Dessert/ Recipes

Black Forest Cake

Black forest cake on a wood cake stand.Happy Valentine’s Day!

How do you plan to enjoy the holiday? Are you going to spend the evening at home or do you have plans to go out to dinner somewhere special? For me and Jacob it varies every year! One year we went out to dinner (or attempted to) at the Olive Garden without making a reservation (note to self, make a reservation next time) and the next I decided it would just be easier to make some homemade lasagna and garlic bread. Let’s just say, the latter was a far better choice.

Close up view of the Black Forest Cake.

I’ll admit that I’ve gotten to the point in my life where an evening in with just the two of us is way more appealing to me. It’s kind of nice to not have to worry about making reservations and fighting crowds and what not. Especially during the high season (aka February) in St. George.

And spending the night in makes it that much easier for us to enjoy a fun tradition that my family started when I was a kid.

A detailed piece of the Black Forest Cake.

Every year when I was growing up, my mom would make a German black forest cake for Valentine’s Day. Black forest cake is a dark chocolate cake traditionally topped with maraschino cherries, kirschwasser (a clear spirit made from sour cherries), chocolate shavings and whipped cream. My mom adapted the traditional recipe to just use cherry pie filling and whipped cream instead.

Guys, this is like the easiest recipe to make for Valentine’s Day. You literally bake a cake (I take the easy route with a boxed mix), layer on some pie filling and top it with some sweet whipped cream. And bam! It’s done. And you have a beautiful masterpiece to surprise your significant other (or kids or friends or whoever) with.

Piece of the black forest cake.

I enjoyed this cake tradition so much as a kid that I decided to continue it after Jacob and I got married. I think he was impressed the first time I made it for him! I mean, how could you not be impressed with a cake that looks and tastes this good?

Black forest cake on a wood cake stand.

Do you have any fun Valentine’s Day traditions that you like to do every year?

Black Forest Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

An easy and beautiful cake, this Black Forest Cake is made with a moist chocolate cake recipe, fresh whipped cream and sweet cherry pie filling.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Servings: 12 slices
  • 1 chocolate cake (2 - 9 inch layers)
  • 21 oz can cherry pie filling
Whipped Cream
  • 4 tsp water
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. 1. Prepare a chocolate cake according to the directions on the box (or follow your favorite recipe). Place baked cakes on a baking rack to cool.

  2. 2. Once the cake has cooled, remove from the pans. Place one layer on a plate or cake stand. Scoop half of the cherry pie filling onto the center of the first layer. Using a piping bag fitted with a star tip, pipe whipped cream onto the edges of the cake.

  3. 3. Place the second cake layer on top. Scoop the rest of the cherry pie filling onto to the top of the cake. Pipe whipped cream onto the edges of the top layer. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Whipped Cream
  1. 1. While cake is cooling, prepare the whipped cream. Add water to a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin powder. Let sit for a few minutes. Microwave the mixture for a couple of seconds until dissolved. Stir and then set aside to cool.

  2. 2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add in the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip the mixture on high speed until it starts to thicken and soft peaks form. Switch to low and slowly pour in the gelatin mixture. Once combined, increase the speed to medium and continue beating until thick peaks form. 

Recipe Notes
  1. If you prefer a homemade cake instead of a boxed cake, I recommend this chocolate cake recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Another Valentine’s Day Recipe to Try:

Strawberry cheese macarons piled high.

Strawberry Cheesecake Macarons

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