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This Black Forest Cake combines rich chocolate cake layers with fresh cherries, cherry liqueur, and a simple whipped cream frosting.

A piece of cake sitting on top of a wooden table

Black Forest Cake was a staple when I was growing up (much to my dismay…read on).

You know, the grocery store kind with the nuclear red maraschino cherries? My mom loooooved that cake and always got it for her birthday, and often at other times throughout the year as well. This was epically disappointing to me.

Why on earth would you ruin a perfectly delicious cake with those sickly sweet, sticky, artificial tasting cherries? Whyyyyy? Needless to say, I ate around them, but they totally tainted the cake and frosting. Sad times.

Now that I think about it, it’s probably been a good 20-25 years since I’ve had that cake.

I’ve talked about my disdain for maraschino cherries before, and that feeling still holds true to this day. I have caved and used them as a garnish because I will admit, they look pretty and just go with certain desserts, but they get plucked right off before eating the cake.

Thing is, I actually love cherries. Real cherries. Fresh cherries. They are one of my favourite summer seasonal fruits. So, I set off to re-create the decades-old Black Forest Cake my way.

Close up of the bark on the cake

I promise you, this is one of the easiest cakes you will make.

It looks fancier than it is, and the chocolate bark was actually dead easy to make. The trickiest part of this cake is making sure you don’t have any lingering cherry pits in your cherries, which totally happened due to a less-than-stellar cherry pitter that broke after about 10 cherries.


Needless to say, it got returned.

Overhead shot of the cake

So, super easy chocolate cake, a simple whipped cream for frosting, and fresh cherries. That’s really all you need.

In order to keep it traditional, I also made a cherry syrup (using kirsch – cherry liqueur) to brush onto the cake layers.

You can leave this out if you’d like to keep it kid-friendly or use a non-alcoholic cherry syrup.


taco shells

  • ▢6 large Flour Tortillas
  • ▢1 cup Oil for frying
  • ▢⅔ cup sugar
  • ▢2 teaspoons cinnamon


  • ▢1 21 oz can apple pie filling , chopped coarsely


  • ▢3 large apples
  • ▢1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • ▢3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ▢1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ▢1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ▢1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ▢½ cup water (divided)


  • ▢Frozen Whipped Topping
  • ▢Caramel sauce (store bought or homemade)


taco shells

  • Using a 3.5″ circle cutter, cut out circles from your tortillas. You should get about 5 from each tortilla. (You can use any size cutter but this was the perfect size for a 2-3 bite taco).
  • Combine sugar & cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Heat about 1 ½” of oil in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Use a little scrap of tortilla to put in the oil and make sure it’s good & bubbly.
  • Using tongs, place one circle in the oil for about 5 seconds. Flip it over and fold it in half holding it folded for about 5 seconds or until browned. Flip over and fry the other side until crispy. Immediately remove from the oil giving it a little shake and place into the cinnamon sugar.
  • Set on a pan to cool. You can leave these at room temperature for up to 3 days.


  • Peel and dice apples. Toss with lemon juice.
  • Over medium heat stir together butter, chopped apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Add about ¼ cup water and let cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes. Stir 1 teaspoon cornstarch into remaining water and add to pan. Continue cooking until most of the liquid is gone and apples are soft.


  • (see note below for serving suggestions) Fill each taco shell with about 2 tablespoons of pie filling (will vary based on shell size) and top with frozen whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.


    To serve:
    Place a mini muffin tin upside down (if desired you can line the tin with a cloth napkin to look pretty as I did in the photos above). Fill each taco with warm pie filling and top with frozen whipped topping. Lightly drizzle with caramel sauce.

    Nutrition calculated using 1 cup oil for frying and without whipped topping or caramel sauce.

    Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

    4.89 from 17 votes

    nutrition information

    Calories: 82 | Carbohydrates: 16g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 39mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg

    Black Forest Cake

    This Black Forest Cake combines rich chocolate cake layers with fresh cherries, cherry liqueur, and a simple whipped cream frosting.


    Chocolate Cake:

    • 2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
    • 1 cup hot water or hot coffee
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla

    Cherry Liqueur Syrup:

    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur

    Whipped Cream Frosting:

    • 3 cup whipping cream cold
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar sifted

    Chocolate Bark:

    • 250 g good quality dark chocolate chopped


    • 2 1/2 cups cherries pitted and cut in half
    • 1 bar dark chocolate for shavings (optional)
    • cherries


    Chocolate Cake:

    • Preheat oven to 350F, grease two 8″ round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.
    • Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
    • In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly as not to cook the eggs).
    • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
    • Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.
    • Bake for 45 mins or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. 
    • Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

    Cherry Liqueur Syrup:

    • Place sugar and water into a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 min then remove from heat. Stir in cherry liqueur and allow to cool completely.

    Whipped Cream Frosting:

    • Whip cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks. Ideally in a cold bowl with a cold whisk.

    Chocolate Bark:

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


    • Cut each cake layer in half horizontally.
    • Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush generously with cherry syrup. 
    • Top with approximately 1 cup whipped cream and spread evenly. Top with approximately 1 cup of cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers and frost the outside of the cake.
    • Decorate with chocolate bark, chocolate shavings, rosettes, and cherries if desired.

    By uvu44

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