black forest cake

Shana’s Black Forest Cake





1 hr


35 min


Like 1022

Shana’s Black Forest Cake

One of the best sponge recipes for the Black Forest Cake. No Alcohol Recipe.

Total time is not inclusive of Chilling Time (3 HOURS).

Read a little bit about the history of the Black Forest Cake in the Intro.

The Recipe Intro also includes Video on how to make this awesome cake . Check it out.

 read the recipe introduction 300x81 Shanas Black Forest Cake

black forest cake recipe 199x300 Shanas Black Forest Cake

Ingredients:For the super soft and light chocolate sponge cake:

  • 10 eggs ‏(8 yolks + 10 whites of egg separated)
  • ¾ tsp ‏cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (225 gms) ‏of Castor Sugar (fine grain)
  • 1 cup (110 gms) + 2 Tbsp ‏Cake Flour
  • ¹⁄3 cup (30 gms) ‏good quality coco powder (normal or dutch processed, I used dutch processed)
  • ½ tsp ‏salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ‏vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp ‏store bought 'Orange Juice' (without pulp) mixed with ¾ Tbsp Water to dilute. Set aside.
  • ½ cup (200 gms) ‏vegetable, sunflower or rice bran oil - neutral flavored oil

For Decorating:

  • 160 gms ‏of dark chocolate for decorating (you might have some left over)
  • 4 ½ cups ‏UHT Whipping Cream - kept chilled (I used a 1 liter tetra pack)
  • As needed: ‏Glaced cherries (ones that taste good)
  • As needed: ‏Fresh dark cherries

For Vanilla Whipped Cream:

  • 1 ½ Tbsp ‏unflavored gelatin
  • ½ cup (115 gms) ‏cold water
  • 2 ½ cups (575 gms) ‏heavy whipping cream (35%-40% butterfat content)
  • ¼ cup (27.5 gms) ‏sifted icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

For lightly flavored Chocolate Whipped Cream: 

  • 2 cups (460 gms) ‏Whipping Cream
  • 1 Tbsp ‏Cocoa Powder (I used dutch processed)
  • ¼ tsp ‏ Vanilla Powder
  • 10 -12 tsp ‏Icing Sugar - to taste - I prefer it to be just lightly sweetened


Notes for Preparation:

  1. For best results, prepare the chocolate and vanilla flavored whipped cream several hours before filling and covering the cake. Keep chilled.
  2. Chill 2 bowls and wire whisk for whipping the cream in freezer for 30 min. (If you live in a very cold climate or are working in air conditioned spaces, this is not required).
  3. Also keep the whipping cream chilled till time to whip. (Never freeze whipping cream).
  4. When time to whip the cream: Place the bowl in an ice bath/bed,  and add the cream.

For  Vanilla Whipped Cream

(The vanilla whipped cream is used to frost the sides and top of the cake. To allow for a smoother finish that does not melt as easily, we will make a stabilized whipped cream using gelatin):

  1. In a cup, combine gelatin and cold water. Stir and Let stand until thickened.
  2. Microwave  just until the gelatin dissolves (about 30 s -1 m) OR melt on low heat in a sauce pan.
  3. Cool for 3 minutes.
  4. Then, mix in ½ cup of the chilled cream and allow to cool off COMPETELY in fridge; about 5 mintues (do not allow to set into jelly).
  5. Take out the cold mixing bowl and whisk from freezer. To this, add the remaining chilled cream + the icing sugar and Whip  until slightly thick.  (Start on slow speed).
  6. While slowly beating, add the the Gelatin-Cream mixture (start on low speed slowly increasing to prevent kitchen splatter!)
  7. Whip at high speed until stiff.  (Once soft peaks start forming you will need to watch carefully. Do not walk away! You might even want to whisk by hand to finish off.  Stop when you achieve the correct consistency OR you will make butter not whipped cream!!!) Refrigerate till ready to use.

For lightly flavored Chocolate Whipped Cream:

( No need for gelatin in the chocolate whipped cream as it is used between the layers and around the bottom edge of the cake. Chilling the whipped cream will stiffen it sufficiently).

  1. Add 2 cups chilled whipped cream into chilled bowl.
  2. Whisk till soft peaks. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla powder. Whisk briefly.
  3. Taste and add sugar if needed. Continue to whisk till stiff. At this point stop whisking or you’ll end up making butter. Cover the bowl of whipped cream with saran wrap and place in the fridge to chill along with the vanilla whipped cream.

For the super soft and light chocolate sponge cake:


  1. Take out the eggs from the refrigerator, separate white from the yolks. Make sure there’s no trace of yellow in the white. Cover and allow to come down to room temperature. (Note that there are 2 extra whites than yolks).
  2. Put the 1 cup sugar for the sponge cake in a food processor and process for 30 seconds – 1 minute to create a fine granulated sugar – a must for our light textured sponge cake.
  3. Sieve the Cake flour, Coco Powder and salt together repeatedly – 3 times. First sieve into a wide bowl. Then drop onto waxed lunch paper or parchment paper and  use this paper to easily drop the flour back into the sieve easily. and repeat this process twice. Set aside.
  4. Mix the oil, juice-water solution and vanilla extract in a cup and set aside, allowing to bring to room temperature. Set aside.

Bake The Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven now to 350°F / 180ºc.
  2. Bowl #1: Use a large bowl with a hand mixer with wire whisk attachment (or whisk attachment of your mixer). Make sure there is absolutely not residue from the previous cooking on the bowl or whisk. It should be sterile and dry for best results. Beat the Egg Whites till foamy. Add the creme of tartar. Continue beating till soft peaks form and then watch it  till stiff peaks occur. (Do not over beat).
  3. Bowl #2:  Beat the Egg yolks with the fine granulated sugar that we had set aside, using a hand held beater Or whisk attachment of Processor Or Mixer. Whisk until a very Pale Yellow color is achieved and it creates’temporary’ ribbon like streaks when lifted and dropped back.
  4. Give the oil-juice mixture that we set aside a good stir. Add this to the Yolk Mixture. Stir to incorporate.
  5. Now add the thrice sifted flour-coco into this yolk/oil mixture,  a little at a time till all the flour is evenly incorporated.
  6. Lastly, add the whipped egg white and fold into the flour batter. This should be done with a plastic spatula or whisk, folding in the egg white quite quickly without over mixing, this is  (IMPORTANT)  . Also make sure there is no thick yolk-coco mixture stuck at the bottom of the bowl. Fold in gently but quickly till all the egg white is used. (A little bit of white lines are okay but there should be no thick bits of yellow in the batter).
  7. Divide & Pour into 2 UN-GREASED, 8 -9 ” aluminum cake pans equally. Pat gently on counter top, move from side to side and pat again to remove air bubbles. 
  8. Bake 30-35 minutes or till centre is set. Remove from oven and INVERT  onto elevated Wire racks. (This will prevent the cake from sinking and help to cool off the cakes from the bottom; a good way to elevate is to place the wire racks on top of  kitchen colanders or baskets).
  9. Once the cakes are cooled completely use a sharp knife to go around the edge of the pans to release the cake onto flat plates. Slice each cake into two using a broad serrated knife or cake leveler. (I find the plastic serrated cake knife you get along with birthday cakes works well for this purpose too).

Decorate the Black Forest Cake:

  1. Add the chopped glace cherries into the chocolate whipped cream ( reserve some chocolate whipped cream for piping around the bottom of the cake). Stir to mix.
  2. Apply an even layer of choco-cherry whipped cream over each layer of cake.
  3. (Some like to brush rum/ kirsch or sugar syrup over the cake layers before frosting. Trust me.. this cake is so moist, it doesn’t need it).
  4. Once three layers of chocolate sponge is covered with choco-cherry whipped cream, place the final sponge on top.
  5. Frost all around and on top of the cake with the stabilized vanilla (White) whipped cream. Get it as smooth as possible, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. (The cake gets completely covered in chocolate shavings).
  6. Place back in the fridge till the suface is set before decorating.
  7. Put the remaining white whipped cream and reserved chocolate whipped cream in seperate piping bags and set in the fridge as well.
  8. Take the chilled cake out and gently apply chocolate shavings all around the sides first.
  9. Pipe vanilla whipped cream swirls all around the top edge of the cake. They should be fluffy enough to plop a cherry on top.
  10. Fill the centre of the cake with more chocolate shavings.
  11. Pipe a little vanilla swirl on the centre. Decorate all the piped swirls with a cherry on top. I used fresh cherries around the edge and glaced cherries in the centre.
  12. Pipe around the bottom edge of the cake with chocolate whipped cream.
  13. Chill till ready to serve.
  14. The leftover cake keeps well upto 2 days, in tightly covered tupperware.


Shana’s Black Forest Cake


  • The first Black Forest Cake remains a mystery. Josef Keller (1887–1981), a confectioner claimed to have invented the delicious cake in its present form in 1915 at then prominent Café Agner in Bad Godesberg,  about 500 km north of the Black Forest. And then, some researchers suggest that  Tübingen master patissier Erwin Hildenbrand is the creator, . who came up with the cake in the spring of 1930 at the Café Walz in Tübingen. Oh well.. all we know for sure is that we love the awesome  Black Forest Cake.
  • It is important that once the yolks are mixed and egg whites stiff, all the mixing should be done relatively fast and batter placed in oven, If the batter sits too long it tends not to give a light sponge.
  • Make sure your bowl, whisk and whipping cream are chilled before making the whipped cream : or it simply will not get peaks. If you live in a humid climate and the temperature rises drastically when you take out the utensils from the freezer its better to place the mixing bowl in a basin of ice and cold water to ensure the cream gets whipped!
  • When whisking egg whites it is absolutely essential that your bowl and wire whisk are free from any residue. I like to wash these utensils with vinegar and warm water and scrub clean with soap after every use.
  • Please use aluminum pans and not non stick (ungreased).
  • Do not leave the cake in the oven to cool. When done immediately invert on wired racks to cool.
  • If you are  planning to serve your  Black Forest Cake the next day, I would bake the cake the dy before and refridgerate ,then whip the cream and add the topping on the day of serving to prevent the cream from melting. Although my cream has lasted without issue over night! Never leave the cream to whisk in the bowl to answer the phone or anything as you will risk the chance of making butter by over-beating it;Keep close watch!
  • Its a good idea to set around 3 large bowls one of which should be very large.
  • 3 medium bowls, 2 small bowls, measuring cups, spoons and all the ingredients and processor/mixer/whisks before you start anything or your kitchen can get chaotic!

Key Ingredients: Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Coco Powder, Chocolate, Cherrys, Oil, Whipping Cream, Cream of tartar, Orange Juice, Vanilla Extract, Salt.

Let us know if you tried it – Shana’s Black Forest Cake.
read the recipe introduction 300x81 Shanas Black Forest Cake




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  1. HELP! I tried this vanilla whip cream frosting 2 times and both times my beautiful whip cream peaks fell to the bottom of the bowl and turned to butter as soon as I folded in the gelatin mixture. I tried to mix it but it only got worse, turned yellow and chunky and looked like cottage cheese! What did I do wrong? Thanks for your help. By the way, the sponge cake came out fabulous!

    • Hi Nancy. Okay it sounds to me like you over whipped the whipping cream. In any case, gelatin added or not, over whipping the cream will make butter. The cream should just be gaining a soft peak consistency, when the gelatine-cream mixture is added.. and also the gelatin mixture should be cool and thickened when taken from the fridge – but not set(it should still be pourable- as seen in video). Perhaps you could adjust the speed of your elective beater to a lower setting next time.. Also check the date on your gelatin. I hope this helps :). Also could I know what temperature/climate you are working in? So happy the sponge cake came out as desired:) thank you

  2. Thank you so much for the reply! I tried it again and didn’t let the gelatin set up as long in the fridge and I didn’t overbeat on high and it worked!! Yeah! My luncheon party was a huge success and the cake with the whip cream frosting was the highlight of everyone’s taste buds! Three of my friends even went home with your website written out for them to get the recipe! Thanks so much for ALL your recipes and detailed instruction! I live in Portland, OR. Rainy, wet and not humid at all, temp here is 50-60 degrees average. Thank you so much again, I’m ready to tackle another of your recipes now!

    • That’s awesome Nancy! Thank you for your kind words☺️ Im sure you made sn awesome luncheon.. what else did uou serve? would love to see a picture of your cake.. you could mail me – if your find uploading to the post difficult;)

  3. Hi there! I only have silicone round cake pans. Will that be a problem? Thanks!

    • Hi Lara, from my experience silicone pans are better suited for denser cakes. Un – moulding a cake such as this ‘light’ textures and high egg white cake would likely be problematic. I recommend sturdy aluminum cake pans for this cake, for better rising too… let me know if you try it 🙂

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