Eggless black forest cake recipe with video. This decadently delicious eggless black forest cake is perfectly moist, full of rich chocolate flavour with layers of chocolate sponge, whipped cream & cherries, adorned with chocolate shavings. This beautiful black forest cake is the easiest that anyone can bake! Yes! Anyone! No matter you are a beginner or an experienced baker this recipe is the simplest to bake & easier than you think! It is perfect for any occasions and celebrations to make your day memorable.
About black forest cake
Black forest cake also known as Black Forest gateau, is a classic chocolate sponge cake with cream and cherry filling, based on a German dessert, “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte” which translates to “Black forest cherry torte”.
A typical black forest cake has several layers of super light chocolate sponge cake soaked with kirschwasser (cherry spirit), then sandwiched with whipped cream & cherries. Lastly it is decorated with some whipped cream frosting, maraschino cherries & chocolate shavings.
Though this delicious show-stopping dessert originated in Germany, it is made around the world that features slightly different versions.
But one thing that is true about the black forest cake, it is made with several layers of chocolate sponge cake, with a rich and addictive whipped cream and cherry filling. Rest of the components like the syrup and cherries used vary a lot depending on country.
The German Schwarzwalder Kirshtorte has an important component, kirschwasser, a clear spirit (alcohol) made from sour cherries. Germans, love their traditional dessert so much that the German law mandates “any dessert labelled Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte must have kirschwasser”. (Source:Wikipedia)
In a lot of countries, a dessert based on this is made without kirschwasser and it is called black forest cake or Black Forest gateau but not Schwarzwalder Kirshtorte because it has no kirschwasser.
My recipe is based on the German black forest cake, but is egg free and alcohol-free. As I mentioned earlier every culture and country has a variation of the traditional German Black forest cake.
Here in my recipe, I have used a simple sugar syrup as a substitute to alcohol, cherry spirit. You can also use regular cherry syrup, I have added the instructions below for that as well.
For the base, we need a soft and spongy cake. You can make one with eggs or without eggs. On occasions I have baked this cake with and without eggs. I have the recipes for both the versions on the blog.
The cake recipe I have used here is the same, the most popular eggless chocolate cake on my blog. It bakes up to a moist, super soft and flavorful cake. If you are a beginner you may check that post as well where I share the basics to baking perfect cake.
However If you prefer using eggs to make your chocolate sponge you may check this chocolate sponge cake.
If you do not have an oven, you can also bake this cake in a cooker or heavy bottom pot or pan following this cooker cake recipe. I highly suggest reading the full recipe and tips before you begin so you don’t go wrong.
This recipe is divided into 2 sections for the ease of understanding. The first section is to make the cake and the second section is to make the frosting and decorate the black forest cake. I also have a video of the full recipe below. Do check out that.
How to make black forest cake (stepwise photos)
If you do not have 6 inch pans, then bake one 8 inch cake and slice them to 2 layers. Decide on the number of layers you want to have in your black forest cake. Usually it has at least 3 to 4 layers.
1. Grease two 6 inch cake pans or one 8 inch cake pan. Line them with parchment paper. If you do not have parchment paper then simply dust some cocoa generously all over and invert the pans in the kitchen sink so the excess is removed. Preheat oven to 170 C or 340 F for at least 15 mins. Follow the same even to bake in microwave convection mode.
2. Place a sieve over a large mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup cocoa powder (good quality powder).
3. Next add 1 ½ cups flour – all-purpose flour or wheat flour (180 grams) and ⅓ teaspoon salt.
4. Add 1 teaspoon Baking soda. Please ensure your baking soda is active and within the shelf period before using.
5. Sieve all of them and mix well.
6. Add 1 cup sugar. I used fine sugar here. You can also powder 1 cup sugar and add it here.
7. Pour ⅓ cup oil (80 ml). I used organic virgin coconut oil. You can use any light neutral oil.
8. Pour 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract.
9. Pour 1 cup milk or water at room temperature. Pour 1 tablespoon Vinegar.
10. Begin to mix with a whisk gently just until combined. Scrape the sides in between and mix. Make sure you don’t overmix. We don’t want a gluey or flat cake.
11. You should have a smooth batter that is free of any lumps.
12. Divide the batter to greased 2 pans. Place the cake pans in the center rack of your oven. Bake for 20 mins (6 inch pan) or for 30 to 35 mins (8 inch pan). Every oven is different so adjust the baking time as needed. You may need a little longer.
13. When correctly baked, the tester comes out clean.
14. Remove the cake pans and place them on the racks so they don’t sweat at the bottom.
15. Remove the cakes from the pan by inverting the cake pan on the rack, as shown in the picture. Cool completely on the wired rack. While the cakes cool, make the sugar syrup or cherry syrup.
16. To make sugar syrup, boil 2 tbsp sugar with 4 to 5 tbsp water until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. or make cherry syrup by adding 3 tbsps water to chopped cherries. Rest for 45 mins. Later strain the syrup and use it here. Pat the cherries gently to remove excess juice.
17. I never slice my cakes and prefer to bake the individual layers in separate pans. But if you have baked it in a single 8 inch pan, then slice it in the center to 2 layers. Also if your cake is uneven on top, then slice it evenly with a cake leveler or knife. Clean up any bits of crumbs on the cake.
18. Pour 1 to 2 tbsps of the prepared syrup evenly on the cakes. Set this aside. This step is very essential as it keeps the cake moist.
19. Chill the bowl & beater for few hours. Then transfer 1½ cups cream to the chilled bowl and start whiping on a low then to medium speed until it turns bubbly and slightly thick.
20. Then slowly add 3 tablespoons powdered sugar.
21. Whip until stiff peaks. Stiff peaks stand up & do not fall when the beaters are lifted. Be careful not to over whip.
22. Fit a pipping nozzle inside a piping bag. Transfer half cup whipped cream to it. Avoid handling the bag a lot as it will soften the cream. Immediately refrigerate.
23. The eggless black forest cake is decorated with some chocolate shavings and cherries. For the chocolate shavings you can use any good quality chocolate. Keep the chocolate bar out of the fridge until it is easy to handle then using a grater or knife just make some shavings. You can make this ahead and refrigerate.
Before you begin this step ensure you do it in a cool room. If you live in a hot place, turn on your air conditioner.
24. Add a tsp of cream to the cake stand and place 4 parchment papers on all the 4 sides. Then place one layer of the cake over it. Spread cream on the cake. Then layer the chopped cherries.
25. Place another cake on top and spread the frosting there too. Do not handle the cream a lot, it begins to deflate.
26. Spread a thin layer on the sides as well and refrigerate for 45 to 60 mins. I made a 3 layer cake.
27. Repeat frosting cream all over the cake. If needed refrigerate it again. Then decorate the cake on the borders.
28. Cover the sides of the cake with chocolate shavings. Then place the cherries on top and fill the gaps with chocolate shavings. Immediately refrigerate the black forest cake until needed.
Slice the black forest cake to 8 to 10 portions.
Fresh cherries are best to use for layering & decorating. Alternately maraschino cherries or tinned cherries can be used if you like the flavor. Just pit the cherries and chop them to bite sizes.
Set aside some whole cherries for decoration. Allow the cherries to come down to room temperature before using it on the cake.
2. Cherry syrup
Originally kirschwasser, a clear spirit made of cherries is used to moisten the cake. Alternately freshly made cherry syrup or sugar syrup can be used. You can also use the cherry syrup from canned cherries.
Do not use the syrup from the maraschino cherries as the flavor is not good due to the additives. This can be prepared 1 day ahead.
For the frosting, whipping cream with at least 36% or above works best. I used cream with 36% fat. The more fats the more stable your whipped cream frosting will be.
I haven’t used any stabilizers but used homemade confectioners sugar. I used 1 tbsp cornstarch for every 1 cup of sugar & blended them together.
Yes you can bake this ahead. Cool completely and then wrap in cling wraps and refrigerate for a week. If you prefer a warm or hot cake, simply microwave it on high for 1 to 2 mins depending on how cold it is.
Traditionally sour cherries are used for the syrup and maraschino are used for decorating. But you can use anything that is available to you including fresh cherries, glazed cherries, bing cherries, lambert cherries and cherries in liquor.
Traditional German Black forest cake has several layers of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream, cherry filling & most importantly cherry liquer, known as kirschwasser. Whereas a chocolate cake may be dense or sponge cake, with or without layers of filling and no cherry liquor is used. A chocolate cake is a base and you can transform it to a black forest cake.
Yes the traditional German black forest cake known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte has cherry liquor added to it while layering. But my recipe does not have any alcohol and replaces it with simple sugar syrup.
Eggless Black Forest Cake
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
For the chocolate cake (makes two 6 inch cakes)
- 1½ cups flour (wheat or all-purpose flour)
- ¼ cup cocoa (good quality)
- 1 tsp baking soda (recheck expiry date)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup fine sugar or sugar powdered
- 1 cup milk or water (at room temperature, refer notes)
- 1/3 cup oil (I used virgin coconut oil)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp vinegar (minimum 5% acidity or lemon juice)
- ½ to ¾ cup chopped cherries (fresh or maraschino)
- 2 tbsp sugar (skip if making cherry syrup)
- 4 to 5 tbsp water
- 1½ cups whipping cream chilled (36% fat or above)
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar or confectioners sugar (refer notes)
Ingredients for decorating
- 6 to 8 cherries (fresh or maraschino)
- 1 chocolate bar for chocolate shavings
To make chocolate cake
- Grease & line two 6 inch cake pans or one 8 inch pan. Preheat the oven to 170 C for at least 15 mins.
- Sieve together flour, salt, cocoa and baking soda to a mixing bowl. Mix up the sugar and make a well in the center.
- Pour oil, vinegar, vanilla and milk or water. Mix well until just combined and is free of lumps.
- Pour the batter to the cake pans and knock to the kitchen counter a few times.
- Bake the cake for – 20 mins if using two 6 inch pans. Bake for – 30 to 35 mins if using one 8 inch pan. When done tester inserted comes out clean.
- Cool the cake pan on a wire rack for 8 to 10 mins. Invert it on the rack and cool completely before frosting.
Making cherry syrup
- If using sugar syrup boil 2 tbsps of sugar in 4 to 5 tbsps of water until the sugar dissolves and comes to a rolling boil.
- Or add 3 tbsps water to chopped cherries and set aside for 45 to 50 mins.
- Strain the cherries and collect the syrup.
- Pat the cherries gently to remove excess juices.
To make chocolate shavings
- Keep the chocolate at room temperature for a while until it is easy to handle.
- Shave the chocolate bar using a fruit peeler. Keep it in the fridge until used.
- Chill a bowl & beaters for at least 2 hours to whip the cream. I also chill the cake for an hour.
- If made to a single 8 inch cake then cut it to 2 layers. I do not prefer to slice the cake so I bake in two 6 inch pans.
- Pour some cherry syrup or sugar syrup on each layer of the cake. Set this aside.
- Pour the whipping cream to the chilled bowl and begin to whip on a low speed then on medium speed until bubbly and slightly thick.
- Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks.
- Fit a pipping nozzle inside a piping bag or use a disposable plastic bag.
- Transfer half cup of whipped cream to the bag. Refrigerate until used.
- Do not handle the bag a lot else the cream will soften.
Decorating the cake
- Spread 1 tbsp whipped cream on the cake stand and place a cake layer over it.
- Then begin to spread some frosting over it. Spread chopped cherries over the cream.
- Next place another layer of cake and spread the frosting.
- Finish up on the top portion and sides as well.
- Refrigerate the cream and the cake too for 45 to 50 mins if the cream begins to turn soft.
- Lastly spread a generous amount of whipped cream to finish off.
- Cover the sides of the cake with the chocolate shavings.
- Then decorate the cake border using the piping bag.
- I made about 12 roses you can do as many as you like – big or small. You can make your own designs too.
- Place the chilled whole cherries on the roses and then fill up the gaps with chocolate shavings.
- Refrigerate the eggless black forest cake until needed.
- Sugar: If you prefer to use powdered sugar, measure 1 cup sugar first and powder it. I use 1 tbsp cornstarch for every 1 cup of sugar & grind them together.
- Milk or water: Milk makes the cake slightly dense but adds richness and flavor to the cake.
- Make the cake previous night and store it at room temperature.The flavor of cake enhances by the next day.
- Prepare the frosting and decorate the same day. Refrigerate the cake and finish in 2 days otherwise the texture of the cake turns slightly dense.
- You can heat up the cake in microwave and spread fresh frosting once it cools down.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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