German Chocolate Black Forest Cake

With layers of light and fluffy chocolate sponge cake and a creamy, smooth, and rich cherry filling in between with rings of creamy Cool Whip, this easy German Chocolate Black Forest Cake is perfect for any holidays, birthdays, or special occasions. Ready in under an hour, this dessert is sure to be a hit!

I love the look and taste of a black forest cake. I just don’t like the time it takes to make one. So, I set out to make an easy version that looked and tasted just as good, even better if I do say so myself.

If you like easy desserts and want to make them from scratch, then you have to try these tasty Pumpkin Cupcakes. They’re even gluten and dairy free (and low sugar too!)

Why You’ll Love This Cake Recipe

  • Uses shortcuts to make this cake faster to put together than a from scratch cake
  • Safe for kids and adults since we omit the liqueur
  • Beautiful cake to make for special occasions, but simple enough for a weeknight dessert
  • Ready in under an hour
  • Not too overwhelming with chocolate flavor

Ingredients Needed

Here’s what you need to have on hand to make this Black Forest Cake with German Chocolate Cake Mix. Don’t worry, they’re mostly pantry staple ingredients you probably already have in the pantry if you like to bake.

How to Make The Best German Chocolate Black Forest Cake, Step by Step

1. First make your 2 8-inch round German chocolate cake rounds following the directions on the mix.

2. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool. Once cooled, slice off the dome area to make the top of each cake flat.

3. Transfer the first layer of cake to your cake plate. Fill a piping bag with Cool Whip and add the tip. Pipe out a ring of Cool Whip around the edge of the bottom cake layer.

Adding whipped topping ring to a German chocolate cake

4. Add half a can of cherry pie filling in the middle of the Cool Whip ring and spread out to the whipped topping circle. Carefully, place the second chocolate cake on top.

Putting cherry filling on a german chocolate cake

5. Repeat the Cool Whip and cherries on this layer and put a dollop of Cool Whip in the center for some decoration.

6. Serve and enjoy.

Single serving of German Chocolate Black Forest Cake


Due to the Cool Whip used on the cake, you will need to refrigerate this cake until you’re ready to serve it.

Also, any leftovers of this cake should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. The longer the cake is left in the refrigerator, the faster it has a chance to dry out. So, the sooner you can eat the leftovers, the better they will be.

Your Black Forest Cake should be covered, stored in an airtight container, or ideally, in a cake carrier that will keep the moisture in the cake and topping for as long as possible.

Tips and Variations

  • I’ve tried Reddi Wip, in place of the Cool Whip, but it doesn’t hold its shape because there is so much air in it. Additionally, you can make your own whipped cream if desired.
  • I don’t bake the German Chocolate Cakes from scratch. I’m not a professional baker, I just enjoy it so I look for shortcuts anywhere I can find them. However, you can certainly make your German Chocolate Cake layers from scratch if you have a good recipe you enjoy baking.
  • When decorating the top layer of your cake, you may want to add a double ring of Cool Whip if you don’t have enough of the cherry filling left.
  • While I like the taste of an original black forest with the chocolate cake, I’m not truly a big chocolate fan. For my version, I decided to make it with a German chocolate cake so that the chocolate cake would be lighter. But, you can use a classic chocolate cake mix instead of the German Chocolate mix if desired.

What is Black Forest Cake?

According to Wikipedia, Black Forest gâteau or Black Forest cake is a chocolate sponge cake with a rich cherry filling based on the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, literally “Black Forest Cherry-torte”.

Typically, Black Forest gateau consists of several layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries.

How Many Layers Can I Make?

While many black forest cakes have multiple layers, I decided to stop at just 2 layers of cake. This lets the lighter flavor of the chocolate shine without being overpowered by the cherries.

However, you can add as many layers to this German Chocolate Black Forest Cake as you need. Keep in mind how many servings you intend on serving and see how many layers that will require you to make.

Can I add Cherry Liqueur?

Absolutely! I purposely left the cherry liqueur out since I knew children would be eating this one. If you will be serving it to adults only, brush each layer of cake with cherry liqueur for an even deeper cherry flavor.

Can I Make This Cake Ahead?

Yes, in fact, making this Cherry Chocolate Cake ahead of time is a great idea. Once you make the cake, refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve it.

Making the cake the night before you plan to serve it and refrigerating it overnight is a great way to let the chocolate cake absorb some of the cherry pie filling and creaminess from the whipped cream to help really enhance all of the flavors. If you have the time, this is something I highly recommend trying.

Can I Freeze It?

Yes you can freeze this cake. I recommend storing it in the fridge for 4 hours minimum- overnight if you can. Then place it in the freezer for an hour to start a flash freezing process. Once it has started to freeze nicely, wrap the whole cake, or slices of cake, in plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil before placing in freezer safe containers or bags and freezing for up to 2-3 months.

To serve your cake once frozen, the night before you wish to eat it, remove it from the freezer, unwrap it, and place in the fridge overnight to thaw before serving.

You now have a beautiful and delicious dessert to serve at your next dinner or take to your next potluck. Trust me, you’ll get lots of rave reviews about this incredible German Chocolate Black Forest Cake and you don’t have to tell them just how simple it was.

German Chocolate Black Forest Cake with text -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *