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Black Forest Brownies

Chocolate, cherries and whipped cream are the key components of Black Forest Cake. These are the fudgy, easier brownie version!

A black forest brownie on a plate

It's the end of Farmers Market Week, and I'm sharing another dessert, this one filled with fresh sweet cherries.

Cherries and chocolate pair so well together, probably most famously in Black Forest Cake, a German layered sponge cake, layered with cherries and whipped cream.

A baking pan of brownie batter with cherries mixed in

The traditional Black Forest cake is time-consuming to make, but this brownie version is much easier! I made my brownies on the fudgier side, but if you prefer cakier brownies, that will work just fine.

Traditional Black Forest Cake uses sour morello cherries, but since I prefer sweet cherries (and those are most often what I find at my local farmers markets), that's what I used in this recipe. Again, if your preference is for sour cherries, feel free to use those instead.

Whipped cream being spread onto black forest brownies

If you plan to serve these at a party or dinner, you can make the brownies and cherry sauce ahead of time. Spread the sauce on the brownies, then cover and refrigerate. This will let the juices of the jam soak into the brownies, adding even more delicious cherry flavor.

Wait until just before serving to top with whipped cream and grated chocolate. Homemade whipped cream doesn't keep well in the refrigerator, and the chocolate shavings would sink into the cream.

A close-up of a black forest brownie on a plate

As I mention in the notes of the recipe, if fresh sweet cherries aren't in season, you can substitute frozen instead. No need to thaw before adding them to the brownie batter, or before using them to make the sauce.

These are incredibly rich brownies, so even thought cutting them into 16 squares seems very small, they will still be very satisfying.

Chocolate, cherries and whipped cream are the key components of Black Forest Cake. These are the fudgy, easier brownie version!

Black Forest Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Chocolate, cherries and whipped cream are the key components of Black Forest Cake. These are the fudgy, easier brownie version!

Ingredients

For brownies

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) sweet cherries, pitted

For the cherry sauce layer

  • ¾ cup (6 oz) sweet cherries, pitted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the topping

  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1 ½ tbsp powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup grated semisweet chocolate

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 9x9 inch baking pan with tin foil, allowing two inches of foil to hang over the edges. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
    2. Melt together the butter and chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts on high heat, stirring well between each until just melted. Set aside to cool.
    3. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar together, making sure there are no lumps. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter/chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Stir just to moisten the dry ingredients, then add the beaten eggs and beat well just until combined.
    4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan and use a spoon or spatula to spread to all the edges and into the corners. Drop the cherries over the batter layer then spoon the rest of the batter over the top of the cherries, spreading to cover as much as possible.
    5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until firm around the edges but the middle should still be a little soft (with a very slight wobble if you shake the pan).
    6. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
    7. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat to medium-stiff peaks. Spread over the top of the cooled brownie. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Store in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.
    8. Use the foil overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan. Cut the brownie sheet into 16 squares and serve.

Notes

If fresh sweet cherries aren't in season, you can use an equal amount of frozen pitted cherries.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g

I am not a certified nutritionist. This nutrition information is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only.

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Adapted from Good Life Eats

An uncut sheet of black forest brownies topped with fresh cherries

Thanks Ellen from Family Around the Table and Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting our Farmer’s Market Event!

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