This vegan black forest cake is a moist and fluffy chocolate sponge cake layered with whipped coconut cream and fresh cherries! Made with simple ingredients and using one bowl, this is one showstopping dessert!
Vegan Black Forest Cake
Whenever I travel, I love sampling desserts from different countries. I’ve tried eclairs and Mille Feuilles in France, I noshed on delicious churros in Spain and I had to have some sticky date pudding in England. However, my favorite to date was a delicious black forest cake in Germany.
I’d never been a huge fan of cherry desserts, but there was something magical about the combination of cherries, whipped cream and a moist chocolate sponge cake. Ever since returning from Germany, I had my mind set to create a vegan version of it!
Now, this cake may look incredibly fancy, but I promise you it is pretty foolproof! It uses simple and affordable ingredients, and doesn’t need any fancy kitchen mixers to make.
No eggs, no butter, and no milk are needed, but you’d never tell. The texture of this cake is moist and fluffy and bursting with cherries. It’s got a rich chocolate flavor, complemented by the whipped cream and juicy cherries.
While it may not be 100% authentic as the original cake I enjoyed, it is pretty darn close, and PERFECT to serve during the holiday season!
Ingredients to make a black forest cake
For the cake
- All purpose flour– I tried this cake with both plain flour and gluten free all purpose flour successfully. If you use the latter, be sure that it contains added xanthan gum.
- Sugar of choice– Any granulated sweetener of choice can be used. White sugar or brown sugar is preferred.
- Cocoa powder– Unsweetened cocoa powder that has been sifted. For a richer chocolate flavor, use dark cocoa powder.
- Baking soda– Works with the vinegar to give the cake some rise and stability, without needing any eggs.
- Salt– Brings out the sweetness of the cake.
- Vinegar– Either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar can be used.
- Vanilla extract– A must for any good cake or baked good.
- Oil of choice– Use your favorite neutral oil. I alternate between vegetable oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.
- Water– To mix everything together.
For the Filling
- Coconut milk– Chilled coconut milk, from a can. When chilled, a thick layer of coconut cream forms on top. This will be whipped with powdered sugar. Reserve the excess liquid to use in a smoothie.
- Powdered sugar– Also known as confectioners’ sugar.
- Vanilla extract– Gives a lovely vanilla flavor.
- Cherries– Fresh or frozen cherries can be used. If you use frozen cherries, thaw it to room temperature and pat dry any excess water. Be sure to use pitted cherries.
How do you make a vegan black forest cake?
Start by preparing your cake mixture. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Next, add the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter remains. Transfer the batter into two 9-inch cake pan and bake for 25 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling, prepare your filling. Open the cans of coconut milk and scoop out the firm cream that has formed on top. Discard the liquid into a container to use for something else. Beat the cream until soft peaks start to form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat again until the cream becomes thick and fluffy.
Assemble the cake by spreading half the whipped cream all over the first cake. Add half the cherries on top, before adding the second cake on top. Add remaining cream and extra cherries, and refrigerate for at least an hour, to set.
Tips to make the best cake
- If you use frozen cherries, they should be assembled in the cake at room temperature. If left chilled/frozen, you risk ice particles creating extra moisture and yielding a soggy cake.
- Your black forest cake must be cooled completely before assembling it. Otherwise, you risk the cream seeping through the cake and falling apart once it is assembled.
- If you’d like to use vanilla frosting instead of whipped cream, you are welcome to do so.
Storing and Freezing Tips
- To store: Cake should always be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep fresh for up to 1 week.
- To freeze: Place leftover slices of the cake in a freezer friendly container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw to room temperature before enjoying.
More vegan cakes to try
Vegan Black Forest Cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients and mix well. Add your wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Distribute the cake batter amongst the two greased cake pans. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely, before layering.
- Make the whipped cream filling. Open the chilled coconut milk cans and scoop out the hard cream formed at the top into a large mixing bowl. Discard the liquid and use it for something else. Beat the coconut cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until thick and creamy.
- Start layering the cake. Add the first cake, followed by half the cream, followed by the cherries. Place the next cake on top and add more cream and more cherries, if desired. Refrigerate for at least an hour, for it to set.