Black Forest Cake

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This simple and sweet Black Forest Cake is made with rich chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling, and almond extract all topped off with creamy Cool Whip! Simply delicious, this cake has a beautiful presentation for any holiday, but is easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner!

one slice of black forest cake on plate with fork


There is nothing better than a simple black forest cake that is perfectly moist, indulgent, sweet, and filled with the best bold flavors. Devil’s Food cake mix is used to create a soft and fluffy chocolate cake that is layered with sweet cherries–mmm! 

We love to make this black forest recipe using cake mix because it is easy, creative, classic, and a great way to celebrate festivities with the family! Once this cake starts baking in the oven, you will truly love the fragrances this cake gives off while it bakes until it is perfect and ready to eat. 

Easy black forest cake is great for those out there who love chocolate and fruit mixed together. I don’t blame you! There is nothing better than chocolate and cherries especially when there is Cool Whip involved. 


one slice of black forest cake on plate with cherries

The first time I made this Black Forest Cake, was for our Christmas dinner at my in-laws in 2016.  I love cherry desserts at Christmastime, and around Valentine’s Day, too.  So, I shared it in January, smack dab in the middle of both holidays!

This dessert was a big hit, the only drawback was the not-so-great photos I got of it.  I transported this cake to my in-laws, a little over an hour away, and when I cut it it was late at night, and the lighting was terrible. I finally took the time to re-shoot it, and show you just what a pretty showstopping dessert it really is!


one slice of black forest cake with cherries and Cool Whip


Classic black forest cake is made with a chocolate sponge cake and layered with sweet cherries and whipped cream. You can add chocolate frosting, fresh cherries, and chocolate shavings to give the cake even more delicious flavors. 


  • Easy: This black forest cake is super easy because it uses cake mix! Just add a few extra ingredients to make this the best cake you’ve ever had. 
  • Delicious: The chocolate cake is the perfect amount of moist and melts in your mouth. Pair the moist chocolate cake with the juicy cherries for the best black forest cake recipe you’ve ever had! 
  • Great for Occasions: You can bake this cake for any occasion and event such as birthdays, anniversaries, parties, holidays, and more! 
  • Holiday Treat: Surprise the guests with this delicious dessert recipe. Black forest cake is always a great idea! 


cherries, cocoa powder, eggs, oil, water


Cake Mix: I like to use Devil’s Food cake mix because it is filled with the perfect amount of chocolate flavors that I love in easy cakes. Cake mix is a nice shortcut I like to use in this cake recipe to make sure it is ready in a reasonable amount of time! 
Water: Just a little bit of water is used to mix with the cake mix. 
Eggs: Three whole eggs allow this cake to be fluffy and held together. The eggs also make the cake super soft! 
Almond Extract: Nutty almond extract is a great addition to this cherry cake and gives it its irresistible flavors. 
Cherry Pie Filling: I used a can of cherry pie filling for this cake but you can make your own filling, too. 
Cool Whip: Smooth and creamy Cool Whip is topped over the cake to give it a balanced sweetness it needs. You can also use homemade whipped cream! 

cherries in a bowl


The classic black forest cake is named after a specialty German liquor that is made with distilled tart cherries. Black forest cake is usually known for its spongy chocolate cake and sweet cherries. 


Easy black forest cake is rich in sweet chocolate flavors from the moist cake layered with juicy cherries. This cake is creamy, filled with chocolate flavors, moist, and tasty especially if you love chocolate and fruit. 

one slice of black forest cake on plate with Cool Whip and cherries



First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 15x10x1 baking sheet with a layer of aluminum foil and oil or butter. 

Using a hand mixer, mix together the cake mix, water, eggs, and almond extract until just combined, about two minutes. 

cake batter in pan


Next, transfer the cake mix to the prepared baking sheet and bake the cake in the oven for eighteen to twenty minutes until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 

Once the cake has finished baking, allow it to rest in the pan for about ten minutes, then carefully remove it from the pan with the foil and place the cake on a wire rack to cool. 

spreading cherry filling over chocolate cake


Mix the remaining almond extract with the cherry pie filling. Cut the cake in half to make two layers. Place one cake layer on a cake plate or serving dish and top with cherry pie filling. 

cherry pie filling in between two chocolate cake layers

Place the remaining cake layer on top of the pie filling. 

frosting black forest cake with spatula


Finally, frost the top and sides of the black forest cake with Cool Whip and refrigerate the cake until ready to serve. Enjoy! 

two images of black forest cake with text


Want to save this cake recipe for later? Save it to your favorite Pinterest dessert recipe board to make sure you have the recipe handy to bake for the next holiday! 

one plate with a slice of black forest cake


  • You can use any kind of chocolate cake mix. 
  • Make the cherry pie filling from scratch if you would like. I like to use canned pie filling because it is quick, easy, and tastes wonderful. 
  • Instead of Cool Whip, frost the cake with a whipped cream frosting.
  • Store the leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Place the cake in the refrigerator in an airtight container and keep the cake for about a week. 
  • Be sure to keep an eye on the oven so you do not overbake the cake. 


one slice of black forest cake on plate with white frosting and fork

I love cherry pie filling, don’t you? I could eat the stuff with a spoon! My Aunt has an amazing Jell-O salad recipe that uses cherry pie filling and cherry Jell-O. We make her Cherry Pie Jell-O Salad every time we make ham – it’s perfect together!


Cherry Filled Coffee Cake close up



slice of black forest cake on plate

Easy to make,  beautiful presentation, this chocolate, and cherry this Black Forest Cake recipe is sure to get rave reviews!  M. logo An Affair from the Heart


slice of black forest cake on plate
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Recipe

Black Forest Cake

Easy to make, beautiful presentation, this chocolate and cherry Black Forest Cake is sure to get rave reviews!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Additional Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Cuisine: Dessert
Keyword: Black Forest Cake, black forest cake mix, black forest cake with cake mix, black forest cake with cherry pie filling, black forest recipe using a cake mix, easy black forest cake, simple black forest cake
Servings: 16
Calories: 214kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel



  • 1 15.25 oz Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


  • 1 21 oz can cherry pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  • 12 ounces cool whip


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15x10x1 baking sheet. Line with foil and grease foil. Set aside.
  • Using your mixer beat together cake mix, water, eggs and almond extract for 2 minutes.
  • Pour into your baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Gently lift cake form pan with foil and cool on a wire rack.
  • Mix almond extract with cherry pie filling.
  • Cut cake in half to make 2 (10x7-inch) layers. Place one layer on your serving dish, top with pie filling. Place remaining layer on top.
  • Frost top and sides with cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 259mg | Sugar: 19g

This recipe was originally posted on January 11, 2016. It has been updated to improve user experience and reshared on December 22, 2021.

Black Forest Cake

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  1. Normally I don’t like chocolate and cherries, but this looks and sounds really good! Pinned and printed. Valentine’s week idea? You have awesome recipes, and I agree about Valentine’s Day. Went to an all female high school, bit we made a thing we taped to you lockers for budsnto put cards in. Both @Christmas and VALENTINE’S. Always scared I wouldn’t get any, lame insecurities.This day and age I wonder if girls even get girls VALENTINE’S?! Am older than you gorgeous! Am showing it, too! Still look good?! Well preserved?! Aging with grace?!…

    1. Fun memories! I hope you enjoy it! Chocolate and cherry isn’t my favorite either— but the bit of almond and the cool whip — oh my! This cake was fantastic!

  2. Beautiful recipe, love chocolate and cherries. Great cake and the kids enjoyed helping out too. We will definitely make this one again!

  3. I am just drooling over this! It looks so delicious and decadent – it’s perfect for Christmas! Can’t wait to make it (my boyfriend loooooves chocolate).

  4. This cake is classic and timeless. I have already made it a few times using another recipe, but your recipe seems even more effortless. Indeed, I will give it a try!! It sounds yummy and delicious!

  5. I’ve always been a little intimidated to make black forest cake but your version was so easy and turned out perfectly! Love the boxed cake mix shortcut too – no one could tell it wasn’t 100% from scratch!

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