This showstopping white forest cake is made with a moist and fluffy vanilla cake, lots of fresh whipped cream, and homemade cherry preserves!
This recipe was originally published in October 2021. It has since been updated with a new cake recipe and new images.
Think of this cake as the vanilla version of the traditional black forest cake! This moist vanilla cake is based off of my vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. It's filled with fresh whipped cream and a homemade cherry filling.
I love making a layer cake for family celebrations like birthdays, and a cake like this is super easy to assemble but looks beautiful!
Why you'll love this white forest cake!
- The vanilla and almond cake is made with both butter and oil, making it super soft and fluffy.
- The cherry sauce is made by heating up the cherries with cornstarch and some sugar. The cornstarch helps the filling firm up.
- Finally, the whipped cream is made by whipping heavy cream with a little bit of vanilla and some confectioners' sugar. So simple!
- Butter: I always use European style butter in my recipes. This will make your cake so much richer due to the higher butterfat content.
- Oil: you need to use a neutral oil like canola oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is added to the cake to make it extra moist! If you don't have any buttermilk you can substitute it with sour cream.
- Almond Extract: this is optional, but I love the combination of the cherry filling and the almond extract.
- Cherries: I used frozen cherries for my homemade preserves. If you're using fresh cherries don't forget to pit them!
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Mix together butter, oil, and sugar in a big bowl using a handheld mixer or a mixer with a paddle attachment. Keep mixing until it becomes fluffy, it'll be a bit grainy which is fine!
Step 2: Add eggs one by one, and after each egg, scrape the bowl. Mix in vanilla extract and almond extract (if using!).
Step 3: Take another big bowl and mix flour, salt, and baking powder together using a whisk.
Step 4: Add a third of the dry mixture to the bowl with butter and eggs, mix, then add half of the buttermilk. Repeat this step once more, and then add the rest of the dry mixture.
Step 5: Pour this cake batter into two 8-inch cake pans that you've greased and lined with parchment paper. Put them in an oven that's been preheated to 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius. Let them bake for 30-35 minutes. After baking, let them cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool down completely.
Step 6: In a small saucepan, combine the cherries, cornstarch and sugar. Cook the mixture on medium-high heat for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for another 1-2 minutes. It should become very thick with some of the cherries breaking down. Pour into a bowl and allow it to cool completely.
Step 7: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until you have medium peaks. Use immediately.
Step 8: take one of your cake layers and spread just under half of the whipped cream. Spoon over half of the cherries. Place the next cake layer and repeat. You can add chocolate shavings or leave the top with just cherries.
- Kitchen Scale: I highly recommend using a weighing scale and measuring out your ingredients the metric way. It makes a huge difference to your baking and is the most accurate way to bake!
- Room Temperature Ingredients: I make sure that all of my ingredients are at room temperature before I start the recipe, so pull out all of the ingredients about 2 hours before you start baking.
- Make cherry filling ahead of time: Make sure that the cherries are completely cool before using. You can make the filling ahead of time and place in the fridge for up to 2 days before using.
- Decorating: I've decorated the top of the cake with dark chocolate shavings, but you could also do white chocolate shavings to stick with the white forest cake theme.
- Frosting: if you would rather use buttercream instead of whipped cream, you can use a cream cheese frosting instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
A black forest cake has chocolate cake layers while a white forest cake has vanilla layers. Both are filled with whipped cream and cherries.
You can make the cherry filling 2 days in advance, just place in the fridge until ready to use. You can also bake the cake layers 2 days in advance, just wrap up each layer in plastic wrap. I do not recommend making the whipped cream ahead of time.
Keep the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days.
White Forest Cake
- Two x 8-inch pans
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract optional
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 2 cups frozen cherries
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ⅛ cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the room temperature butter with the oil and sugar until creamy on medium speed. This will take about 2-3 minutes, and it'll look a bit grainy and fluffy.⅓ cup unsalted butter, 1 ⅔ cups sugar, ¼ cup neutral oil
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix in the almond and vanilla extract.4 large eggs, 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour with the baking powder and salt.2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture, then mix on low. Add ½ the buttermilk. Repeat once more, then end with the flour mixture.1 cup buttermilk
- Pour the smooth cake batter into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before removing and letting them cool completely on wire cooling racks.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let it come to a simmer and stir constantly for 6 minutes.2 cups frozen cherries, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Turn the heat to medium-low and let it cook for another 2 minutes. It should have gotten very thick and glossy. Pour into a bowl and let it cool completely.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Beat until you have medium peaks.1 cup heavy cream, ⅛ cup confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place one cake layer down and cover with half of your whipped cream. Spoon over half of your cherry filling. Carefully place the second cake layer on top, then top with the remaining whipped cream and cherries.