How Did Black Forest Cake Become the World’s Favorite Dessert?

It’s a classic Trinidadian dessert — a chocolate cake soaked in overproof rum and topped with swoops of ultrapasteurized whipped cream.

But wait: It’s also a signature Pakistani cake, saturated with cherry brandy essence. And a Chilean cake, festooned with locally grown cherries. And a Lebanese cake — not too sweet, with little to no alcohol. And a Nepali cake. And a Zimbabwean cake. It’s even popular on the remote islands of Fiji.

What kind of dessert could inspire such a territorial dispute?

It’s Black Forest cake, named for a corner of Germany that still conjures images of lederhosen and fairy tales.

Recipe: Black Forest Cake

Try telling that to the rest of the world. The cake, long an adopted favorite in many countries, is more popular than ever — except perhaps in Germany. Thanks in part to a recent wave of ’90s-era nostalgia among younger generations, it’s found new life on social media and in restaurants across the world. Google searches for “Black Forest cake” have nearly doubled in volume over the last 10 years, most of them seeking a recipe.

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