How Black Forest Cake Really Got Its Name

Black Forest cake is a cherry-chocolate-whipped cream confection that is as delicious as it is visually gorgeous (via allrecipes). In a world obsessed with the aesthetically pleasing sweets presented in the hit series Bridgerton (per Reader's Digest) and the need for a simple escape into nature to bake lovely pastries thanks to the cottage core movement (via The New York Times), it's no surprise that Black Forest cake is popular for its taste and looks.

But those planning a tea party with Black Forest cake as their featured dish may be wondering how the lovely cake got its unique name. According to PBS, Black Forest cake came from Germany and didn't find a home in the United States until sometime during the 1960s. However, as noted by What's Cooking America, the elegant cake has reportedly been around since the 16th century. Given its impressive history, it follows that the true origins of how Black Forest cake got its name come from a deep-rooted German tradition.

Black Forest cake was named after traditional German clothing

Also known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, Black Forest cake hails from the mountainous Black Forest area of Germany (via Britannica). However, according to, it's thought that Black Forest cake's moniker originated from the fact that the cake seemed to mimic the clothing worn by the region's people — think Germany's traditional attire of "dark-coloured dresses, with hats covered in bold, red, cherry-like pom poms." Indeed, the succulent crimson stone fruit, rich, brown chocolate, and airy white whipped cream that create Black Forest cake are not just for taste, with each layer meant to represent a vital part of the cultural dress. It would appear that Black Forest cake's beauty takes direct inspiration from this lovely sartorial tradition.

So the next time you're setting up your tea party or get-together and thinking through what other cake recipes may pair well with Black Forest cake, take a moment to appreciate the reason behind what makes this baked dessert so unique. Whether you wear lederhosen is entirely up to you.