Black Forest Brownies are rich, fudgy chocolate brownies with a kirsch-infused cherry sauce swirled throughout the center and on top. Serve these with extra cherry sauce and whipped cream for the ultimate black forest dessert!
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Cherry Sauce – Luscious cherry sauce is swirled throughout the brownies! You can use fresh or frozen cherries.
- Fudgy Brownies – These brownies are rich and fudgy, and even have chocolate chunks for all the chocolate lovers.
- Showstopper – This dessert looks so impressive, it’s truly a showstopper!
- Butter – I prefer using salted butter, but you can use unsalted.
- Fresh Cherries – Be sure to rinse and pit your cherries if using fresh ones.
- Chocolate Chunks – You can use chopped chocolate bars or chocolate chunks.
- Kirsch – This is the alcohol traditionally used in a Black Forest Cake. We’re using it in the cherry sauce to give the classic flavor of a Black Forest Cake.
- Cherries – You can use fresh summer cherries or frozen ones!
- Chocolate Chunks – You can omit these if desired.
How to Make this Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Melt your butter and chocolate together in a large bowl. Whisk the granulated and brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla into the melted chocolate mixture. Whisk for 2 full minutes to help develop a crinkly top on the brownies.
Step 2: Stir in the flour, salt, espresso powder, and chocolate chunks.
Step 3: Make the Kirsch Cherry sauce on the stovetop. Once it’s finished cooking, use a potato masher to mash the cherries a bit so the cherry pieces aren’t huge.
Step 4: Pour half the batter into a prepared 9×9 pan. Swirl some of the cherry sauce on top. Add the remaining brownie batter, and swirl more cherry sauce on top of that.
Step 5: Bake just as directed in the recipe. Let cool at least 2 hours on a wire rack before slicing and serving with more cherry sauce and whipped cream. Add fresh cherries or maraschino cherries on top of each brownie!
Expert Success Tips:
- Cool the Cherry Sauce – Let the cherry sauce cool in the fridge until completely cool before swirling into the brownies.
- Slicing the Brownies – You can dive into these after about 30 mins-1 hour after they come out of the oven, but the longer you let them cool at room temperature, the better they’ll hold their shape when sliced.
- White Chocolate – You could use white chocolate chips in addition to or instead of the chocolate chunks in the brownies.
- Brownie Toppings – You can top these with whipped cream and cherry sauce, or with ice cream and cherry sauce!
- Cherry Pie Filling – In a pinch, you could substitute cherry pie filling for the homemade cherry sauce.
- Brownie Mix – In a pinch, use your favorite brownie mix and make it according to package directions. If you do this, I definitely recommend making the homemade cherry sauce to give it that extra special feel.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
These easy Black Forest Brownies will last in the fridge in an airtight container for 6-8 days.
More Black Forest Recipes to Try:
- No Bake Black Forest Pie – Made with a chocolate crust, rich chocolate filling, boozy cherry sauce, and topped with fresh whipped cream.
- Black Forest Icebox Cake – A no-bake dessert made with layers of chocolate graham crackers, sweet cherry preserves, and homemade whipped cream.
- Black Forest Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches – Made with a simple no-churn Cherry Ice Cream full of real cherries, and two layers of rich, fudgy chocolate brownies!
- Homemade Black Forest Chocolate Truffles – An elegant and indulgent treat that you can easily make at home with just 4 ingredients.
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Black Forest Brownies
For the Cherry Sauce
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cherries If using frozen, don't thaw
- 3 tbsp kirsch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp water
For the Brownies
- 3/4 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 and 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 4 large eggs
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp espresso powder See note
- 4 to 6 ounces chocolate chunks optional
- extra cherry sauce
- whipped cream or ice cream
- Make the Cherry Sauce: Stir together the water and corn starch in a small bowl until the starch is fully dissolved. Add this to a medium pot with the rest of the cherry sauce ingredients. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring constantly – this takes about 3 minutes. Once it reaches a gentle simmer, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. The sauce will have thickened enough that you can drag your finger through the sauce on the back of the spoon and it will hold a part. Remove the pot from the heat and use a potato masher to break up the cherries a bit. Return to medium low heat and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring. Transfer to a bowl and pop in the fridge to cool completely.
- Make the Brownies: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×9 ceramic square pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.Melt the butter with the semisweet and milk chocolates in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Melt in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted and smooth. Add the sugars, and whisk until just combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and whisk until combined, then continue whisking for a full 2 minutes. Add the flour, salt, cocoa, and espresso flour, and fold in with a spatula until the last streaks of flour just disappear into the batter. Add the chocolate chunks (if using) and gently mix in.
- Bake: Pour half the brownie batter into your prepared pan. Spoon 1/2 cup of the cooled cherry sauce over the batter and gently swirl it in with a butter knife. Add the remaining brownie batter and repeat with another 1/2 cup of cherry sauce.Bake for 54 to 64 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will pull out some thick baked batter (not crumbs), and one inserted into the edges will pull out some crumbs or come out clean. The edges will appear quite set and the center should appear just set.
- Serve + Store: The longer you let them cool, the better the brownies will hold nice squares when cut. I recommend letting them cool at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Serve with whipped cream, cherry sauce, and a fresh or maraschino cherry on top of each brownie. Store cooled brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for 6-8 days.
- Make-Ahead Tip: The brownies can be baked, cooled, and covered and stored at room temp or in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.
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