A delicious milk drink recipe that tastes like a piece of Black Forest cake
Creamy, full of cocoa flavor that pairs wonderfully with the lashing sweetness of dark cherries and topped with chocolate shavings that melt in your mouth.
Black Forest cake is a classic that rarely disappoints!
Now, if you are craving for a slice of this chocolatey dessert but want to save you the baking (or the trip to a good café), you’ll love this black forest milk recipe!
This drink has all the flavors of Black Forest cake, it just takes 5 minutes to prepare and it top of that, it has less calories than a slice of cake.
Ready for your new favorite milk drink?
The inspiration for this recipe
In case you haven’t heard of it, Black forest cake is a traditional German rich dessert that consists of chocolate sponge cake with a cherry filling and whipped cream.
It’s usually decorated with cream and chocolate curls and it tastes as great as it sounds!
But I rarely have time for baking, so I wanted a way to have this dessert in an easier way.
That’s how I thought about making a milk drink with REAL cherries in it.
And it turned out, mashed cherries pair wonderfully with chocolate milk!
And the whole thing, topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, really looks like a Black Forest cake in a glass.
Ingredients and swaps
I used fresh cherries because it was cherry season as I decided to make this recipe. But frozen cherries also work alright (just remember to thaw them before mashing them).
If you go for the fresh ones, make sure to wash them and take out the pit.
As an alternative, you may use cherry preserve (compote) or dark canned cherries.
Good quality cherry jam may also work.
If you use cherry preserve or jam, you’ll probably want to reduce (or maybe even skip) the sugar to make the chocolate milk.
Note: When using cherry preserves or jam, take into consideration that they usually contain citric acid or lemon juice as natural preservatives; depending on the brand you choose and on how long the cherry stay in contact with the milk, they could cause some curdling.
Sweetener of choice
If you use fresh or frozen cherries, you will need some sugar (or sweetener of choice) on them.
This doesn’t only make them tastier, but the sugar also helps the drink stay layered (the drink tastes great even if it isn’t layered, but layers just look so fancy, don’t they?).
You can use both sugar or brown sugar.
And in case you are trying to reduce sugars, don’t worry: almost any sweetener goes well in this recipe, as long as it has a neutral taste.
Personally, I like using xylitol, erythriol or my homemade sugar-free simple syrup.
I find it best for this recipe to make your own chocolate milk from unsweetened cocoa powder.
This way you get a more intense chocolate flavor.
Also, you may be able to choose how sweet the chocolate milk is.
If your are using cherry preserve or jam, you may want to avoid sweetening your chocolate milk, since the cherry layer is already sweet enough.
If you don’t have cocoa powder, you may use store bough chocolate milk or flavor milk with chocolate syrup or instant cocoa powder.
Probably your drink will be sweeter this way, so if you go for it, I recommend adding less sugar for the cherries.
I prefer using whole milk to make this Black Forest milk, as I love dairy milk and for me, the creamier this Black Forest rink, the better.
But you may use any kind of milk you like or have on hand: almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, cashew milk…
Decorating with whipping cream is optional, but it gives that dessert-like look (and decadence).
For a skinny version, leave the cream altogether or swap it for milk foam; the drink will still be delicious.
If desired, sprinkle some dark chocolate shavings or finely chopped chocolate over the cream.
How to make it
Time needed: 15 minutes
How to make black forest cake milk
- Prepare the cherries
If using fresh cherries, wash them and pit them.
If using frozen ones, thaw them at room temperature or in the microwave.
- Make the cherry layer
Chop the cherries into tiny pieces, put them in the glass and muddle them with some simple syrup or sugar.
If using sugar, let the mixture sit for around 15 minutes so it dissolves.
- Make chocolate milk
Mix unsweetened cocoa powder with milk.
You may optionally add some sugar or other sweetener to taste.
Just remember that the cherry layer is sweet, so I recommend to make the chocolate milk less sweet and more intense (more cocoa) than you would normally do.
Optionally, cover the cherry layer with ice cubes (this makes it easier to get a layered look).
Pour the chocolate milk.
Usually, the cherry layer stays on the bottom, but if you want to make sure the layers don’t mix, aim at an ice cube when pouring the chocolate milk.
For a even more layered look, pour plain (sweetened) milk first and then top with a mixture of cocoa powder with a very little amount of milk.
- Decorate to taste
Serve as is or top it with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.
Making this black forest cake milk is actually quite simple: you just need to put everything together.
It also allows many variations and as long as you choose the right level of sweeteness to your taste, you can’t really do anything wrong here.
That said, there are a a couple of tips that will help you make this drink more comfortably and with better presentation:
- Use this easy trick to pit your cherries
- Make sure you cut the cherries in small pieces before mashing them: it makes it easier to drink them afterwards.
- If you want todrink this Black Forest milk with a straw, you’ll need a wide straw like the ones needed to drink corean strawberry milk or boba tea
- This recipe drink is on the less sweet side: feel free to adapt it to your taste by adding more sugar to the chocolate milk or to the cherry layer.
GET MORE LAYERS
If you want there is a milk layer and a chocolate milk layer, fill the glass with ice cubes and pour first plain milk, followed by concentrated chocolate milk.
For the picture bellow I assembled in this order: cherries (sweetened) – ice cubes – plain milk – chocolate milk
MAKE IT A FRAPEE
For a frapeé liked texture, blend a some ice cubes into the milk.
USE OTHER FRUITS
You may make your own variations using any fruit you like: strawberries, blueberry, raspberries… Diced mango or banana also go well in this recipe.
There are all sorts of theories about mixing cherries with other foods, but there is no proven incompatibility to mixing cherries with milk: if you don’t have problems with any of them separately, you probably won’t have problems taking them together.
Concerning curdling, the milk doesn’t curd when using fresh or frozen cherries (at least it hasn’t curd for me so far).
No, it doesn’t have alcohol.
Traditionally, the cherry layer in Black Forest has small amounts of alcohol, but this recipe doesn’t have any (unless you use cherries that have been soaked in alcohol).
Cocoa powder has small amounts of caffeine.
A serving of this recipe made with unsweetened, pure cocoa, has around 6,6 mg caffeine (in comparison, a cup of coffee has around 95 mg).
Better not. As with most drinks that contain mashed fruit, this black forest cake milk drink tastes best immediately after assembling it. So, I recommend putting everything together right before drinking.
Black Forest cake milk drink recipePrint Recipe
- Muddler Optional but recommended
- Wash and pit the cherries*.Chop them into small pieces.Muddle them.Mix with sweetener of choice (if using granulated sweetener, let the mixture rest for around 15 minutes, to allow the sugar to dissolve).
- Make a chocolate milk by mixing unsweetened cocoa with milk. Optionally, sweeten to taste (not included in the ingredients).
- Assemble the drink:-If you want it layered, put ice cubes over the cherry layer and pour the liquid carefully aiming at the ice-If the layers aren’t so important, just pour the chocolate milk in
- Optionally, decorate to taste with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
And this is how to make a milk drink that tastes like Black Forest.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
For more drinks that use cherries, check here.
Looking for more “lattes” with muddled fruit? You may also like this roasted green tea (hojicha) strawberry latte and this strawberry matcha latte.