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Black Forest Sheet Cake

The combination of rich chocolate cake, tangy cherries, and luscious whipped cream frosting is perfect for a not-too-sweet dessert everyone will love.

A showstopping dessert that will have you craving seconds. All your favorite grown-up flavors in an easy-to-make sheet cake.

plated cake slice with cherries.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Irresistibly delicious: This cake is a perfect combination of flavors, with a moist chocolate cake, creamy whipped frosting, and juicy cherries that will leave you craving more.
  • Easy to prepare: With simple, straightforward instructions and common ingredients, you don’t have to worry about layers, making syrups, or anything complicated.
  • Crowd-pleaser: This stunning dessert is sure to impress guests at any gathering, making it a perfect choice for birthdays, potlucks, or just a special treat for your loved ones.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on marble counter.

You’ll need the following for this elegant dessert:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Whole milk
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract
  • Large eggs
  • Hot water
  • Frozen black cherries
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh or frozen black cherries
  • Shaved chocolate


Step One: mix wet and dry ingredients separately

dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls.

Preheat and prep: Start by preheating your oven to 350℉. Next, grab your 9×13 baking dish and coat it with nonstick cooking spray to ensure your cake won’t stick.

Combine dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder. This will create a well-blended, lump-free base for your cake.

Mix wet ingredients: In a separate, medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the whole milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and large eggs. This mixture will help give your cake its moist, tender texture.

Step Two: make the batter

batter before and after adding water.

Combine wet and dry mixtures: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix gently using a rubber spatula until they’re combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can cause the cake to become tough.

Add hot water: Gently whisk in the hot water to create a smooth, pourable batter. This step helps to create a lighter, fluffier cake.

Step three: add cherries

bowl of cake batter with chopped cherries.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chopped black cherries. This ensures even distribution of the fruit throughout the cake.

Step Four: bake

cake before and after baking.

Pour and bake: Transfer the cake batter to your prepared baking dish, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remember to keep an eye on your cake to avoid overbaking.

Cool the cake: Let your cake cool completely before moving on to frosting and decorating. This will ensure that the whipped cream frosting doesn’t melt when applied.

Step Five: make the frosting

whipped cream in bowl and being spread on cake.

In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then, add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Be cautious not to over-whip the cream, as it may become grainy.

Step six: garnish and serve!

cake being frosted and garnished.

Once the cake has cooled, generously spread the whipped cream frosting evenly over the top, creating a smooth layer.

Garnish and enjoy: To make your cake even more enticing, add a beautiful garnish of shaved chocolate and black cherries. Now, it’s time to slice, serve, and savor every scrumptious bite!

🥫 Storage instructions

Due to the whipped cream frosting, it’s best to store the cake in the refrigerator. Cover the cake with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container to maintain its freshness. Your cake should stay fresh for up to 4 days when refrigerated.

The whipped cream frosting will not freeze well, but you can freeze the unfrosted cake just fine.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use a different type of fruit instead of cherries for this recipe?

Absolutely! While cherries are traditional in a Black Forest cake, feel free to experiment with other fruits such as raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries. Just make sure to chop them into small pieces and fold them into the batter as you would with the cherries.

Can I use store-bought whipped cream for the frosting?

Yes, something like Cool Whip would be fine as well.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Room temperature ingredients: For best results, use room temperature ingredients, especially the eggs and milk. This will help them blend more easily with the other ingredients and create a smoother, more even batter.
  • Don’t overmix: When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just until combined. Overmixing can cause the cake to become tough and dense.
  • Test for doneness: To ensure your cake is baked to perfection, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, your cake is ready. If there’s still wet batter on the toothpick, give it a few more minutes in the oven and check again.
  • Cool completely: Let your cake cool completely before frosting to prevent the whipped cream from melting or becoming too soft. This will also make it easier to spread the frosting evenly.

📘 Related Recipes

sheet cake cut into squares.

📖 Here’s the recipe

close up view of chocolate cake with cherries and creamy frosting.
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Black Forest Sheet Cake

Print Recipe
The combination of rich chocolate cake, tangy cherries, and luscious whipped cream frosting is perfect for a not-too-sweet dessert everyone will love.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Chilling time:1 hour
Total Time:1 hour 50 minutes
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!


  • 13 x 9 baking dish
  • Hand mixer


For the sheet cake

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup chopped frozen black cherries

For the Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish

  • fresh or frozen black cherries
  • shaved chocolate


  • Preheat the oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the whole milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and large eggs.
  • Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined using a rubber spatula.
  • Whisk in the hot water until smooth.
  • Fold in the chopped black cherries using a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared 9×13 baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Make the Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip again until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the whipped cream to the top of the sheet cake and spread evenly. Garnish with shaved chocolate and black cherries. Enjoy!


Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
Cover and store the cake in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The cake should be stored in the refrigerator because of the whipped cream frosting.


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 656IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, european
Keyword: black forest sheet cake, cherry chocolate sheet cake
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?If you loved it, please leave a review!

1 thought on “Black Forest Sheet Cake”

  1. Hi Katie . I made this cake today , my brother and his family came over for my birthday and I wanted to make a cake from scratch for them .It turned out great apart from the cherries they were all on the bottom of the cake . The sponge was very moist not very sweet. Overall was one of the good ones I’ve made . Thanx Katie


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