Black Forest gateau

Black Forest gâteau or Black Forest cake (American English) is a chocolate sponge cake with a rich cherry filling based on the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (pronounced [ˈʃvaʁt͡svɛldɐ ˈkɪʁʃˌtɔʁtə]), literally "Black Forest Cherry-torte".

Black Forest gâteau
Alternative namesBlack Forest cake
Place of originGermany
Created byJosef Keller[1]
Main ingredientsChocolate cake, cherries, whipped cream, Kirschwasser

Typically, Black Forest gateau consists of several layers of chocolate sponge cake sandwiched with whipped cream and cherries. It is decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. In some European traditions, sour cherries are used both between the layers and for decorating the top.[2] Traditionally, kirschwasser, a clear spirit made from sour cherries, is added to the cake.[3] Other spirits are sometimes used, such as rum, which is common in Austrian recipes. German law mandates that any dessert labeled Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte must have kirschwasser.[4]


The dessert is not directly named after the Black Forest mountain range in southwestern Germany.

According to one school of thought, the name is derived from the specialty liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser), which is distilled from tart cherries. This is the ingredient that gives the dessert its distinctive cherry pit flavor and alcoholic content flavor.

Some sources claim that the name of the cake is inspired by the traditional costume of the women of the Black Forest region, with a characteristic hat with big, red pom-poms on top, called Bollenhut.

The confectioner Josef Keller (1887–1981) claimed to have invented Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in its present form in 1915 at the prominent Café Agner in Bad Godesberg, now a suburb of Bonn about 500 km (310 mi) north of the Black Forest. This claim, however, has never been substantiated.[5] A long time ago, cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser were combined in the form of a dessert in which cooked cherries were served with cream and Kirschwasser, originated in Black forest region famous for its cherry trees.[6]

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was first mentioned in writing in 1934.[7][3] At the time it was particularly associated with Berlin but was also available from high-class confectioners in other German, Austrian, and Swiss cities. In 1949 it took 13th place in a list of best-known German cakes.[3]


The record for the world's largest authentic Black Forest gâteau was set at Europa Park, Germany, on 16 July 2006, by K&U Bakery.[8][9] Measuring nearly 80 m2 (860 sq ft) and weighing 3,000 kg (6,600 lb), the cake, which was 10 m (33 ft) in diameter, used up 700 L (180 US gal; 150 imp gal) of cream, 5,600 eggs, 800 kg (1,800 lb) of cherries, 40 kg (88 lb) of chocolate shavings, and 120 L (32 US gal; 26 imp gal) of kirsch.[10] On 9 December 2012, a team led by chefs Jörg Mink and Julien Bompard made Asia's biggest Black Forest cake at the S-One Expo[11] in Singapore. The 500 kg (1,100 lb) cake was made from 165 L (44 US gal; 36 imp gal) of cream, 1,500 eggs, 68 kg (150 lb), 60 kg (130 lb) of chocolate shavings, and 10 L (21 US pt; 18 imp pt) of kirsch.[12]


A Swedish Schwarzwaldtårta

A Swedish cake called Schwarzwaldtårta is related to the traditional Black Forest gâteau only by name. It consists of layers of meringue containing finely ground roasted hazelnuts covered by a thin layer of chocolate with whipped cream in between. The whole cake is also covered with whipped cream and decorated with thin dark chocolate and cocoa powder.[13]

See also


  1. "Black Forest Cake History and Recipe, Schwarzwälderkirschtorte, Whats Cooking America". May 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  2. Greer, Linda. "Black Forest Cake recipe". Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  3. "Germany: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake)". European Cuisines. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  4. "Leitsätze für Feine Backwaren" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  5. Confectionery Museum Kitzingen, data collection about the Black Forest Cherry Cake in history Archived 25 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Erfindung: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte - Schwarzwaldregion Belchen".
  7. J. M. Erich Weber (1934). 250 Konditorei-Spezialitäten und wie sie entstehen: Der praktische Unterricht in 500 Bildern von Werdegängen aus 24 Fachabteilungen bei kleinster Massenberechnung. Radebeul-Dresden. p. 368.
  8. "Weltgrößte Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte im Europa-Park - Europa-Park". Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  9. "Deutschlandmagazin 3.0 - Deutschlandmagazin 3.0 - Nachrichten Germany - Deutschland aus Lifestyle Politik Reise und Tourismus Auto Motor Sport | Schwarzwald". Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  10. OC Projects GmbH, Kaarst. "Torten News | Größte Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte der Welt hergestellt". Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  11. "A "Day Trip" to Stuttgart, Germany for Tanjong Pagar Residents". S-One Expo. 6 December 2012. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  12. "STOMP - Singapore Seen - Feast your eyes on Asia's biggest black forest cake -- made and eaten in S'pore". Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  13. "Schwarzwaldtårta - Per Morbergs recept | Recept från Kö". Kö Retrieved 28 August 2020.
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