Black Forest Jar Cake (grain, dairy and processed sugar free)

Black Forest Jar Cake

I have some very fond memories of jar cake. When my soldier deployed for the first time, I was determined to send him cake for his birthday.  Homemade cake! I considered my options and decided jar cake would be my best bet as the Military Postal Service can take up to 4 weeks to deliver the goods, depending on where you’re sending it to! My soldier received his cake a day before his birthday (the package took about 3 weeks to arrive) and I made sure to include a can of spray cream (yuk but he loved it!) and some chocolate sauce. He reported back that the cake tasted fresh and wasn’t the least bit dried out so that should answer questions about how long jar cake keeps (well, three weeks at least! That is if you make plain cake; I have never sealed glass cake with fruit in it).

Black Forest Jar Cake

This recipe is pretty close to an authentic Black Forest Cake. It has all the key ingredients: Sour cherries, Kirschwasser (similar to cherry brandy), cream and chocolate cake! I must say, I am more than pleased with the outcome and it is SO easy to make.

It is true, you bake the cake in the glass so please don’t take just any glass, make sure it is a canning jar! I ordered my favorite German jars from Weck online; mainly because I get all nostalgic looking at them (Weck jars have been around forever) and also, I know that they can stand the heat although any good canning jar should last in the oven. If you are planning on storing your jar cake for an extended amount of time, make sure to put the lid on as soon as you take the cake out of the oven; that way it will seal and create a vacuum and hopefully keep for a month or two.

Black Forest Jar Cake

Black Forest Jar Cake

Black Forest Jar Cake

Jar cake after baking

A few notes on the ingredients:

Kirschwasser: I bought a bottle at a local liquor store. I paid $15 for it but keep in mind that any decent cheese fondue recipe calls for Kirschwasser and it will last you forever – both in terms of quantity and shelf life.

Sour cherries: I went to all my favorite specialty food stores first but none of them carried sour cherries. I ended up finding them at the local supermarket, of all places! I used these(I don’t like using cans but at least, these cherries are all natural and have just water added).

Cream: Thanks to the Texan Meister Baker, I am now looking for excuses to make coconut cream. It is SO delicious and I just can’t get enough of it. I recommend Native Forest simply because their cans do not contain BPA.

Black Forest Jar Cake

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  1. says

    This looks so delicious and I’m always taken aback by recipes baked in canning jars, especially when I can seal the jars to eat the cakes later!
    These jar cakes looks so rustic and homey, I want to start rummaging through my jar drawer for a suitable size :)

    • Rose says

      Ally, I don’t make jar cake often as I like to eat my cake right away :) However, these do come in handy, especially when you’re hosting a party or something and you can make them days (or weeks) in advance! Glad you like them!

  2. says

    Hahaha. I clicked on the link to the Texan Meister Baker thinking, “What a cool blog name!” 😀 Thanks for linking to me!

    And oh my gosh. The Germans are very adventurous with their canning of things. Everyone here says to just boil jars until you hear them pop and that’s good enough! Doesn’t matter what’s in the recipe or what it is. “Just boil it! It’ll last forever!” I’m terrified of killing myself or others so I think I’ll learn how to do it the proper way. Maybe the German way is good but… it’s scary!

    These cakes look yummy! I want to try. But I’ll eat my cakes quickly. :) I love that you were able to send these to your husband. That’s great!

    • Rose says

      Erin, I know exactly what you mean about Germans and their canning haha! I never canned anything in Germany (except for cake), I’m only just know starting to look into some more serious canning
      Well, I’m glad you like my jar cakes! It’s probably the most advanced baking (without a recipe to follow) I have done. Except for that layered cream cake one Easter many, many years ago and it looked awful (but tasted good heh)

  3. renee says

    Hello. Great idea! Please let me know about the seals i see in the photo of the jars after being baked. Are those rubber seals and do they go onto the jar while baking?

    Sincerely, Renee

    • Rose says

      Hello Renee!

      You would bake the cake without lid and if you wanted to store your jar cake for more than a few days, you would put the lid (with the rubber ring) on the glass right after the cake comes out of the oven. You could also try a canning jar with a screw lid (I never actually used one for jar cake but the same principle applies).
      I hope this helps!

      Thanks for your comment! I hope it works out :)

  4. renee says

    Sorry! Another question. I love the canning jars and am going to order some myself. Which model did you use for the cake? The mold jars – short?

    Keep up the great work.

    thank you!

    • Rose says

      I used two different kinds:
      740 – 1/5 L Mold Jar (short)
      744 – 1/2 L Tulip Jar
      The ones you see in the background are the tulip jars (the slightly bigger ones) but the mold jars are perfect size for a one portion dessert cake (if you add cherries and cream).
      I hope this answers your question :)

  5. says

    I had no idea that cake could keep for that long! I’d be scared of it drying out or growing moldy, but it sounds like your man loved every bite of it 3 weeks later. (Crazy!)

    • Rose says

      It’s basically “canned” cake like canned vegetables – I know it’s a bit funny but it really works! Jar cake is a lot more common in Europe – they make awesome gifts if you wrap a little bow around the glass :)

  6. Natalie Holst says

    Hey there,

    My husband and I are wanting to try out the recipe but are a little confused on an item — for the “whipping” cream did you use coconut milk or coconut cream?


  7. Nadine says

    Hi Rose,
    did you use hazelnut flour (without the hazelnut oil) or ground hazelnut (with the oil-gemahlene Haselnüsse in German)? It seems to be impossible to buy nut flours in Germany that do taste good.

    Best wishes from Frankfurt (Main),


    • Rose says

      Hi Nadine, I used whole hazelnut (not the flour) sorry if that wasn’t clear! As for the nut flours – they really are just ground nuts, you can easily make them yourself with a food processor (do not grind for too long or you’ll have nut butter, which is awesome, too, but ye know. Not what you might need!)
      Are you German, Nadine? I grew up right next to Frankfurt, im Taunus and I am terribly homesick!!

      • Nadine says

        Hi Rose,
        yes, I’m German. I live near the Taunus, next to Hofheim, I was born in Frankfurt, live in Frankfurt and work in Frankfurt – a real “Frankfurter Würstchen” as my boyfriend likes to call me (he is one, too) 😉 We are eating primal, this is why I found your blog – I really love your recipes. I am looking forward to try them out (especially the German ones as there are almost no paleo / primal recipes from Germany). On Sunday is a big event going on in Frankfurt – they dynamite the AFE-Turm in Frankfurt city near the fair. There will also be a lifestream at 10 a.m. (Frankfurter Zeit) on

  8. Kelly, with baby Danek says

    Hi! I’m looking for a b-day cake recipe for my son. He turns 1 on Monday but right now we’re visiting family 6 hours from home and we’re needed here til Saturday. I know I won’t want to bake on Sundays as Sundays are very full days for our family, so when I came across this jar cake I thought “Brilliant!” Now, I just wonder if I can make this jar cake without eggs? We’re vegetarian. Could you give me any advice on that?

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