Substitute For Kirsch In Black Forest Cake

Substitute For Kirsch In Black Forest Cake

A lot of baked recipes include alcohol or liqueur. One popular liqueur that is used in baking is kirsch formally known as kirshwasser. The cherry based brandy is derived from the bright coloured fruit. It is colourless and it lacks the sweetness that is associated with a lot of the other varieties. If you need to bake a black forest cake and are in need of kirsch but you have run out there are a lot of other substitute alternatives you can consider for your cake. If you are the kind of person that does not enjoy the taste of alcohol, or would rather use your funds for something else instead of purchasing an expensive bottle of exotic sounding liquor below are some of the best substitutes for kirsch for your black forest.

Cherry Juice

The first on our list of substitutes for kirsch in black forest is cherry juice. Cherry juice is affordable and relatively available for your baking as well as other recipes if you do not like the taste of alcohol. Cherry juice is one of your best substitutes since it is made from cherries. With cherry juice you can keep the cherry flavour in your cakes and other recipes. Keep in mind that cherry juice is much sweeter than kirsch in flavour. When making your black forest you should reduce your sweet ingredients or watch your sugar content. Another viable option would be to use cherry juice with reduced-sugar. Other fruit juices such as apple, raspberry, pomegranate and black currant will also do a great job in place of kirsch in black forest. If you decide to use other fruit juices your cake might end up having slightly different flavour based on the type of juice you use.

Vodka And Cherries

Another great substitute for kirsch in black forest is vodka and cherries. Vodka and cherries are perfect if you want a kirsch substitute that will let you keep both the alcohol and the cherry flavour. This combination of vodka and cherries not only works in cakes, you can substitute it in other recipes such as fondue. Purchasing vodka compared to kirsch is much cheaper so using vodka is ideal if you are on a tight budget. To replace kirsch with vodka and cherries simply replace the same amount of vodka as kirsch that is required in your recipe. Simply add your cherries and vodka to a blender and let them blend until they become completely smooth. Vodka and cherries will work well for most baked recipes and the combination will also maintain the cherry flavour.

Fruit Brandy

Fruit brandy is another good substitute for kirsch in black forest. Fruit brandy can also be used in desserts such as trifles and fruit tarts in place of kirsch. However, keep in mind that your cake may have a different flavour that is a bit different compared to when you add kirsch. There are a number of fruit varieties to choose from since fruit brandies include raspberries, blueberries, apples (applejack), prunes, apricots, peaches and even juniper berries. Consider fruit brandy in place of kirsch if you want a different flavour to your baked recipes.

Liqueur De Mirabelle

Liqueur de Mirabelle, a French liqueur that is made from Mirabelle plums, can make a good alternative for kirsch in black forest. However, this can cost way more than kirsch but if you happen to have some in your pantry or cellar this can make a very good substitute for kirsch in many baked recipes including black forest. Liqueur De Mirabelle is also a little sweeter than kirsch so you may find it suitable in most recipes such as trifles, cherries jubilee in addition to Black forest gateau. This French liqueur is difficult to find than kirsch but if you have access to one it can make a great substitute for your kirsch in a lot of recipes.

Cherry Preserve

Also on our list of some of the best substitutes for kirsch in black forest is cherry preserve. Cherry preserve is already popular in baking especially when it comes to dessert treats. It does not need a stretch of the imagination to use cherry preserve as a substitute for kirsch in baking your black forest. The advantage of using cherry preserve in your black forest or other baked good is that you can preserve the cherry flavour that kirsch has. Take note that Cherry preserve is much thicker in texture and you can remedy this by adding a little bit of warm water and mixing to thin the texture. Cherry preserve has no alcohol so if you are in need of a substitute that does not have any alcohol in it consider using cherry preserve in your recipes.  Like most cherry substitutes cherry preserve is a bit more sweeter than kirsch although adding  water to it will bring this down.


Grappa is another great substitute for kirsch in black forest. It is an Italian brandy that is made from grapes that is why it has that kind of name. This brandy can make a good substitute for kirsch in baking cakes as well as in fondue. It is what is called a pomace brandy since it is made from pomace, the name that is given to the solid remains of grapes that are squeezed for winemaking. Grappa contains between 30 and 65% alcohol by volume so it will bring a lot of alcohol to your recipes as kirsch does. This brandy is fruity and aromatic but the flavour may be a bit different from that of kirsch.

When it comes to baking black forest without kirsch consider cherry juice and cherry preserve if you want to avoid adding alcohol. Keep in mind that cherries have a high sugar content. If you are in need of an alcohol alternative consider using a mix of vodka and cherries.  Others such as fruit brandy, Liqueur de Mirabelle and grappa also make great substitutes but they will work best for people who do not mind a slightly different flavour to their meals.

Leave a Comment