Monday, May 14, 2012

Black Forest Cake

My my, I've been gone for a while. It's been pretty busy around here. My cake design classes have started and my daughter had just turned 12. For her birthday she asked me to make her a Black Forest Cake. It had to be designed like the one from a video game that her and her friends play called Portal. I was a bit intimidated at first since it's my first time baking one and designing one like it. I wanted it to be special and spectacular for her. I searched the web on what the cake is meant to look like and this is what mine turned out like. I wanted it to be very similar and to taste great as well.

Garnishing this cake was a very messy situation. I had chocolate bits melting all over my hands. I've had to wash, rinse and dry my hands every time the chocolate started to melt. I'm sure all you bakers out there know a better way of garnishing an entire cake with chocolate crumble without having to be messy. The instruction says to gently press the crumble on the cake. I tried that and they would fall off my hands creating a mess. Instead, slapped them on before they melted on my hands. I got the same result, a mess everywhere. There were chocolate crumbles all over the kitchen counter, floor, my clothes, face, hands, my son's face, around his lips and of course inside his mouth ha ha ha ha ha lol.... : ) He told me the bits wanted to go inside his tummy, lol ha ha ha ha ha!

Oh, and by the way this is the first time I've baked a cake with chocolate milk as one of the ingredient and it really made the cake quite moist.

The video game version looks like this...

My daughter and one of her best friend made the mini portal cupcakes and it turned out rather nice as well...

I browsed loads of recipes for this cake and the one that I chose is from Sandra Lee. It looked like the easiest one for me to make. Although her original design for her Black Forest Cake is different from what the portal cake looked like, I just had to design it differently.

This is her cake design courtesy of Semi-Homemade Magazine...

I just had to make some minor changes on the ingredients and design.


1 (18.25-ounce) box super moist chocolate fudge cake mix, Betty Crocker
1 2/3 cups chocolate milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (will need to divide 3tbs and 2tbs)
3/4 cup cherry pie filling
1 (12-ounce) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

Garnish: 2 bars of your favourite bittersweet dark chocolate (one of mine is Ghirardelli )
Maraschino cherries


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (9-inch) cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, chocolate milk, oil, eggs, and 3 tablespoon of cocoa until smooth. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
3. Spread cherry pie filling between layers.
4. Add 2 tablespoon of cocoa powder to whipped cream to add a bit of brown then spread topping over top and sides of cake.
5. Blitz 2 bars of bittersweet dark chocolate in the food processor.
6. Gently press chocolate crumble onto sides of cake and top of cake. (I slapped mine Top cake with small whipped cream circle using cake decorator tip # and cherries. Store in refrigerator.
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

*Cupcakes ingredients were exactly the same except the kids didn't bother with the cherry pie filling.


  1. I think this is the first time I've ever heard of someone making a cake based on a video game. But then, I lead a sheltered life. This does look impressive.

    1. Thanks Phil, I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to do it.

  2. Mmmm... this is such a good cake to make. Beautiful and delicious X

  3. This looks fabulous Vanessa! I never tried it but my sister in law makes a lovely one:) I might try the mini ones sometime:)

    1. Thank you Anne! The girls did a nice job with the mini once : )

  4. Vanessa, this cake is beautiful! Love it!

  5. What a beautiful cake! your daughter must have LOVED it!!
    Mary x

    1. Thank you, and yes she loved it and I was very happy she did. : )

  6. That is my husband favourite cake and I have never made it for him, I will have to try this one. Cheers, Tara

    1. Thank you! It was quite easy to make considering it was my first time.

  7. FABULOUS cake and wee cakes too....and I know it is a retro recipe, but I DO love a Black Forest Gateau!

    1. Thank you Karen! It was the easiest recipe I found. There were so many different versions of it and I do love the word Gateau... :)

  8. Wow this looks great, I'd love to slice into this one! Your daughter did a good job on the cupcakes too! :-)

  9. Thank you for the lovely comment you left for me Vanessa and I have to say I will for sure be a regular visitor over here! Fantastic blog! :)


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