have been stacked. Finish with more cream, cherries, cherry preserve, chocolate shards and a dusting of snowy icing sugar.
- This cake tastes even better the next day. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Remove from the fridge 90 minutes before serving.
- Do not freeze.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 600Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 73gFiber: 4gSugar: 47gProtein: 7g
Pin this recipe for later!
If you like this, you’ll love my recipe for Eggless Tiramisu