Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins

A German cherry cake based on a recipe from McCall’s Cooking School, page #41 under Cakes, Cookies. The intro says, “One taste of this fabulous dessert and you’ll understand why it is the most famous dessert of the Black Forest region of Germany. Three layers of cake are drizzled with a cherry-brandy syrup and then filled with brandied cherries and whipped cream. The cake is frosted with more whipped cream and garnished with shaved chocolate and chocolate curls. It is so spectacular that you should skip dinner and just invite guests over for coffee and dessert!” I couldn’t agree more. I first made this for my step-son’s high school German class’ Oktoberfest potluck. He recently flew back into town for the weekend and I made it for his birthday. It is a bit of work but so fun to put together and so delicious. It is a light and airy sponge cake with just a hint of cherry brandy (kirsch). My step-son thinks this would be great with the glazed cherries doubled and placed on top of both of the bottom two layers instead of just the one. Cook time doesn’t include standing time for the glazed cherries.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. GARNISH:.
  2. Using a vegetable parer, scrape across chocolate to make curls; refrigerate until needed. Loosely grate remainder of chocolate bar and refrigerate until ready to garnish.
  4. Combine cherries with kirsch; let stand 1 hour. In small saucepan, mix cornstarch with cherry juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; simmer 5 minutes until thickened. Let cool; add cherries and stir well to mix.
  5. CAKE:.
  6. Prepare three 8-inch-diameter layer-cake pans by greasing and flouring.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. In large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs at high speed until light. Add 1 cup granulated sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Beat 10 minutes or until very thick. Add vanilla.
  9. Sift sifted flour with cocoa; fold into egg mixture in fourths, using a wire whisk or rubber spatula. Fold in butter, in fourths, until just combined. Gently turn into prepared pans. Bake 15 minutes or until surface springs back when pressed with finger.
  10. Place pans on wire rack and cool 5 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.
  11. SYRUP:.
  12. In a small saucepan, stir granulated sugar and ½ cup water over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Bring to boil and boil 5 minutes. Cool, and stir in kirsch.
  14. Using a skewer, make several holes in each cake layer; drizzle syrup over layers.
  15. Beat heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar until stiff.
  16. Invert one cake layer onto serving plate; spread with glazed cherries; top with 1 cup whipped cream. Top with second layer and 1 cup cream.
  17. Add top cake layer; spread side and top of cake with whipped cream, decorating with 12 whipped-cream rosettes around top edge. Refrigerate cake.
  18. Just before serving, arrange chocolate curls on top of cake and sprinkle side of cake with grated chocolate.
Most Helpful

Great recipe! I have modified it slightly: baked two layers instead of three and cut each layer along using a thread. Four chocolate layers, rich cherry filling and heavy whipped cream made it delightful!<br/>

Cake Addicted Chef August 11, 2013

I had lost this recipe from McCalls Cooking School Magazine. I'd made it dozens of times Between 1990 and 1995. but not at all in the last 17 years. Thank-you so much for having it here! And now with the internet, I was able to look up other techniques to make Chocolate Curls. I have to say that the photos previously posted do not do justice to this Fabulous Recipe. It it a bit tedious to make the the RAVE reviews and compliments received make it Well worth the effort.

SueSheSays September 07, 2012

I used cherry flavored cocktail mix instead of cointreau in the syrup, a whole can of cherry pie filling instead of making glazed cherries and made two layers instead of three (I don't think I would have had enough batter for three anyway). I worried that my eggs and sugar mixture wasn't thick enough (even after beating for 15 minutes) but the finished cake was DEVOURED today at work. Everyone raved. I especially like the whipped cream frosting/topping - we used it to make cream puffs for the football game tomorrow!!

fivefatcats December 04, 2011