Black Forest Naked Cake
Black forest naked cake made with layers of rich devil's food chocolate cake, homemade whipped cream, and fresh cherry compote.
Yield: 12 servings
For the cake
  • 2⅓ cups (280 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar
  • ⅔ cup (50 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1¼ cups hot strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup neutral oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the whipped cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the cherry compote
  • 4 cups (550 g) fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbsp kirschwasser
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1½ tbsp cornstarch
To assemble
  • chocolate shavings
For the chocolate cake
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the coffee and brandy.
  4. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture and half of the coffee mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth. Slowly add in the remaining coffee mixture and whisk until completely combined.
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared baking pans. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the pans on a baking rack.
For the whipped cream
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until thick. Remove from the mixer bowl from the mixer and use the whisk to beat by hand for a few seconds or until it reaches the desired consistency.
For the cherry compote
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, water, and kirschwasser over medium heat. Cover and cook until the cherries are tender (10 minutes for frozen cherries, 15 minutes for fresh cherries).
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Strain the cherries through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the juice. Return the juice to the pan and stir in the sugar mixture. Turn the heat back to medium and cook until boiling and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the fruit back to the pan and cook for another 30 seconds.
  4. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool completely.
To assemble
  1. Level the cake layers as needed so that they are flat on top.
  2. Place a cake layer on a serving plate or cardboard cake round.
  3. Use an offset spatula to spread half of the whipped cream over the top of the cake. Spoon half of the cherry compote over the cream.
  4. Repeat with the remaining cake layer, whipped cream, and filling. Top with the chocolate shavings.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Recipe from Zoe Bakes Cakes
Recipe by Joanne Eats Well With Others at