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Black Forest Sheet Cake


All your favorite grown-up flavors in an easy-to-make sheet cake. Moist chocolate cake, creamy whipped frosting, and juicy cherries.

Not too sweet. You’ll love it!

close up view of chocolate cake with cherries and creamy frosting.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

5 from 1 vote
The combination of rich chocolate cake, tangy cherries, and luscious whipped cream frosting is perfect for a not-too-sweet dessert everyone will love.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 405kcal
Author: Katie Shaw
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  • 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


  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Mix dry ingredients and separately mix wet ingredients. 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.
    dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
  • Combine them and add water. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined using a rubber spatula. Whisk in the hot water until smooth.
    batter before and after adding water.
  • Add cherries. Fold in the chopped black cherries using a rubber spatula.
    bowl of cake batter with chopped cherries.
  • Bake. 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.
    cake before and after baking.


  • 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.
    whipped cream in bowl and being spread on cake.
  • Frost and garnish. Add the whipped cream to the top of the sheet cake and spread evenly. Garnish with shaved chocolate and black cherries. Enjoy!
    cake being frosted and garnished.


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
Did you make this?Let me know how it was! Please see below for serving ideas, storage instructions, and substitutions.

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
ingredients on marble counter.
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh or frozen black cherries
  • Shaved chocolate

🥫 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

plated cake slice with cherries.
  • 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.

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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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