Hot Kitchen Black Forest Tower Recipe Demonstration

Mini Black Forest Cake

Mini Black Forest Cake for Two

This recipe for Black Forest Cake is simplified and scaled down for two. It was featured on episode 60, and this recipe has become one of my favorites.

In this recipe, you'll learn how to make your own substitute for the Kirschwasser, which is one of Black Forest Cake's classic ingredients. It's kinda nasty and has limited use outside of baking. You'll also learn a one-bowl cake formula that you can reuse, and how to make a small heart-shaped cake without fancy pans.

Although the one-bowl cake technique outlined below is easy, it is not as tender as a boxed cake mix. If you're a cake afficionado, you can achieve a more tender result by modifying the recipe like so:

  1. Separate the egg yolks and whites into different bowls.
  2. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
  3. Beat the yolks until they are almost doubled in volume.
  4. Add both to the batter as instructed in step

Important: If you use Dutch-processed cocoa, also add 1⁄4 tsp Baking Soda to the recipe.

Dutch-process cocoa is more acidic, and will result in boils in the cake unless neutralized. How do you know? If your cocoa says "alkali processed" then it is not Dutch processed.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup Butter, soft
  • 1⁄2 cup Cane Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1⁄4 cup Milk
  • 1⁄2 cup Cake Flour
  • 1⁄4 cup Cocoa Powder, alkali processed
  • 3⁄4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1⁄8 tsp Salt

Frosting and Garnish Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup Cherries, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup Liquor
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 cup Chocolate Savings
  • 6-12 Fresh Cherries, pitted
  • 1⁄2 cup Butter
  • 4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1⁄8-1⁄4 cup Water, Milk, or Cream

Mise en Place:

  • Mixer
  • 2 Mixing Bowls
  • Small Saucepan
  • Soft Spatula
  • 9 x 13 Baking Pan, greased and floured
  • Large Heart-Shaped Cookie Cutter
  • Sifter
  • Preheated Oven, 350° F


Mix and bake the cake batter:

  1. Sift the cake flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, milk, and butter on top.
  3. Whip it all together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after beating for thirty seconds. Beat at medium for about two minutes, or until it pours in ribbons from the beaters. Scrape the bowl mid-way through.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly—it will be quite thin. Shake and tilt the pan to level.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, at 350° F or until the thin cake springs back. Let it cool in the pan.

Make frosting and cherry filling:

For bonus points, macerate (soak) the fruit for a day in the liquor.

  1. Add the cherries, liquor and cornstarch to the saucepan.
  2. Heat slowly to a boil, then cook until it turns translucent.
  3. Set aside to cool for at least half an hour.
  1. Make the frosting.
  2. Beat the butter and half the powdered sugar together until light and crumbly.
  3. Add the rest of the powdered sugar. Mix for a few minutes to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Pour in a small splash of chosen liquid.
  5. Beat, adding tiny amounts of liquid until it becomes light and fluffy.

Assemble and frost:

  1. Cut hearts out of the cake (from the pan) once it cools.
  2. Brush the loose crumbs from the edges of the hearts.
  3. Stack the cutouts, spreading a layer of cherry filling between each, and leave a 1⁄8-inch margin around each layer.
  4. Align the edges and frost the cake to your liking. (Don't worry about crumbs in the frosting right now. You'll fix it in a few more steps!)
  5. Press the chocolate shavings into the side, all the way up to the top edge.
  6. Let the frosting dry completely. Spread the top with another layer of frosting so it is free of crumbs. Clean up the bottom edge with the tip of a knife and a damp paper towel.
  7. For a fancy touch, crown the cake with a ring of swirls or dollops of frosting, then place fresh, pitted cherries on each mound.
  8. For a minimalist touch, just lightly press the cherries into the frosting.

Watch and Learn

The episode below demonstrates how to make this incredible little cake:

  • Tune in between 2:00 mins - 17:40 mins

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