Because the best things in life are simple

I’m Dreaming of a Black Forest Cake

If you like cherry cordials, you'll love this.
Cherries and chocolate and whipped cream. Oh my!

Here’s the last recipe I’m giving out from our Easter feast. “What no recipe for the ham?” you ask. Sorry, but ham needs no recipe. You simply stick it in the oven.

“Someone defined eternity as a ham and two people.” That’s my favorite quote from the “The Joy of Cooking,” cookbook. And it’s true. We’re still eating ham leftovers.

But the Black Forest cake is long gone: just a distant chocolate, cherry and whipped cream dream.

Here’s how to make your own dreams come true:

Ingredients/Shopping List:

For the Cake:

  • All-purpose flour. (2 cups, plus 2 tbsp.) (I use King Arthur. It’s not bleached, and for me, local. It’s made in Vermont.)
  • Baking powder (1 1/2 tsp.)
  • Baking soda (3/4 tsp.)
  • Salt (3/4 tsp.)
  • Sugar (2 cups)
  • Cocoa (3/4 cup)
  • Eggs (3) (Always use “large” eggs for recipes.)
  • Milk (1 cup)
  • Vegetable oil (1/2 cup)
  • Vanilla (1 tbsp.)

For the Cherry Topping:

  • Tart pitted cherries (2 20 oz. cans, drained. Reserve 1/2 cup of the juice.)
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Cornstarch (1/4 cup)
  • Vanilla (1 tsp.)

For the Frosting:

  • Whipping cream (3 cups)
  • Powdered sugar (1/3 cup)

What I did:

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans. Cover bottoms with waxed paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat until well blended.

Pour evenly into prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean.

Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges and remove to racks to cool completely.

While cake is baking prepare cherry topping (see below) and cool.

Split cooled cakes horizontally in half to make 4 layers. Tear 1 layer into crumbs and set aside.

Make frosting (see below) and reserve 1 1/2 cups of it for decorating the cake and set aside.

To assemble, place 1 layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup of frosting. Top with 3/4 cup of cherry topping. Top with second cake layer. Repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer.

Frost sides of cake with remaining frosting. Pat reserved crumbs into frosting on sides of the cake.

Pipe reserved 1 1/2 cups of frosting around the top and bottom edges of the cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake. Refrigerate.

To make the cherry topping:

Combine the reserved juice, cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Cool and set aside.

To make the frosting:

Beat together the whipping cream and powdered sugar in a chilled bowl at high speed with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

(This recipe is from “The Treasury of Creative Cooking,” which features award-winning recipes from around the country, all illustrated with full-page color photos. It was given to me as a gift about 18 years ago.)

Find more recipes from the Easter dinner menu.

Find more recipes in the Food section.

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