Christmas Chocolate Cherry Forest Cake

How to Make Chocolate Cherry Forest Cake

3 layer dark chocolate cake with cherry whipped cream filling frosted with fresh whipped cream. 5 Long stemmed cherries along with white chocolate piped Christmas trees fill the center of the frosted cake, while halved cherries surround the base of cake.




1– Dark Chocolate Cake Mix- Tested Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge

1-package chocolate instant pudding and pie mix

11/3 cups water

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

Cherry Filling

210 ounce jars Maraschino cherries, reserve juice  1 cup + 57 good cherries with stems for the top cake garnish, 20 cherries without stems cut in half for base of cake garnish, dice  1/2 cup of the remaining cherries for the filling.

1/4 cup water or purchased cherry juice

2 tablespoons corn starch or arrowroot

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

Whipped Cream Frosting

4 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

8 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons almond extract or creme bouquet

Garnish White Chocolate Trees

210 ounce package white chocolate melts -tested Ghirardelli

1/4 cup sparkling sugar or granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 3-8″ round cake pans with cooking spray and parchment round for bottom of pan.  Lightly spray parchment round.
  2. In large mixing bowl of stand mixer fitted with beater attachment, add cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, eggs, and extract. Beat for 2 minutes to blend.
  3. Pour cake batter into three pans evenly.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes or until cake is risen and starts to leave the sides of the cake pan. Remove from oven, to wire rack, let sit 3 minutes, then turn over to release cakes.  Remove parchment round from cakes. Let cool.
  5. Wrap and freeze 60 minutes or overnight if desired or continue to frost and serve.

Cherry Filling

  1. Chop reserved and drained cherries into small pieces, about 1/2 cup.
  2. With 1 cup of juice reserved from cherries place in medium saucepan along with sugar.  Stir to dissolve sugar.
  3. In small custard add 1/4 cup water and 2 TBSP. cornstarch, stir to blend with a fork until smooth.  Add cornstarch mixture to cherry juice in saucepan.  Stir over medium heat, simmer until thick about 2 minutes or until the back of a spoon is coated. Draw your finger across the back of the spoon if it stays in one place, it is ready.
  4. Add chopped cherries and extract to the thickened juice, stir to combine. Chill 2 hours or up to 5 days, covered in refrigerator.  Filling must be firm before spreading between cake layers. You will spoon 1/2 cup between layers, except for top of cake. 

*** If you want to use cherry jam spread instead of making the thickened juice, that is a great option. Choose an “All Fruit” cherry jam  You can add additional chopped cherries to the purchased jam for your cake filling.

Chocolate Trees & Dipped Cherries

  1. Make tree pattern one tree 5″ tall with long trunk, one 4-1/2 ” with trunk, and one 4″ with trunk. Place parchment over the template to pipe on a baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator.
  2. Place diced white chocolate pieces in a zip lock bag. In microwave safe bowl fill with 3 cups water. Microwave 2 minutes to heat water. Place sealed bag in hot water, massage until melts are melted. Remove from water, dry off bag and clip tiny end of one corner.  Gather the chocolate to that clip.
  3. Pipe tree pattern. Make 3- 5 “, 3 -4-1/2” trees and 3- 4 “trees. 9 trees total. Sprinkle wet chocolate with sugar or coarse sparkling sugar. Allow to dry before adding to center of frosted cake. Place baking sheet with trees in refrigerator.

Assembly and Garnish:  Place one layer on cake stand. spread  1/2 cup cherry filling on the layer edge to edge or if using purchased jam spread large spoonful over the the layer. Next pipe whipped cream around cake rim and a couple of pipes on top of the layer, with off set spatula lightly smooth whipped cream over the jam or filling.

Add second layer, repeat with filling and whipped cream, add last cake layer. Frost cake top and sides with whipped cream creating smooth sides and top. Pipe large swirls* around top of cake edge. Use tip # 1 M or large star tip for design.  Add white chocolate trees in center of cake or as desired.  Cut 20 cherries in half and remove stems, place cut halves around bottom edge of cake.

Alternative garnish- place all cherries in center of cake and leave outside swirls free of cherries.  Place trees on sides of cake vertically. You could also pipe dark chocolate trees instead of white chocolate.

Store in Refrigerator, Lightly covered with plastic wrap.


  • Dividing batter into three cake pans, use a digital scale if you have one. weigh the batter and divide by 3 to get weight in grams for each cake.  If no scale, pour batter in large glass measuring container and determine the 1/3 increments.
  • Freezing the cake will make the cake easier to slice in half horizontally. Easier to frost too.
  • * Piping whipped cream in a swirl using tip # 1 M or large star. Fill large pastry bag with tip in place, pipe in large swirls continually around the rim of the top of cake. Making circular motions.

Keywords: Black Forest, Cake, Cherries, Chocolate, Whipped Cream,