Germany is a land of innovation. It has given us the printing press, cars, aspirin, and MP3 technology. Perhaps, the amazing black forest cake has been the most delectable of its inventions.

Black forest cake is the perfect amalgamation of chocolate, whipped cream frosting and cherry liqueur garnished with fresh cherries. It looks decadent and tastes heavenly and that is all one needs for any sweet and joyous celebration. Every bite of the cake unleashes the layers of chocolaty goodness that leaves people asking for more.

The Black Forest Cake is probably Germany’s most famous contribution to the cake world, and if you’ve ever tasted this multi-layered dessert then no doubt you will herald it an iconic classic. As a rather indulgent continental treat for both the eyes and the taste buds; it proved to be a taste sensation in the UK and its popularity saw it become a ubiquitous staple of restaurant dessert menus and dinner parties in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

There are several stories about the origin of this cake. The Black Forest cake made its first official appearance during the 1930s and gained much popularity since then. However, there are a few more famous stories that trace the origin of the Black Forest cake:

According to the town archivist of Tingen, a pastry chef named Erwin Hildenbrand invented this cake and named it Black Forest because he used to work in the said place previously.

The website of the Café Schafer claims that Josef Keller, a pastry chef passed down a recipe book to his apprentice-turned-co-worker, August Schaefer, where a recipe for a Black Forest Cherry cake was found. His inheritor, Claus Schaefer is the current head chef of the café.

Some sources claim that the name of the Black Forest cake is inspired by the traditional costume of the women of the Black Forest region, who used to wear a hat with big, red pom-poms on top called Bollenhut.

Another origin story claims that the cake was created by the people who used to live near the Black Forest in Germany.

Long before the Ben and Jerry flavor Cherry Garcia, made of cherry ice cream, cherries, and chocolate chips, was made, German bakers had invented a German dessert known as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, more commonly known as the Black Forest cake. The Schwarzwälder or Black Forest, is a popular tourist destination in Germany, with dense forests and beautiful high lands. This region is known for its abundant and beautiful cherry trees (as earlier it was a custom for newly marrieds to plant a cherry tree). This was said to be an inspiration for the makers of the cake.

The black forest cake history has many versions. However, the most popular one is that confectioner Josef Keller invented the black forest cherry, as he called it, in 1915 in his café Agner in Bad Godesberg. However, it is a known fact that the recipe did not appear in print until 1930.

The famous confectioner Josef Keller (1887-1981) claimed to have invented the modern-style Kirschtorte in 1915 at the Café Agner, near Bonn. Though Keller’s claims of fatherhood to the cake that would eventually become known as the Black Forest Gateau were never verified, it is certain that he was serving up a version of the cake and helped to popularize the dessert. The cake appears in written recipes for the first time in the mid-1930s and by the 1940’s its popularity was becoming well established.

It wasn’t long before the cake made its debut in Britain, and its name was quickly anglicized into Black Forest Cake. By the 1970’s this cake had established itself as a firm British favorite and continues to be heralded as an iconic classic.