Food business idea: Black forest cake

Black Forest Cake, sometimes called by the French gateau, gateaux or gâteau (meaning “cake”), is a chocolate cake with a strong cherry element. The recipe originates from Germany, where it is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.

black forest cake


4oz/100g butter
8oz /225g brown sugar
4oz /100g plain chocolate
7oz /200g self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pint sour cream
3 tablespoons strong cold black coffee
2 eggs
pinch of salt

Pastry base

4oz/100g cream flour
pinch of salt
2oz /50g icing sugar
2 oz/50g Irish butter
1 egg yolk
a few drops of vanilla essence


1 pint cream
1-lb tin black cherries
4 tablespoons black cherry jam
brandy or cherry juice
4oz/100g grated chocolate


1. Cream the butter and sugar together well.
2. Melt the chocolate and beat into the creamed mixture, then mix in the eggs.
3. Sift flour, salt and cinnamon together.
4. Fold the dry mix lightly into the liquids, then fold in the sour cream and cold coffee.
5. Pour the mixture into a lined and greased 9-inch round, deep tin,and bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
6. Set to cool on a wire rack.

Pastry base

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and bind until the mixture stiffens.
2. Roll the pastry onto a floured board worktable until pastry is about the same size as the base of the tin.
3. Lay out on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.


1. Whip cream until it holds its shape.
2. Put some whipped cream into pastry piping bag with a star pipe attached, and reserve this for the decoration.
3. Slice the cake into 3 equal-sized layers.
4. Drain the cherries, reserve 8 for decoration and remove the stones from the remainder.
5. Put pastry on serving plate and spread the pastry with black cherry jam.
6. Soak the cakes with spirit.
7. Put one layer of cake on top of coated pastry.
8. Spread a layer of cream with half the stoned cherries.
9. Put the second layer of cake and add another layer of cream and cherries.
10. Add the final layer of the cake.
11. Cover the entire cake with the remaining cream and press on the grated chocolate. Decorate the top with piped rosettes of cream and the reserved whole black cherries.

Notes, tips and variations

– Using 3 identical cake pans instead of 1 large one is acceptable.
– Margarine, vegetable oil or regular butter will substitute for Irish butter.
– In some countries (e.g. Austria and Australia) the brandy is often replaced by rum, in Germany itself it is almost always replaced by Kirschwasser.
– This did not come with a temperature to bake at for either the pastry or cake. Cakes usually work at between 325°F and 400°F (160°C and 205°C). Pastries usually work at between 350°F and 425°F (175°C and 220°C).