The SWEET part

Published 5:39 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

When it’s raining outside, what should a 12-year-old do to pass the time? Why not bake a cake? That’s exactly what Brianna Powell did recently on a Saturday afternoon. And yes, it was delicious! The cake was gone before the sun rose the next day. 

Brianna Powell


This Black Forest Cake combines rich chocolate cake layers with fresh cherries, cherry liqueur and a simple whipped cream frosting.

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 Start to finish: 2 hours 45 minutes

 Servings: 14


Chocolate Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 cup hot water

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Cherry Liqueur Syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup cherry liqueur

Whipped Cream Frosting

3 cups whipping cream, cold

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Chocolate Bark

250 grams good quality dark chocolate, chopped


2 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and cut in half

1 bar dark chocolate, for shavings



Chocolate Cake

• Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.

• Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.

• In a medium bowl, whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly, as not to cook the eggs).

• Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes. Batter will be very thin.

• Pour evenly into prepared pans. I used a kitchen scale to ensure the batter is evenly distributed.

• Bake for 45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean. 

• Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Cherry Liqueur Syrup

• Place sugar and water into a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Stir in cherry liqueur and allow to cool completely.

Whipped Cream Frosting

• Whip cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks, ideally in a cold bowl with a cold whisk.

Chocolate Bark

• Melt chocolate over a double boiler or in 20 second bursts in the microwave.

• Using a large offset spatula, spread melted chocolate in a thin layer on a large sheet of parchment.

• Roll up from the short side of the parchment. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm.

• Unroll to create chocolate bark. 


• Cut each cake layer in half horizontally.

• Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush generously with cherry syrup. 

• Top with approximately 1 cup whipped cream and spread evenly. Top with approximately 1 cup of cherries and gently press them into the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers and frost the outside of the cake.

• Decorate side of cake with chocolate bark, chocolate shavings, rosettes and cherries.