Klumpp begins by piling sour cherries onto a layer of chocolate cake brushed with kirsch (cherry brandy) syrup and smeared with whipped cream frosting, and then drizzles more kirsch syrup on top. Placing the heavy cherries on the bottom layer ensures that they won't crush the middle layers. Todd Coleman

The Black Forest cake at Cafe am Eck in Baiersbronn, Germany, is a masterpiece of pastry engineering, but it’s not at all difficult to recreate at home. Here’s how the cafe’s pastry chef, Georg Klumpp, constructs his spectacular multilayered creation. —Ben Mims

See how to build the Black Forest Cake in the Gallery »
See the recipe for Black Forest Cake »