Black Forest Trifles

August 25, 2011 by Ali

I am my father’s daughter — I adore fresh bing cherries.

And I am my mother’s daughter — I love a good chocolate cake!

So when I not-surprisingly found myself with leftover chocolate cupcakes and a fridge full of fabulous bing cherries this summer, I decided to go “Black Forest” and make these adorable little trifles!

Traditionally, black forest cake is often made with jarred cherries, but I much preferred the fresh — delicious! I was actually cooking for one of my good friends who’s expecting, so decided to nix adding the Kirsch this time. But I included it in the recipe for any of you who want to add it into the cherries (and the yummy chocolate whipped cream!) to kick things up a notch. :)

Definitely a fun and delicious take on a classic that will have you saying “pretty please with a cherry on top”! :)

Black Forest Trifles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 servings


    For the cake/brownies:
  • 1 pan of chocolate cake or brownies, torn or cut into small pieces
  • For the cherries:
  • 1 pound fresh bing cherries (**or see tip below for using jarred cherries**)
  • 6 Tbsp. Kirsch or spiced rum (you can substitute cherry juice or water to make without alcohol)
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 6 Tbsp. powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. Kirsch (optional)
  • Garnish:
  • bing cherries (with stems)
  • chocolate curls or shavings


To Make Cherries:

In a small saucepan or medium skillet, stir together pitted cherries and sugar over medium heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved and cherries release their juice, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, carefully stir in Kirsch, and transfer back to heat. Continue to cook over medium-heat until liquid is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

To Make Whipped Cream:

In an electric mixer bowl (that has preferably been chilled for at least 5-10 minutes beforehand), beat the cream, powdered sugar, cocoa (and Kirsch, if desired) together until peaks form.

To Assemble Trifles:

Place a layer of chocolate cake or brownies in a trifle bowl. Then spoon or pipe on a layer of chocolate whipped cream. Then add a layer of cherries. Repeat as many times as desired, and top with a layer of whipped cream garnished with chocolate curls and a cherry.

Ali’s Tip:

If using jarred or canned bing cherries, they don’t need to be cooked as long as fresh cherries. Drain and reserve the juice, and add a few tablespoons to the Kirsch and sugar to cook in the skillet. And then after 2 minutes, add the cherries and continue cooking until warmed through.

filed in Cakes, Chocolate, Desserts

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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6 thoughts on “Black Forest Trifles

  1. I’d love to make this in little individual trifle dishes that I just can’t seem to ever find a use for! How many could I make with this recipe ?

    - Angela

  2. This looks so incredibly yummy! I was perusing for dinner recipes, but now all I want to make is THIS.

    - NewYorkDiaries

  3. Beautiful and delicious. Love the composition.

    - Mei Teng

  4. I don’t know what I love more. Looking at the gorgeous trifle or saying the WORD trifle.

    It’s a tie.


    - Bev Weidner

  5. Gorgeous and delicious!

    - Blog is the New Black

  6. Absolutely gorgeous!

    - Sarah @ A dash and a pinch