Easy Black Forest Cake & Chocolate Fruit Cake Recipes

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Ever since introduced to the world by German emigrants, Black Forest Cake or Gateau has become a universally popular dessert and coffee-time cake. It is a little more involved than some other chocolate cakes because of the multiple layers but is still quite uncomplicated to make.

Recommended reading: Best Cake Cookbooks

Black Forest Cake

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (10oz / 280g) of flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5g) of baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (4g) of baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25g) of salt
  • 2 cups (1lb / 454g) of brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (3oz / 90g) of cocoa
  • ½ cup (4oz / 110g) of shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (8oz / 240ml) of milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) of vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (32oz / 900ml) of whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup (1.5oz / 45g) of powdered sugar
  • 1 (25oz / 750ml) jar of cherry pie filling
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) of kirsch liquor or
  • 1 teaspoonful (5ml) of rum essence
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar and cocoa in a large mixing bowl, stirring until well mixed.
  3. Add the shortening, eggs, milk and vanilla and beat the mixture for 3 minutes at low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl towards the center occasionally.
  4. Grease two 9” (22.5cm) round cake tins and line the bottom with wax or greaseproof paper.*
  5. Divide the batter between the two tins and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 30 to 35 minutes until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the tins and transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. When the cakes are cool, cut each cake in half horizontally to make 4 layers.
  8. Beat the cream until foamy and then gradually add the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Mix the kirsch or the rum essence with the pie filling.
  9. Lay one cake layer on a plate and spread with 1/3 of the pie filling and ¾ cup (3oz / 90ml) of the whipped cream. Layer the next cake layer on top and spread with 1/3 of the pie filling and ¾ cup of whipped cream. Repeat for a third layer and place the final cake layer on top.
  10. Spread ¾ cup of the whipped cream over the top of the cake and the final cup of cream around the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the top with chocolate strands or curls and/or glace cherries, if desired.
  11. * Lay the tin upside down on the paper and draw round the edge of the tin. Cut out the circle. The paper circle will be fractionally larger than the base of the tin. Or use two springform tins and draw round the removable base to mark the circle for cutting.

Recommended reading: Best German Cookbooks

Chocolate Fruit Cake

A celebration fruit cake designed to be kept in a tin for several weeks before cutting. These cakes baked in loaf tins or mini-loaf tins make ideal gifts for Christmas but, of course, can be enjoyed at any time.

  • ½ cup (1 stick) + 3 tbsp (5½ oz / 150g) of butter or shortening
  • 1 cup (8oz / 225g) of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp (4½ oz / 125g) of cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (9oz / 250g) of flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5g) of salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup (2.5oz / 80ml) of milk
  • 3 cups (1lb / 454g) of mixed candied fruits and peel
  • 1 cup (5oz / 150g) of raisins
  • 1 cup (4oz / 120g) of chopped walnuts
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 275°F (135°C).
  2. Beat the butter or shortening with the sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each in well.
  4. Use an electric hand mixer to mix together the cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Stir in the fruit and nuts.
  5. Grease a 10” (25cm) tube pan, line it with greaseproof paper and pour in the batter or do the same with two 9×5” (225x125mm) loaf tins and divide the batter between them.
  6. Bake at 275°F (135°C) for 1 hour 45 minutes or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Cool, remove from the pan or pans and wrap in foil. Store in a tin or a plastic container for several weeks.

Recommended reading: Best Cake Decorating Kits

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