White Forest Cake
This show-stopping cherry cake is filled with layers creamy (2-ingredient!) white chocolate mousse, whipped cream, and juicy cherry pie filling. DELICIOUS.
Today I’m sharing a delicious White Forest Cake, piled high with juicy, syrupy cherries and filled with a pillowy white chocolate mousse. It would be stunning on the table at a baby or wedding shower, or a birthday party. Or, you know, book club. Black Forest is a true favourite of mine, so I riffed on it to make an elegant spring version.
I have a serious weakness for canned cherry pie filling. When E.D.Smith invited me to partner on this recipe with them, I thought strawberry would be the way to go from a seasonal standpoint, but I got to the shop and couldn’t resist the cherries. I suppose the great pleasure in preserves and jams and canned pie filling is that you can enjoy peak-season fruit all year round, so the season doesn’t matter, right?
Paired with white chocolate mousse and whipped cream, and layered between moist vanilla cakes, it’s totally irresistible.
Because the cake looks intimidating, and it does require a few steps, I made sure each of the components was as simple as possible to avoid risk of error (or just stress). The cake base is a super easy version – no beating, fluffing, or stand mixer required. A simple oil cake, easy as a boxed mix.
You can make the cakes in advance and pop them in the freezer, wrapped well, for up to a month.
To make the white chocolate mousse, you simply melt white chocolate, let it cool to room temperature, and then fold in whipped cream. As the chocolate cools it firms, setting the air bubbles. Easy peasy.
A crown of whipped cream topped with more gooey cherry pie filling tops the cake, along with a giant (optional) pile of shattered white chocolate curls.
Finally, to make these pretty shards, just melt the chocolate and spread it thinly on parchment paper. Roll the paper up with the melted chocolate inside, and pop it in the fridge until it’s hard. As you unroll it, ta da! Beautiful shards.
To make sure the cake held together while assembling the layers, I actually put it together inside a springform pan – I snuggled a layer of parchment paper inside to make it tight around the outside of the cake. If you don’t do this step, it’s best to top the bottom layer with the mousse, then refrigerate just the mousse-topped bottom layer until firm before adding the cherries and top cake.
Remember with baking, the fridge or freezer is your friend. Cookie dough too sticky to roll? Chill it. Mousse too fluffy to work with? Chill it. Pie dough tearing? Chill it. Brownies/bars/cake too soft to cut in neat slices? CHILL IT. Many anxiety-inducing baking situations can be remedied with a spell in a cold environment.
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- 11 oz (2 1/2 cups lightly spooned in and levelled off) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp coarse salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
FOR FILLING AND TOPPING
- 10 oz white chocolate divided use
- 1 540-mL can E.D.Smith Cherry Pie Filling
- 2 ¼ cup whipping cream divided use
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare two 9" cake pans by greasing, flouring, and lining bottoms with parchment paper. This is a moist cake, do all three to make sure it doesn't stick.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture and gently fold together until no dry patches remain. Don't over-mix. Divide batter between prepared cake pans and bake about 35 minutes, rotating pans once. Cakes are done when the centres feel springy (not squishy) when gently pressed. If in doubt, pull out your thermometer - the internal temperature should be 200-205ºF. Let cakes cool 5 minutes in pans before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
To make filling and topping:
- Melt 6 oz of the white chocolate with ¼ cup of the cream in microwave on 50% power for 1 minute, until about 80% melted. Stir to finish melting (pop it in additional 10 second intervals on 50% power as needed). Allow chocolate to cool to room temperature.
- Whip remaining cream to soft peaks in a stand mixer. Gently fold half of the cream into the cooled chocolate. Whisk sugar and vanilla extract into the rest of the cream in the stand mixer, then refrigerate it for topping later.
- Place one of the cakes inside a 9” springform pan (or if your springform pan is larger, add a layer of parchment paper around the cake to make it snug). Top the cake with about ½ the can of pie filling, then the mousse, and finally the second cake. Refrigerate at least one hour, until mousse is set.
- While cake chills, make the chocolate shards. Melt remaining chocolate in microwave for 1 minute on 50% power until 80% melted, stirring to finish melting. Spread in a thin layer over a 12” sheet of parchment paper, then carefully roll it up. Pop it in the fridge until hard.
- Remove springform pan and top cake with reserved vanilla whipped cream and cherry pie filling. Unroll the chocolate and pile the shards on top.