The first thing to do to make this black forest cake is to make the chocolate cake! Be sure to make enough for two 8 inch cakes. Bake and cool completely.
For the cherry filling, stir sugar and cornstarch together in a cold small pot until combined. Add in cherries and toss. Place over medium-low heat to melt frozen cherries. Once a paste has formed around the cherries, increase the heat to medium and keep stirring until all the liquid has come out of the cherries and the mixture is boiling. Continue to stir until it becomes very thick, about 4 minutes or boiling. Be careful to not walk away from this mixture because it can burn easily. Remove from heat and stir in butter and almond extract. Cool completely.
For the whipped cream, whip heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Slice both 8-inch cake rounds in half horizontally (this leaves you with four 8-inch cake rounds).
Place one round onto a cake plate then drizzle the top of the cake with 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and spread using the back of a spoon. Top with the other half of the cake round.
Add on cooled cherry filling leaving a 1-inch border. (You will not use all of it…FYI! I had about 2 tablespoons left).
Place another layer of cake on top of cherry filling. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons of chocolate syrup and spread. Top with the remaining cake layer.
Spread whipped cream over the entire cake. I find it always better to add way too much and then as I clean up the cake, I remove the excess. This helps ensure not a ton of crumbs get into your cream.
If desired use a vegetable peeler to create chocolate shavings with the chocolate baking bar. Freeze 5 minutes before applying to the sides and top of the black forest cake. Garnish with cherries if desired. Serve!
The chocolate cake recipe in the recipe card is my Classic Chocolate Cake recipe. Feel free to use whichever chocolate cake recipe you'd like.