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Blackberry Forest Cake


Our version of the German specialty is wonderfully left to the elements, rather than shrouded in whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Tow layers of chocolate sponge cake (or genoise) -- brushed with a creme de cassis syrup – sandwich chocolate-ganache glaze, whipped cream, and fresh blackberries (a no-pitting-required swap for cherries). The toppings? More ganache glaze and a pile of berries.

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  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pans
  • 2/3 cup sifted cake flour, plus more for pans
  • 1/3 cup sifted Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large eggs, plus 3 large yolks, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup creme de cassis
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup red- or black-currant jelly, or blackberry jelly
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries (16 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


Servings 10
Adapted from


Step 1

Cakes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment, then butter parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. Place butter in another bowl.

Combine eggs, yolks, and granulated sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan containing 2 inches of simmering water. Heat, whisking, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm. Remove from heat. With an electric mixer, whisk on medium speed 2 minutes. Increase speed to high and whisk until pale and thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Sift together dry ingredients over top of egg mixture, then gently fold in. When almost incorporated, fold 1 cup batter into butter, then gently fold butter mixture into remaining batter. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake until tops spring back, 10 to 11 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack, top-sides up; let cool completely.

Syrup: Heat creme de cassis, granulated sugar, and 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Glaze: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan just until bubbling around edges; pour over chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is combined. Stir in corn syrup. Let stand until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Assembly: Stir together jelly and lemon juice in a bowl, then fold in berries. In another bowl, whisk cream with confectioners' sugar to medium-stiff peaks. Brush bottom and sides of cakes generously with syrup (using all of syrup). Place one cake on a serving platter, syrup-side up. Pour 1/2 cup glaze over cake, spreading to edges. Top with 3 cups berry mixture, then dollop evenly with cream. Top with second cake, syrup-side down.

Pour remaining glaze on top of cake, spreading to edges and allowing to drip down sides. (If glaze gets too thick, reheat in microwave, in 10-second increments.) Refrigerate cake and remaining berry mixture at least 4 hours and up to overnight before serving cake, topped with berry mixture.

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