For this authentic German cake, I borrowed from three different recipes:

  • This recipe from The Stay at Home Chef for the most amazing, moist chocolate cake. I always use this tried and true recipe for any chocolate base.
  • For the cherry filling I used this recipe from Also the Crumbs Please.
  • And to stabilize the whipped cream, this recipe from Sweet Chatter came in handy. I had bad experience with whipped cream melting away before, so I wanted to make sure this one stays.

Cake Ingredients:

  • butter and flour for coating and dusting the cake pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Cherry Filling:

  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp canned cherry water
  • 1/4 cup canned cherry water (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup Kirsch (60ml)
  • 3/8 cup granulated white sugar (75g)
  • 1 lbs canned cherries, drained (450g)

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp gelatin, or 1 packet
  • 3 tbsp water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8-inch cake rounds. Line bottom with parchment paper. Grease again.
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
  3. Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
  4. Divide batter among the three pans.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
  7. Place drained sour cherries into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 4 tbsp of canned sour cherry water to combine.
  9. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring 1/4 cup canned sour cherry water, kirsch, and sugar over medium heat to a simmer. Stir constantly. Pour in the cherry-cornstarch mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes until it gets thick like syrup and coats the back of a spoon. Stir continuously. Remove from the heat and pour over sour cherries. Let cool to room temperature.
  10. In a small bowl, bloom the gelatin with the water. Heat for about 10 sec in the microwave to melt. Set aside briefly. 
  11. In a mixing bowl, add heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whip on medium speed until soft peaks form. At this point continue to whip while streaming in the gelatin. Continue on medium speed and whip until stiff peaks form.
  12. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake stand or plate and brush with cherry syrup lightly. Spread with whipped cream and pipe an additional ring of whipped cream around the edges (together about 1/6 of the cream). Then spoon the half of the sour cherries (with very little liquid) on top of the cream but inside the piped ring. The ring makes sure that the cherries stay inside the cake and no syrup is running out the sides. Then spoon additional whipped cream on top of cherries and spread evenly to cover them (another 1/6 of the cream, so that about 1/3 of the cream is now used in total). Place the second cake layer on top and repeat.
  13. Finish with the third cake layer on top and spread remaining 1/3 of whipped cream all over the cake and around the edges. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.