Why You Should Consider Using Canned Cherries For Black Forest Cake

A Black Forest cake, to many people, is the pinnacle of indulgence. You have a luscious chocolate sponge cake enveloped in a rich, velvety shell of crushed dark chocolate flakes, filled with tart cherry syrup in the center. Topped with whipped cream and a few fresh cherries to decorate and voila, you have a confectionary masterpiece on hand. But while most people will naturally focus on the chocolate, the cherries are a crucial part of this recipe, too. If you're taking it upon yourself to bake a Black Forest cake, here's a surprising part: instead of fresh cherries, you'll save yourself a lot of time and trouble using canned cherries.

There are two reasons for this: not only do you need the cherries to make this cake, you'll need the syrup, too. You'll find both within a can of cherries. No need to make an extra trip for the syrup. Once you've baked the cake layers and allowed them to cool, crack open the can and pour the thickened syrup inside on top. The syrup will keep the sponge cake from drying out, as well as give it a nice, tart flavor.

As for the cherries themselves, just wedge them between all the cake layers. When the cake is cut and eaten, the occasional cherries that sneak in between bites will impart a nice, sweet surprise for your guests.

What kind of canned cherries are good for Black Forest cake?

Just about any kind of canned cherries will work. It really doesn't matter if the syrup's light or dark, they'll all work well with the chocolate. But there are exceptions: it's best to avoid Maraschino cherries and cherry pie fillings. Both of these are heavily sweetened, which, when combined with the powdered sugar already in the recipe will make the cake almost unbearably sweet. You'll want the syrup to be on the lighter side of this. Remember, the syrup and the cherries are supposed to add to the tasting experience, not monopolize it entirely with its taste.

As an extra tip, traditional Black Forest cakes often include a touch of alcohol, such as Kirchwasser (a German brandy made from Morello cherries). If you prefer a non-alcoholic cake, that's perfectly fine and you can skip this step. But if you're up for it, you can elevate the cherry flavor even further by adding any kind of cherry brandy liqueur or rum. It's a delightful way to give your cake a little extra flair!