Recipe Saturday…Dorothy’s Black Forest Torte

Black Forest Torte, minus the cherries on top.

Black Forest Torte, minus the cherries on top.

One Christmas, many years ago, Grandma met us with a cake that one of her best friends had brought over…a Black Forest Torte/cake.  Oh my.  It was gorgeous.  It was sumptuous.  It was a HIT!!

And now…it is a classic family favorite.

Don’t let the word “Torte” scare you.  It’s just a fancy name for “cake”.

So here’s what you need for…

Dorothy’s Black Forest Torte

2-9″ cake pans

1 Chocolate Fudge or Devil’s Food cake mix

1 can cherry pie filing

8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temp.

Small carton of Cool Whip (or whip up some heavy cream!)

Lemon juice

Bake the chocolate cake mix as per directions. Let cakes cool on rack, then refrigerate wrapped in plastic wrap. When firm and cold, split each layer in half so that you now have 4 layers. Don’t rush this step.  A nice, cold cake splits easily, is easy to handle and without many crumbs. If this step gives you any trouble, freeze the layers after you split them.

Whip cream cheese with 4 teaspoons lemon juice. Add some Cool Whip/whipped cream and blend in well. There’s no science to this step.  As far as I’m concerned, the more Cool Whip/cream, the better!

Spread the cream cheese mixture over 3 of the layers.

Stack the first layer and top with a couple of spoonfuls of pie filling. Repeat until you have the top layer on. Refrigerate.

Note: if you want to take this work of art a step further into FantasyLand, sprinkle just a tad of Cherry Brandy on top of the cake layers before you spread the cream cheese mixture on. 🙂


Ready for fridge…I did 3-10″ layers for this cake and skipped the layer splitting step. It’s really better to do 2 layers and split. I was in a hurry. What can I say?

Fluffy Frosting

a la The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites, room temp
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large saucepan, combine the first 4 ingredients. Over medium heat and stirring constantly, cook till clear. Reduce heat to medium low and continue to cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (a drop of the sugar mixture dropped in a cup of cold water forms a soft ball when you roll it around in the water) or thermometer reads 240°.


While the syrup cooks, beat the egg whites at a high speed (I use my wire whisk attachment on my electric mixer) until soft peaks form.



Continue to beat as you pour the hot syrup into the whites in a heavy stream…not all at once.

Add vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form and frosting is thick enough to spread…this will take at least 4 mins. or longer. Be. Patient. Don’t give up if your first batch doesn’t measure up.  Practice. Practice. Practice.  Once you get it…you’ve got it.


Spread the frosting on the cake. This will be like smushing little clouds onto the cake!!  This is Big Boss’s favorite frosting and he hates frostings of any kind.  He actually asks for this one!!!

Right before serving, garnish the top of the cake with some leftover cherry filling. Be sure not to do this step too far in advance and don’t put too much…the result will be sliding cherries and frosting all over the countertop. Eventually. Ask me how I know…

To be honest…I never make 9″ cakes. I double up on everything but the frosting and make 10″ cakes. Remember the old potato chip commercial…”bet you can’t eat just one!”? This applies to this cake. Big time.

Refrigerate in a covered cake carrier if there are any leftovers. But don’t count on leftovers!!!

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