Black Forest Trifles are a sweet dessert that will wow any crowd! Its’ layers of chocolate cake, cherry sauce, and whipped cream make this a sweet and fruity dessert perfect for summer!
For the longest time growing up, I would always be confused between German Chocolate Cake and Black Forest Cake. Being of German heritage, this was almost sacrilege! All I knew was that the one I always ordered wasn’t the real one I was craving.
It wasn’t until later, and after several disappointments, that I finally got the difference. German Chocolate Cake is, yes, a chocolate cake topped with a creamy coconut and pecan topping. Black Forest Cake (or Schwartzwaldkuchen in German) is chocolate cake topped with whipped cream and cherries. Schwartzwaldkuchen was what I always wanted to order, but nearly always forgot what it was!
To take you all on a fun journey through the German language, Schwartzwaldkuchen literally translates to Black (Schwartz) Forest (Wald) Cake (Kuchen).
Do you know why Germans call that forest the black forest? It’s not because the trees are black, but because the trees there are so thick that when you are in the forest, it is quite dark. The Schwartzwald has long been a component in classic German fairytales which later were adapted into the ones we all know today. Here is a photo of the Black Forest I took on a trip a few years ago to Germany…
Okay, now that the German in me is done my lecture I will continue on…
This cake is so delicious and combined two bits of perfection in my life: chocolate and fruit. Whenever the two can be combined I am in heaven!
I made this recipe a semi-homemade one because I wanted it to be easy but to still exemplify the tastes I know and love. That is why I made a boxed cake mix. Honestly, the cake is topped with so much goodness that the boxed kind is perfect for this! This freed up some time for me to focus on the true star here: the cherry sauce. The sauce is only lightly sweetened and really just allows the cherries to shine. By melting down frozen berries and adding in fresh ones, you get a nice sauce with tons of fresh cherries in it.
This trifle is so good. It is fun, easy, and a beautiful dessert to serve your guests or yourself!
The only downside to this recipe is that I really had to fight with my camera to get my photos to make the trifle look as amazing on the screen as it does in person. The cherries were really dark, ripe cherries so they tended to blend in with the chocolate cake in the photos. Then, the wine glass I served the trifles in kept reflecting all the wrong light sources. I must say, it was one of my most frustrating shoots as a food blogger to date!
Due to my lack of photos therefore I supplemented in a daily dose of German knowledge into your lives.
Ok, enough of that now. Time for me to dig in.
- 1 box store-bought chocolate cake mix
- 2 1/4 cups frozen cherries (12oz)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 heaping tbs white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbs cornstarch
- 2 1/2 cups fresh cherries (16oz), pitted
- Whipped cream
- To begin, prepare the chocolate cake according to package directions. Allow to cool thoroughly and then cut cake into small cubes.
- While the cake is cooking, prepare the cherry sauce. In a saucepan on medium heat, add frozen cherries, water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and allow cherries to boil 10 minutes or until they have begun to break down (pressing with a spoon as needed). Turn down the heat and whisk in cornstarch. Allow to simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Remove sauce from the heat and mix in fresh cherries. Allow to cool.
- When all ingredients have cooled, begin to assemble the trifles. Start by placing in a layer of chocolate cake cubes, then a layer of cherry sauce, and then finally a layer of whipped cream. Repeat until the glass you are serving in is full.
- May be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 week.