Nicht So Gute

Posted by Jen Chiappisi on Saturday, January 9th, 2010 in Baking

Tonight my husband and I had one of the most harrowing sessions our kitchen has seen since we moved in two years ago.  We decided that we would bake together a Swartzwelder Kirsch Torte, which is German for Blackforest Cherry Cake and is what I remember as one of the most incredibly decadent cakes I have ever had.

When I was in high school, I took German classes throughout all four years and happily can still remember a good amount of random German phrases.  Ich heisse Frau Chiappisi.  Wie heisst du?  In German class our teacher, affectionately known by ‘Frau’, used to have us make and bring into class German food for extra credit.  Obviously, Frau was one of the best teachers because everyone got to enjoy our classmates’ poor grades right before the end of the semester.  It was great.  One of the desserts that was often made was the Black Forest Cherry Cake.

Now, this was all high school students, so not every food item turned out to be incredible.  However, I cannot remember a time that someone made a bad Black Forest Cherry Cake.  Thus, my reason for wanting to create such a lovely cake this evening. Our Swartzwelder Kirsch Torte Recipe (courtesy of was as follows:


  • 2 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (20 ounce) cans pitted sour cherries
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch, round, cake pans; cover bottoms with waxed paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil, and 1 tablespoon vanilla; beat until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
  4. Drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine reserved juice, cherries, 1 cup sugar and cornstarch in a 2 quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool before using.
  5. Combine whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar in a chilled medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. With long serrated knife, split each cake layer horizontally in half. Tear one split layer into crumbs; set aside. Reserve 1 1/2 cups Frosting for decorating cake; set aside. Gently brush loose crumbs off top and side of each cake layer with pasty brush or hands. To assemble, place one cake layer on cake plate. Spread with 1 cup frosting; top with 3/4 cup cherry topping. Top with second cake layer; repeat layers of frosting and cherry topping. Top with third cake layer. Frost side of cake. Pat reserved crumbs onto frosting on side of cake. Spoon reserved frosting into pastry bag fitted with star decorator tip. Pipe around top and bottom edges of cake. Spoon remaining cherry topping onto top of cake.

Needless to say, it did not go as planned.  Our sad little chocolate cake ended up far too dry and beyond that, leaving a lot to be desired.  Note: The dryness can be slightly altered by pouring the cherry mixture on non-frosted levels of cake (instead of frosting the top and then pouring cherry on top, which only serves to facilitate rivers of cherry liquids throughout the countertops in the kitchens). Next round, we either attempt Blackforest Cherry Cupcakes, which we feel will be less likely to dry out and stick to the pans, or work with another recipe entirely.

Categories: Baking
Tags: , , , ,

Comments on “Nicht So Gute”

  • Nikolei Z says:

    My mother has made these plenty in the past, tho not at all lately. She made them all the time for my fathers’ German Club dinners. Anyway, I’m sure she has a great recipe for it. I’ll get it for you if you’d like to compare.

Leave a Comment

Make sure you enter the ( * - required ) information where indicated. Comments are moderated - and rel="nofollow" is in use. Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise!