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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
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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

Rich Fudgy Black Forest Sheet Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Laura Kasavan
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 26 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 1 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
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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.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

More chocolate cherry desserts you’ll love:

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream Pie
Brown Butter Cherry Chocolate Blondies

Meet Laura

Hi, I'm Laura and I'm so happy you're here! Welcome to Tutti Dolci Baking Recipes, a baking blog celebrating all things sweet! I share approachable baking recipes and elevated classic desserts for every home baker. My goal is to inspire you to bake from scratch with kitchen-tested recipes you can count on.

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  1. I rarely comment on recipes but I had to let you know how fabulous this cake is. I made it for an Oktoberfest party and everyone loved it. The cake itself is amazing and I will use the recipe as a chocolate cake base for other cakes as well.
    I made the cake following the directions and it turned out perfectly. These are the changes to your directions that I made:
    After cooling the cake I split the 9 x 13 cake and placed parchment paper between the two layers. I then wrapped the cake in parchment and then foil so I could freeze it for one week.
    I made my own cherry preserves because I had a bag of frozen cherries and I also made those about 5 days before the party.
    The night before the party I put the cherry preserves between the two cake layers and refrigerated the cake. By putting the cherries between the cake layers I wasn’t as concerned about storing the cake or having the cherries “bleed” through to my whip cream frosting.
    The early afternoon on the day of the party I whipped cream with a little powdered sugar and vanilla and frosted the top of the cake. I shaved chocolate over the top. I’m sure your frosting is delicious but whipped cream was super easy and a little less sweet possibly.
    I loved that I could make this cake ahead of time, serve more people (it’s so rich I cut small squares) and not worry about a multi-layered traditional black forest cake. This recipe was delicious and definitely will be a go to for our Oktoberfest parties. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Diane, thank you so much for your wonderful feedback! So happy to hear this cake was a hit for Oktoberfest, and your homemade cherry preserves sound delicious!

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

      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!

      2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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.