Monday, March 28, 2011

It's Time for Blackforest!

When I was young, I always wondered what a Black Forest Cake is. My impression back then was that Black Forest cakes are a staple in confectionaries and they always seemed to taste good. Now that I am a home baker, I learnt that a Black Forest Cake is basically a cream cake consisting of cherries and chocolate sponge. I have been wanting to make a Black Forest Cake ever since I started making layer cakes. Somehow, it never materialized. With a pack of opened dairy whipping cream lying in my fridge, it was a good excuse to work on this cake.

I don't quite fancy plain whipped cream cakes but this is one that agrees well with my palate, due to the presence of halved dark sweet cherries and thickened cherry syrup stuffed into the whipped cream layers. The cherry syrup, thickened with corn flour, resembles the consistency of canned blueberry pie filling.

I will be submitting this entry for this month's Aspring Bakers #5: Fruity March hosted by Jess of Bakericious.    

Black Forest Cake ( Chocolate Sponge Cake recipe adapted from 超人气香港蛋糕56款, Cream filling adapted from Delicious cakes by Amy Heng)
Serving size: Makes a 9 inch round cake. Serves 10 to 12 slices
Taste and texture: Cake base is soft, moist and fluffy. Whipped cream is cherry-sweet, smooth and creamy.
Equipment and materials:
  • 9 x 3 inch round pan
  • 10 inch round cake board
  • Cake leveller or palette/serrated knife longer than 8 inches
  • Balloon/wire whisk
  • Rubber spatula
  • Handheld beater/Stand beater
  • Baking paper
  • Wire rack
  • Toothpick/wooden skewer
  • Flour sieve
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cake turntable (optional)
  • Star Piping tip (Wilton # 22)
  • Piping bag
  • Coupler for piping

Chocolate Sponge Cake (3 layers):
  • 85g egg yolks, room temperature
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 5 tbs vegetable oil
  • 5 tbs water
  • 110g cake flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 200g egg whites, room temperature
  • 65g caster sugar

Making the Chocolate Sponge Cake:

Prepare Oven - Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.

Prepare flour mixture - Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk to combine and allow the dry ingredients to be evenly distributed.

Making the egg yolk batter - Place egg yolks, 65g caster sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg yolks and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add in oil and water. Mix well with a wire whisk. Add in the flour mixture and mix to obtain a smooth and thick chocolate batter.

Beating egg whites - In a clean metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites on low speed. Increase speed slowly to medium-high and beat untill egg whites are at soft peaks. Add 65g of sugar gradually and beat untill egg whites are almost stiff and still moist. This is when the beaters are lifted, the egg whites will form peaks that are upright and not drooping slightly. Egg whites will resemble whipped cream.The entire bowl of whites will not drop out when the bowl is overturned. Do not beat until the egg whites are dry and clumpy.

Folding in egg whites - Using a balloon whisk, fold one third of beaten egg whites into egg yolk batter gently to lighten and combine. Fold in the rest of the beaten whites to combine. Final batter should be foamy and uniform in colour with no streaks of egg white present. Folding egg whites gently using a balloon whisk will prevent egg whites from deflating too much.

Baking the sponge cake - Pour batter into a greased and lined 9 x 3 inch round pan and bake at 160 degrees C for 30 -35 minutes. Test doneness using a skewer or toothpick. The highest part of the cake should rise up to 4/5 or nearly the full height of the tin. When the cake is done, the inserted skewer will come out clean. Cake will shrink from edges and in height on cooling. Unmould sponge cake and leave to cool upright on a wire rack.

Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting: 
  • 500ml chilled whipping cream (dairy)
  • 2 1/2 tbs icing sugar
  • 1 can (425g/15oz) dark sweet cherries
  • cherry liquid from can
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • 1 1/2 tbs sugar

  • 12 whole cherries from can, or 12 fresh cherries or 12 maraschinao cherries.
  • 100ml chilled whipping cream for piping rosettes, (whipped to soft peaks)
  • Enough dark chocolate shavings/choc rice

Preparing whipped cream filling and frosting:

Whipping the cream - Place 500 ml chilled whipping cream in a mixing bowl. Beat the cream on high speed until it reaches mousse state. Add 2 1/2 tbs icing sugar and continue beating the cream on low speed, stopping and checking the consistency every 5 seconds. Beat the cream until it reaches soft peak (80% stiff)

Preparing cherries - Drain the cherries and reserve the cherry liquid. Reserve 12 whole cherries and half the rest. Squeeze halved cherries gently to remove some of the juice. Set aside halved cherries and 12 whole cherries.

Preparing cherry syrup - Place reserved cherry syrup, 1 tbs cornflour and 2 tbs sugar in a saucepan and stir until combined.  Heat the mixture on low heat until it thickens slightly. Allow the cherry syrup to cool completely before use. It will thicken further on cooling.


Slicing sponge cake - Slice sponge cake into 3 even layers using cake leveller or long serrated/palette knife. Slice off the part that has domed.

Preparing the layers - Using the removable base of a round tart tin or a round cake board, slide the tart tin base or cake board under a sponge layer and carefully transport one sponge layer onto a 10 inch round cake board placed on a cake turntable (optional). This method of transferring is to prevent the sponge layer from breaking.

Dab 1/4 of the whipped cream and spread it evenly onto the first sponge layer using a palette knife or spatula. Drizzle half of the cherry syrup randomly over the whipped cream. Scatter half of the halved cherries over the whipped cream layer.

Place a second sponge layer (using the tart tin base or cake board to transport) carefully over the first sponge layer and align it properly with the first layer. Dab 1/4 of the whipped cream and spread it evenly onto the second sponge layer using a palette knife or spatula. Drizzle the remaining half of the cherry syrup randomly over the whipped cream and scatter the remaining halved cherries over the whipped cream layer. 
Add the 3rd sponge layer (using the tart tin base or cake board to transport) and align it well with the first two layers. Apply a thin layer of whipped cream on the surface and the sides (perimeter) of the cake to seal the crumbs first (crumb coating). Once the crumb coat is done, add whipped cream to the surface and sides of the cake and smooth the whipped cream using a palette knife.


Piping rosettes and placing cherries - Fill a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #22 star tip (or any other tip you desire). Hold the piping at 45 degrees to the cake surface and gently squeeze out the whipping cream, applying constant pressure and moving your hands in a circular motion to pipe a rosette. Release pressure and pull the tip away to complete the rosette. Pipe 12 rosettes and place each whole cherry between two piped rosettes.

Coating cake with chocolate shavings/rice - Place an over-turned round tin over a large sheet of baking paper. Lift the assembled cake (with the cake board) and rest it on the over-turned round tin (9 or 10 inch would be good). Spoon chocolate shavings/rice onto the sides (perimeter) and the surface (middle) of the assembled cake. Resuse the clean chocolate shavings that fall onto the baking paper if needed.  

  1. Whipped cream is not stablized and would not hold its shape for too long at warm room temperature
  2. Soak cherries in cherry liquer for a fuller cherry experience. 
  3. Try practice piping rosettes on a strip of baking paper 1st before piping on the cake surface.
  4. Cream whipped to 70-80% stiff is ideal for piping, filling and frosting. If it is too stiffly whipped, the cream will not be smooth when piped or may separate when it is frosted (if cream is too vigourously handled).  
  5. Use about 3/4 tsp cream of tartar to stabilize the beaten egg whites if required. It will make folding of egg whites easier.

If you wish to post the recipe and instructions online, please give due credit and do re-phrase the instructions. I have taken quite a bit of effort to construct, edit and type them out. Thank you =].


  1. Great looking staple blackforest cake! Would definitely love to have a slice! Btw, do you know you can get Grottines (cherry soaked in cherry alcohol)? It's really good!!

  2. i baked black forest cake before and it was far from yours! yours look so neat and lovely! better than those store bought ones. im sure it taste delicious too! GREAT JOB ZY (:

  3. Very pretty & yummy looking cake ;)

  4. hey great work ZY! you did what you said you hope to, and it looks great!

  5. Fantastic job on this cake! Wish I was staying closer to you. I love black forest and it's been a while since I've had a good one. I'm sure yours tastes divine :)

  6. A very nicely done Blackforest cake! Pass me a slice...wait 2 please, heehee!

  7. ZY, you never cease to amaze me on every one of your baking adventure! Great cake!

  8. Wow beautifully done! Love it with diary cream!

  9. Beautiful cake there ! Love the decoration and all. Must be tasting great too !

  10. Hi bakertan, may I know how long can dairy cream be kept after opening? And do you store it in the freezer? Thanks!

  11. I always adore your cakes and the way you decorate your cake until so neat and professional. Really good job!

  12. ZY - the cake is very nicely done. I want a slice of it. thank you

  13. Jane,

    thanks alot! I dunno where to get grottines. would love to include them in my bakes though. Maybe you can try soaking ur own cherries?


    Jasmine, Cathy and Jean,

    thanks for the encouragement =]



    thanks =] If only we lived near each other. I would be passing you bakes every now and then.


    Bee Bee,

    here you go, 2 slices =]


  14. Judy,

    I guess I'm more adventurous only when it comes to cake. Thank you! =]



    I prefer dairy cream anytime too.


    Hey joyce,

    thanks for the kind words and encouragement =]


    hi annonymous,

    Usually, the packaging informs the user to finish the cream within 4 days after opening. I keep mine slightly longer, about 10 days, at most 2 weeks. It has gone bad when it changes colour.

    Do not freeze the cream. Make sure you place the cream somewhere not too cold in the refrigerator (make sure you check ur thermostat). Once frozen, it will not whip properly and can only be used for cooking.



    thanks, I'm still learning in the process =]



    thank uou =]

  15. thks for sharing! will definitely try soon! :)

  16. Hi BakerTan, I confuse on the step :Apply a thin layer...(crumb coating)? Am I right to say don't 1 time apply whipped cream on the cake.
    Sorry for the trouble.
    Nice Day..

  17. one of my childhood favorites too, and as you'd mentioned a staple we always see in our neighbourhood confectioneries. During those days, have a black-forest cake is much considered a luxury already.

    thanks for sharing this! looks absolutely delish. :)

  18. Another beautiful cake! I would love to try baking cakes one day, cakes like these. However, I still need to find an excuse because I wouldn't know what to do with leftover cake. What do you usually do with your cakes? How are you able to bake so many cakes? Thanks for sharing this recipe and taking your time to type it and everything. It really takes a lot of time and dedication! :) Btw, what should I do if I only have a 9x2 inch cake pan? Do you think lining it with parchment paper that is higher than 2 inches will be ok? Or should I find another recipe? Thank you so much for taking your time to read my questions.

  19. Hi soh,

    Yeah you're right. apply a thin layer of whip cream 1st then frost the cake properly.

    the crumb coat is to seal the crumbs and prevent the stray crumbs from 'running' around. you wouldnt want them to be incoporated into the whipped cream.

    you're welcome. have a nice day too =]


    hi travellingfoodies,

    when I was much younger, i think most cakes are either buttercream cakes or black forest cakes. Nowadays, the selection is so much more varied.

    thanks for the compliment.


    hi esther,

    thanks =]

    I usually share my cakes with friends and closed ones. Sometimes, I do finish the bulk of the cakes myself. For this cake, I ate 2 slices and passed 3/4 of the cake to my brother, since its a while I passed him anything.

    Baking cakes is a passion. I try to find time for it and when I have the motivation/momemtum, I tend to keep it going. You might notice that I am baking/ posting more frequently in the month of march.

    I usually do not bake more than 3 cakes in a week. Even if I post more than 3 cake entries in a single week, it does'nt mean they're made in the same week.

    I have not tried using baking paper to extend the height. Read that it works. You can try, but I won't guarantee it will work 100%. Sometimes, you might want to be adventurous in the kitchen and go with your gut feeling.

    Usually, layer cakes required either a single 3-inch tall round pan or 2 2-inch tall round pans. If you don't mind a much shorter cake, you can use 2/3 recipe portion and slice the resulting sponge cake into 2 sponge layers instead. But you will only need half the halved cherries and half the cherry syrup for the filling.

  20. ZY,
    Gorgeous! You are always good in decorating the whole cake. Love it!

  21. Hi bakertan, if I want to bake for 1/2 portion of this recipe, how to know what is the pan size to use? the cake is too big for 2.
    thank you for your time.

  22. Hi,

    I happen to passby your blog, your cakes look drooling and delicious.
    I novice to barkey and hope one day I can bake a cake of my own. Do you open any bakery class to teach?

  23. Hi,

    I happen to passby your blog, your cake look drooling and delicious.
    I am a novice in baking, but I really hope one day I can bake my own cake. Do u happen to open any baking class to teach?

    Vivian chan

  24. doris,

    thanks =]


    hi soh,

    try using a 7 x 3 inch round pan for 1/2 recipe portion.


    hi Vivian,

    thanks for the kind words. I am afraid I am not qualified to open baking classes as of now. I do not have any baking qualifications (I am self-taught) nor am I experienced enough.

    You might want to try baking classes from community centres (one of the cheapest around) or other baking centres. The teachers should be well qualified.

  25. Hi bakerTan, I used 1/2 portion to baked a cake, turn out very delicious. Top of the cake shrink, how to preven? my husband love the cake very much. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Hi Soh,

    Glad that your cake turned out good.

    The sponge is a chiffon sponge cake. When it is cooled upright in the tin, the top tends to sink. that is normal. even the sides will pull away from the tin and shrink a little.

  27. Hi Baking Library! I am so impressed with your blog esp since you are a self taught baker! I love how all our fellow Singaporean bloggers out there are so capable of doing beautiful whole layered cakes. I have always failed terribly at them thus i am always stuck with cupcakes, tarts etc. Thanks for the inspiration!


Dear readers, thanks for visiting my humble little blog. Feel free to leave a message so that I can learn and be a better baker. Its a great feeling to share our culinary experience and adventures in the kitchen.

Thank you and have a nice day! Cheers =]

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