black forest sheet cake

In a word, this black forest sheet cake is epic. Black forest cake (traditionally chocolate cake paired with a sweet cherry filling and whipped cream) gets a summer makeover into a sheet cake that’s perfect for a crowd!

Black Forest Sheet Cake

We start with my easiest chocolate cake that comes together in just a few minutes, no mixer required. Fold in chopped chocolate for extra indulgence, then bake until set.

Once the cake is completely cool, we add a delicious layer of cherry preserves. Topped with swirls of vanilla frosting, fresh cherries, and chocolate shavings, this effortless sheet cake is perfect for 4th of July or any summer occasion!

Black Forest Sheet Cake

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Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

  • Author: Laura | Tutti Dolci
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 1 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings


Black forest sheet cake is perfect for a crowd! You’ll love this rich chocolate sheet cake topped with cherry preserves and swirls of vanilla frosting.



  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped


  • 3/4 cup cherry preserves


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Add sugars, eggs, egg yolk, milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla to flour mixture; whisk in just until incorporated. Add boiling water to batter and whisk in just until smooth. Fold in chopped chocolate.
  2. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with an offset spatula. Tap pan sharply to reduce air bubbles. Bake for 24 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs, and the edges are pulling slightly away from the pan. Cool cake completely in pan on a wire rack.
  3. Spread cherry preserves over cooled cake with an offset spatula; transfer to freezer and chill for 20 minutes to set.
  4. For the frosting, beat butter, salt, and vanilla in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; add powered sugar 1 cup at a time and beat well, scraping down bowl as needed. Add milk and beat on medium-high speed until light and airy.
  5. Dollop frosting over cake and gently swirl with an offset spatula. If desired, top with fresh cherries and chocolate shavings. Chill cake for 20 minutes in the refrigerator before slicing and serving.

Keywords: Cherry, Chocolate, Black Forest, Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

More chocolate cherry desserts you’ll love:

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Pie
Brown Butter Cherry Chocolate Blondies

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  1. Oh, yeah!! This cake is calling my name! Bill does not like anything with cherries, but if I don’t garnish with cherries, I doubt he’d even notice 🙂 And if he does, I don’t mind eating his share.

    1. This is a great cake! It reminded me of the black magic cake my Grandma used to make. The cherry was a lovely compliment. It was perfect for a weekday birthday celebration.

      1. Do you have any thoughts on whether this cake would do alright if I make it the day before my party? Would you refrigerate overnight or leave it room temp? Also, I was thinking of doing an additional half recipe gluten free for my mom. I’ll give an update on how that turns out. I’m really excited to try it both ways! I love Black Forest cake!

        1. Hi Anna! You can make the cake a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. On the day of the party, let the cake come to room temperature (about 1 hour) before serving. Hope that helps and happy baking! 🙂

  2. Tried this cake and absolutely loved it! So delicious and perfectly rich and fudgy – an excellent cake to serve a group too.