Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe

If you have a bougie event planned, and want to make something extra special for dessert, you've come to the right place. Today, we share an easier version of black forest cake — an upscale treat that is known for its mouth-watering combination of cherries and chocolate. Recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "When entertaining, it can be hard to pull off a fancy dessert, along with putting together a variety of other [dishes], so I created this easy version to simplify ingredients and steps.The rich dark chocolate and cream cheese frosting, paired with the cherries, is heaven on a plate. No one will ever know that you used a devil's food cake mix for the chocolate layers, and because we are accenting with fresh cherries, along with the cherry pie filling, you still get a natural, fresh fruit taste," Hahn says. Read on to learn how to make this delicious and easy black forest cake.

Gather the ingredients for this easy black forest cake

To make this recipe, we'll need a devil's food cake mix, and the needed essentials that go with making a boxed cake mix — eggs, water, and oil. In addition to that, we'll need canned cherry pie filling, as well as fresh cherries. "Using fresh cherries, in addition to the filling, elevates the look of the cake, and gives it some added freshness," Hahn shares. Then, pick up some cream cheese, whipped topping, powdered sugar, and vanilla for the frosting. 

"Be sure to buy the brick type of cream cheese instead of whipped. We need something sturdy here to help support the cake layers," Hahn remarks.  Lastly, we are going to decorate the cake with some shaved chocolate, so grab a high-quality chocolate bar. "This is an easy step that adds some elegance to the cake," Hahn remarks. 

Make the cake layers

Start by preheating the oven to 350 F. Spray 2 round, 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, or line each with parchment paper. "I usually use parchment liners that fit into the round pans, but if you don't have those, spray is fine, and you can also add on a light dusting of flour if you want to ensure the cakes pop out easily." In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, water, and oil with a hand or stand mixer, then pour the batter into the prepared pans. 

Bake according to the package instructions, around 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. When the cakes are done, pull them out of the oven, and let them cool for about 10 to 15 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.

Make the icing, and prep the cherries

While the cakes are cooking, you can get going on the frosting. In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and whipped topping. Place it in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Slice 10 of the cherries in half, and remove the pits. Hahn says: "I use a small paring knife for slicing, then I scoop out the pit with a small spoon." Reserve 6 of the whole cherries for the top of the cake. Using a vegetable peeler, simply run it along the long edge of the chocolate bar to get thin shavings. You only need to shave about ¼ of the bar, depending on how much chocolate you want to add.

Assemble the cake, and serve

Once all the cake components are ready, you can assemble the cake. Starting with one of the round cake layers, add ⅓ of the frosting mixture on top, followed by ½ of the cherry pie filling, and half of the cherry halves. "Adding the fresh cherries, which can be a little tart, helps to balance out the sweet cherry pie filling, and also adds a different texture to the filling." Hahn shares. 

Top with the second cake, and repeat the layering method on the second cake. Finally, add the remaining frosting, 6 whole cherries, and the chocolate shavings on top. If possible, you will want to refrigerate the cake until it is ready to serve. However, if you are short on room in the fridge, cover it with a dome lid until it is time to serve it. Leftovers will last for 3 days if kept in a sealed container in the fridge.

Easy Black Forest Cake Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
Making a cake at home doesn't have to be time-consuming, thanks to this easy and decadent black forest cake recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
slice of black forest cake
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 1 devil's Food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup oil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • 16 fresh cherries
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate bar
  • 1 20-ounce can cherry pie filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 round, 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray, or line each with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the cake mix, eggs, water, and oil in a mixing bowl, and pour the blended mix into the prepared cake tins.
  3. Bake for the time listed on the package, around 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. When baked, cool the cakes, for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. While the cakes cook, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and whipped topping in a medium bowl. Set aside in the fridge.
  5. Slice 10 cherries in half, and remove the pits. Do not cut the 6 remaining cherries. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the chocolate bar on the long edge to create chocolate shavings.
  6. When the cakes have cooled, top the first cake with ⅓ of the cream cheese frosting, followed by ½ of the cherry pie filling, and about 5 cherry halves. Add the second cake on top, and repeat the layering process. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of the cake. Add the 6 uncut cherries and chocolate shavings on top to garnish.
Calories per Serving 648
Total Fat 36.8 g
Saturated Fat 10.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 90.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 76.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.6 g
Total Sugars 38.6 g
Sodium 547.3 mg
Protein 7.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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