Black Forest gateau

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

Black Forest gâteau (British English) 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".

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 kirschwasser must be present in the cake for it to be labelled a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.[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 speciality liquor of that region, known as Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser) and distilled from tart cherries. This is the ingredient, with its distinctive cherry pit flavour and alcoholic content, that gives the dessert its flavour. Cherries, cream, and Kirschwasser were first combined in the form of a dessert in which cooked cherries were served with cream and Kirschwasser, while a cake combining cherries, cookies / biscuits and cream (but without Kirschwasser) probably originated in Germany.

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 [de] (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]

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was first mentioned in writing in 1934.[6][dubious ] 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[citation needed].


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.[7][8] Measuring nearly 80 m² (900 sq ft) and weighing 3,000 kg (3 tons), the cake, which was 10 metres (33 feet) in diameter, used up 700 litres (185 US gallons / 154 Imperial gallons) of cream, 5,600 eggs, 800 kg (1800lb) of cherries, 40 kg (90lb) of chocolate shavings, and 120 litres (31.7 US gallons / 26.4 Imperial gallons) of kirsch.[9] 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[10] in Singapore. The 500-kg (1100lb) cake was made from 165 litres (43.5 US gallons / 36.3 Imperial gallons) of cream, 1,500 eggs, 68 kg (150lb) of cherries, 60 kg (130lb) of chocolate shavings, and 10 litres (21 US pints / 17.6 Imperial pints) of kirsch.[11]


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 with whipped cream in between. The whole cake is also covered with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Black Forest Cake History and Recipe, Schwarzwälderkirschtorte, Whats Cooking America". Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  2. ^ Linda Greer. "Black Forest Cake recipe". Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  3. ^ Antony Worrall Thompson (1970-01-01). "Black Forest Cake recipe with Kirschwasser". Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  4. ^ "Leitsätze für Feine Backwaren" (PDF). Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  5. ^ Confectionery Museum Kitzingen, data collection about the Black Forest Cherry Cake in history Archived December 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Book: 250 Konditorei-Spezialitäten und wie sie entstehen, J.M. Erich Weber, Dresden 1934
  7. ^ "Weltgrößte Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte im Europa-Park - Europa-Park". Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  8. ^ "Deutschlandmagazin 3.0 - Deutschlandmagazin 3.0 - Nachrichten Germany - Deutschland aus Lifestyle Politik Reise und Tourismus Auto Motor Sport | Schwarzwald". Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  9. ^ OC Projects GmbH, Kaarst. "Torten News | Größte Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte der Welt hergestellt". Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  10. ^ "A "Day Trip" to Stuttgart, Germany for Tanjong Pagar Residents". S-One Expo. 2012-12-06. Archived from the original on 2014-03-16. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2012-12-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]