Black Forest Birthday Bliss

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The Black Forest Gateau is a stunning and decadent cake that’s perfect for any celebration, but it holds a special place as a birthday cake favorite. Layers of rich chocolate cake, tart cherries, whipped cream, and a touch of kirsch liqueur come together to create a flavor explosion that’s guaranteed to impress. While it may look like a showstopper, this cake is surprisingly achievable for bakers of all levels.

This guide will take you through everything you need to know to create a beautiful and delicious Black Forest Gateau birthday cake, complete with ingredients, step-by-step directions, and nutritional information.

Lottie’s Black Forest Gateau
Lottie’s Black Forest Gateau


For the Chocolate Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • For the Cherry Filling:

    1 (21-ounce) can pitted dark sweet cherries, drained, with 1/4 cup of the juice reserved

  • 1/4 cup kirsch liqueur (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • For the Whipped Cream:

    2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the Decorations:

    Maraschino cherries

  • Chocolate shavings
  • Cocoa powder (for dusting)

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper.

    2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    3. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.

    4. Alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.

    5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    6. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    7. While the cakes cool, prepare the cherry filling. In a saucepan, combine the drained cherries, reserved cherry juice, kirsch liqueur (if using), cornstarch, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

    8. Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form.

    9. Once the cakes are cool, assemble the cake. Place one cake layer on a serving platter. Spread a layer of cherry filling over the top. Top with one-third of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, cherry filling, and whipped cream, ending with whipped cream on top.

    10. Decorate the cake with maraschino cherries, chocolate shavings, and a dusting of cocoa powder.

    Nutrition Facts (per slice):

    (Please note that this is an approximate estimate and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.)

    Calories: 450

  • Fat: 25g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Sugar: 40g
  • Protein: 5g

  • Conclusion:

    The Black Forest Gateau is a beautiful and delicious cake that’s sure to be a hit at any birthday party. With its rich chocolate cake, tart cherries, and creamy whipped cream, it’s a flavor combination that everyone will love. While it may seem like a complex cake, the step-by-step instructions make it achievable for bakers of all skill levels.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. Can I substitute the kirsch liqueur in the cherry filling?

    Absolutely! If you don’t have kirsch or prefer to avoid alcohol, you can simply omit it from the recipe. You can also substitute it with another cherry-flavored liqueur or even a splash of cherry juice.

    2. How can I make this cake gluten-free?