Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream

Growing up in St. Louis, Lake Forest Bakery was well known for their Black Forest Cake.  Unlike most Black Forest Cakes this one was made with strawberries instead of cherries.

I’ve never been a huge fan of maraschino cherries but love those fresh bing cherries. However, fresh strawberries tucked inside a thick layer of whipped cream, and sandwiched between velvety moist layers of chocolate cake, is heaven! 

My Chocolate Avalanche cake is quite similar to this except that uses a box mix that’s doctored up. Box mixes are perfect if you don’t have the time to bake from scratch.  Adding some additional ingredients can change a box mix into an extraordinary cake.

I’m a huge fan of box mixes, but scratch is best in my opinion, because you know what ingredients go into the cake, and how fresh they all are.

Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream all combined with layers of a rich dark chocolate cake

My birthday was at the end of March and typically I create my own birthday cake.  However, my daughter came in town and we found ourselves going out more than staying in, so I never got around baking one.

So this past weekend I finally decided to make my birthday cake, and this Black Forest Cake with Strawberries was my cake of choice.

I have to say there’s something about using layers of whipped cream thickened with powdered sugar that’s so good.  However, if your cake layers aren’t flat (mine were not) they will basically slide off.

Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream all combined with layers of a rich dark chocolate cake

I was running around all weekend and getting each step done, then running more errands. This dragged the process out longer than I had planned.  I got a bit lazy and decided not to level out the cake layers.  I figured it didn’t really matter that much since it was just for my family, forgetting that I’d be shooting photos.

The end result was a little tilted, not completely straight, but still incredibly delicious.  In fact, it was so good it was challenging resisting from cutting slices each time walking into the kitchen.

Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream all combined with layers of a rich dark chocolate cake

The cake itself was a recipe I found on Liv for Cake, in addition to the idea she used from a friend for the chocolate shards.  Liv has some wonderful creations if you’ve never been to her site.  Then I used parts of recipes I’ve used on other cakes, and combined them to make this Black Forest Cake.

My cake may not be as pretty as Liv’s version, but believe me it’s a winner!  Next time I’ll be sure to level my layers or use a cake leveler when baking this.

In fact, I have another idea I plan to do next time with this recipe I think you’ll love.

Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream all combined with layers of a rich dark chocolate cake

Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream

This Black Forest Cake with Strawberries & Cream combines a rich deep dark chocolate cake with layers of thick whipped cream tucked in with fresh luscious strawberries.  A treat no one can resist!


Chocolate Cake:

Rum Liqueur Syrup:

Whipped Cream Frosting:

Chocolate Bark/Shards:


  • 1 lb. fresh Strawberries, cut in half or 1/4 depending on size
  • 1 bar dark chocolate for shavings (optional)
  • strawberries


Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease four 6" round or two 8" round baking pans and dust with cocoa powder. Line bottoms with parchment.
  2. Place all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Stir to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk all wet ingredients (pour hot water in slowly as not to cook the eggs).
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix on medium for 2-3 mins. Batter will be very thin.
  5. Pour evenly into prepared pans.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes (6" pans) or 45 minutes (8" pans) or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes in the pans then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Rum Syrup:

  1. Place sugar and water into a small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 min then remove from heat. Stir in Rum and allow to cool completely.

Whipped Cream Frosting:

  1. Whip cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks. Best to use a cold bowl and cold whisk.

Chocolate Bark: see video tutorial in notes

  1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler or for 30 seconds three consecutive times stirring in between in microwave or until chocolate is smooth.
  2. Using a large offset spatula, spread melted chocolate in a thin layer on a large sheet of parchment.
  3. Roll up from the short side of the parchment. Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  4. Unroll to create chocolate bark.


  1. Cut each cake layer in half horizontally if using 8" rounds. Otherwise level off tops of 6" cake rounds.
  2. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Brush generously with Rum syrup.
  3. Top with approximately 1 cup whipped cream and spread evenly. Top with strawberries filling in each layer, and gently press them into the whipped cream. Repeat with remaining layers and frost the outside of the cake with whipped cream.
  4. Decorate with chocolate bark, chocolate shavings (using a microplane or carrot peeler). Can also pipe roses and top with whole strawberries, if desired.
Chocolate Bark tutorial here and here. Adapted from Liv for Cake

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  1. YUM! I made a black forest cake for my dad when I visited him with my sisters years ago. But Bill does not like cherries, so I never made it again. I never thought about using strawberries instead—I think this will be a huge hit with my family!!

  2. That looks so beautiful and very creative with strawberries too.

  3. Such a great cake! I think I actually prefer this with strawberries instead of cherries.

  4. wow that’s pretty! I’m just not a baker, but I’d let someone make that for me!!!

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