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Breaking Tradition with a Raisin Black Forest Cake

This Raisin Black Forest Cake is my version of the infamous German chocolate cake, aka “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.” There is plenty of chocolate and whipped cream goodness. But instead of including cherries, my cake is packed with kirsch-infused raisins and a light whipped cream. Sponsored by Sun-Maid Raisins.

Raisin Black Forest Cake by FamilySpice.com

I don’t thin of myself as a prize baker, but I certainly do enjoy baking. Just like with cooking, I like playing around with different flavors, textures and colors in my baking. My family appreciates whatever I do manage to bake, and I love bringing my creations to family dinners and parties. Lucky for me, the holiday season is upon and there are plenty of desserts to be created and delivered in the next couple of months!

 

My personal weakness for sweet treats and love of chocolate is the inspiration for this next dessert, the Raisin Black Forest Cake. I have made the traditional version, one packed with liqueur soaked cherries. But this version is a fun twist to the classic.

Instead of cherries, I soaked Sun-Maid raisins in a sweet syrup spiked with kirsch, a German cherry liqueur. In all honesty, I don’t miss the cherries. But if you can’t imagine a Black Forest Cake without cherries, then I strongly recommended adding raisins with 1-pound of pitted cherries in the syrup.

Raisin Black Forest Cake by FamilySpice.com

As I’ve proclaimed before on my blog, I do not consider myself super talented with the piping bag or cake decorating. I prefer the keep-it-simple method of cake decorating, which I will share with you today.

With the popularity of “naked cakes,” or lightly frosted cakes, I have a new-found love of cake decorating. The method reminds me the movie, “The Karate Kid.” The original, that is. Wax on, wax off. Frosting on, frosting off. You add plenty of frosting between the layers and sides of the cake, then using a flat spatula, you smooth it out and scrape the excess off.

Wax on, wax off.

Even my Raisin Black Forest Cake is decorated with iconic chocolate shavings and shards. But don’t stress, chocolate shards are really easy to make. Melt your chocolate in the microwave or double boiler and then spread it over a large sheet of parchment paper. You want to spread it into a thin layer of chocolate.

Once this is done, start rolling up the parchment paper until the entire sheet of melted chocolate and paper is rolled up. Place it in the freezer and let it harden. I usually do this while the cake is baking in the oven. After it is hard, remove the roll and open it over a baking sheet. As you peel the paper and separate it from the chocolate, the chocolate breaks — presto! Chocolate shards!

Raisin Black Forest Cake by FamilySpice.com

RECIPE SHORTCUT

Now, if you aren’t up to making this cake totally from scratch, here’s a great short cut to make my Raisin Black Forest Cake. Use your favorite boxed Devil’s Food Cake mix for the cake base and stir in chocolate chips into the batter. Then assemble it as the recipe dictates. If you do not want to make whipped cream by hand, you can use frozen whipped topping, too. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone your secret.

Here’s to breaking tradition and new twists to the classics. Hope you like my Raisin Black Forest Cake as much as my friends and family did!

Raisin Black Forest Cake

Author:

Laura Bashar | Family Spice

This Raisin Black Forest Cake is my version of the infamous German chocolate cake, aka “Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte.” There is plenty of chocolate and whipped cream goodness. But instead of including cherries, my cake is packed with kirsch-infused raisins and a light whipped cream.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 3 cups raisins
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur or brandy
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF/177ºC.
  2. Coat 2 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray and line the bottom of both pans with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium size bowl, whisk together:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup dark cocoa powder
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together using a hand blender or stand mixer:
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  5. Mix in until just combined:
    • 6 eggs
  6. Add dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until combine.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, mix in by hand:
    • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  8. Divide batter into the two cake pans then tap pans to remove air bubbles.
  9. Bake until cakes are done, when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.
  10. Let cakes cool to room temperature.
  11. To make the chocolate shards, melt in the microwave or double boiler:
    • 4 oz dark chocolate chips
  12. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small spatula, spread melted chocolate evenly onto the parchment paper. You want a smooth and thin layer of melted chocolate.
  13. Start at one end of the baking sheet and roll up the parchment paper. Place the roll in the freezer until chocolate is hard, about 1 hour.
  14. For the raisin filling, boil in a small pot:
    • 1/2 cup water
  15. Whisk in until dissolved:
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  16. Remove pot from heat and stir in:
    • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur or brandy
  17. Stir in and reserve:
    • 3 cups raisins
  18. For the whipped cream frosting, combine in a large bowl:
    • 3 cups heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  19. Using a hand blender or stand mixer, whisk until whipped cream forms hard peaks. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to use.
  20. Cut cooled cakes in half lengthwise to form 4 cake layers.
  21. Starting with one layer, place on a cake pedestal or serving dish. Spread a quarter of the liqueur soaked raisins evenly onto the top of the cake.
  22. Spread whipped cream evenly over the raisins.
  23. Add the next layer of cake and repeat adding the raisins and whipped topping until all four layers are assembled.
  24. Frost the sides and top of the cake with remaining whipped cream.
  25. For the chocolate shards, remove roll from freezer and slowly unroll parchment paper over a plate or baking sheet. The chocolate will break as you unroll the paper.
  26. Press chocolate shards on the top of the cake and sprinkle with remaining raisins.
  27. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and cocoa powder, as desired.
  28. Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.

Prep Time:

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Cook Time:

Total Time:

Disclosure: I did receive a stipend from Sun-Maid Raisins to develop a recipe using their raisins. The story I have written is all true, and the opinions are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.

Rating: 5