How to Make the Swiss Pastry Shop Black Forest Cake

Not your typical black forest cake, the Swiss Pastry Shop black forest cake is iconic in Fort Worth and beloved by Texans.

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Texans take a few things very seriously—namely football and barbecue. However, in the city of Fort Worth, one bakery is home to another slice of Texas that locals take seriously: black forest cake. It’s made at the Swiss Pastry Shop, where owner Hans Peter Muller continues to bake up dozens of these special confections daily using the same recipe his father created when the bakery opened in 1973.

How Is the Swiss Pastry Shop Black Forest Cake Different Than the Traditional Dessert?

Unlike traditional German black forest cake that’s made with layers of decadent chocolate sponge, rich cherry filling and topped with whipped cream, Swiss Pastry Shop’s black forest cake is made with light and airy layers of almond meringue known as dacquoise (dah-kwahz), whipped cream and plenty of chocolate shavings.

a slice of Swiss Pastry Shop Black Forest Cake on a plate garnished with chocolate shavings and powdered sugarLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

If you’re unfamiliar with dacquoise, it’s a French dessert made primarily of egg whites, finely ground nuts (typically hazelnuts or almonds) and powdered sugar. It’s crisp and crunchy on the outside like a typical meringue, with a soft spongy interior, and resembles extra-large macarons that practically melt in your mouth when you take a bite.

Another great feature of this Swiss Pastry Shop dessert? It’s completely gluten-free, making it ideal for those with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities.

How to Make Black Forest Cake Like the Swiss Pastry Shop

In Ft. Worth, this dessert—also known as the “Uncake”—is a tradition. Texans who move out of state often miss being able to indulge in a slice. Due to the fragile nature of this dessert, shipping nationwide has never been a viable option—despite the frequent requests! While the official recipe is tightly guarded by the Swiss Pastry Shop, we hope our version is able to bring joy to homesick Texas natives who are no longer able to drive over for a slice of this heavenly dessert.

Ingredients

swiss pastry shop black forest cake ingredientsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Whipped Cream

  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Decoration

  • 1 cup chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 cup dark chocolate shavings
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Editor’s Note: Making a French dacquoise can be tricky to get right. For best results, we highly recommend using a food scale to weigh the dacquoise ingredients as precisely as possible. It makes a huge difference—trust us.

Directions

Step 1: Prepare baking pans

Preheat oven to 350°F with the oven rack in the center position. Then, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and grease two 9-inch springform pans (bottoms removed) with butter or baking spray. Place the prepared springform cake rings on the parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.

Step 2: Whip egg whites

whipping egg whites to stiff peaksLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add 12 egg whites (here’s what to do with the unused egg yolks) at room temperature. Begin to whip on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until the egg whites begin to foam and form soft peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar and continue to whip the egg whites until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form; about 5-7 minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer.

Editor’s Note: Make sure the caster sugar is fully dissolved prior to moving onto the next step. To test, pinch a small amount of the meringue between your fingers. If you still feel grains of sugar between your fingers, continue to whip the egg whites for a few more minutes until the meringue is perfectly smooth.

Step 3: Add dry ingredients

blending almond flour and powdered sugar for black forest uncakeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

In a separate bowl, blend together the powdered sugar and almond flour. Then, gradually add the mixture to the meringue using a rubber spatula. Continue to fold in the rest of the powdered sugar and almond flour, using a gentle hand and working slowly to avoid deflating the egg whites. Take care not to overmix.

Step 4: Bake

dividing dacquoise batter evenly between two springform cake pansLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Divide the dacquoise batter evenly between the two springform pans, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the batter. Place into a preheated oven and bake the meringue “cakes” for 18-22 minutes. The dacquoise layers are ready when golden and slightly firm to the touch when pressed in the center with a finger. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Upon removing, you should notice the “cakes” pulling away from the sides of the springform pans naturally.

Step 5: Whip the cream

While the dacquoise cool, whip 4 cups of heavy cream with the powdered sugar in a stand mixer (or large bowl with an electric hand mixer). Continue to whip the cream, on high, until stiff peaks form, then turn off the mixer and remove the bowl from the mixer. Keep the whipped cream in the refrigerator until the dacquoise is cool enough to decorate.

Step 6: Assemble

adding a thick layer of whipped cream for Swiss Pastry Shop black forest cakeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

To assemble, remove the dacquoise from the springform pan rings. Use a knife to gently cut around the dacquoise to loosen it from the sides of the pans if they have not pulled away completely on their own. Then, if needed, use a sharp knife to trim the layers into perfect circles.

covering entire Swiss Pastry Shop Black Forest Cake with whipped creamLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Now, place one of the layers on a cake plate and top with a generous amount of whipped cream, spreading it about 1 inch thick from edge to edge. Carefully place the next layer of dacquoise on top of the whipped cream layer and then use an offset spatula to spread the remaining whipped cream evenly over the sides and top of the cake.

covering Swiss Pastry Shop Black Forest Cake generously with chocolate sprinkles and shavingsLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Finally, cover the sides with chocolate sprinkles. For best results, carefully tilt the cake slightly as you apply the sprinkles to the sides with your hands. Use a clean offset spatula to press the sprinkles into the whipped cream and repeat the process until the sides are well-coated. To finish, top the cake with a generous amount of chocolate shavings and then dust lightly with powdered sugar.

Editor’s Note: Just want a slice or two? You can divide this recipe’s ingredients by four and make a perfect miniature Swiss Pastry Shop black forest cake using two 4-inch springform pans. Bake time may need to reduced slightly depending on your oven.

How to Make Chocolate Shavings

how to make chocolate shavings using a knifeLauren Habermehl for Taste of Home

Never made chocolate shavings before? Don’t worry! It’s easier than you think. To prepare, place a large bar of dark chocolate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes (or up to an hour). Then remove and place the chocolate bar on a cutting board with the bottom facing up. Next using a sharp knife positioned at a 45-degree angle, carefully start to push the knife away from you across the surface of the chocolate, applying firm pressure as you work. Repeat until you are left with a nice pile of chocolate shavings. If the shavings have warmed up during this process, you can place them in the fridge for a few minutes to firm them up before using to decorate.

Editor’s Note: Be safe. Place a folded, damp towel below the cutting board when making the chocolate shavings. The damp towel will help prevent the cutting board from sliding around while shaving the chocolate.

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Lauren Habermehl
Lauren Habermehl is a recipe developer, food photographer and creator of the blog, Frydae. She is a prolific quoter of FRIENDS, lover of weekend DIY projects and procrastinating fitness enthusiast who enjoys exploring the Milwaukee-area with her husband, daughter and ugly mutt named Tyson Doodles.