Vegan black forest cherry cream cake is a dream cake for all chocolate, cherry and cream lovers! Oooops, I forgot to share this recipe when it was cherry season, so let’s pretend this is a blackberry cake 🙂 Because blackberries go together with chocolate just as well as cherries do.
Or if you want to keep a more authentic black forest cake flavor profile, you can use cherry jam too! Cherry jam (containing sugar) makes this cake sweeter and if you ask my children, a bit yummier too.
What is the difference between chocolate cake and Black forest cake?
Well, not much if you ask me.
My version of black forest cake would have to be called chocolate cake with cherries in Bavaria where the original Black forest cake – or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte – comes from.
What are the special traits of this famous cake?
- German law mandates that kirschwasser must be present in the cake for it to be labelled a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Source: Wikipedia
- Ooops. I didn’t have any Kirschwasser at hand, so I just used cherry juice.
- According to Wikipedia, the Black Forest cake consists of layers of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream and cherries.
- I got that part right! This cake is all about the cream with cherries mixed in to make cherry cream!
- The cake is traditionally decorated with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries or sour cherries and chocolate shavings.
- I used regular cherries and I forgot all about the chocolate shavings, because I was fascinated by the minimalistic look of the cake.
Now that I’m suggesting you can use blackberries or cherry jam in the cake, I’m going even further away from the original. And when I admit I’ve never even tasted the original Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, I’m probably losing all my credibility as a Black forest cake baker. Ooops.
But for me a Black Forest cake is all about chocolate and fluffy cream combined with cherry FLAVOR (or a close enough flavor like blackberries 🙂 ). And this really is a delicious cake even without Kirschwasser, sour cherries and chocolate shavings.
If you want to go even further from the original still maintaining this yummy flavor, I’d suggest you make this fluffy and festive vegan Black forest pavlova meringue cake.
How to make a vegan chocolate sponge cake
The key to a delicious vegan Black forest cherry cream cake or any vegan chocolate sponge cake is choosing the right flours, “butter” and plant-based milk.
This is my go-to chocolate cake recipe, because it’s fuffy, soft and just the right kind of chocolatey.
Choosing the right flours
When baking chocolate cake I usually stick to these flours: all-purpose flour or spelt flour together with almond flour to make it more scrumptious. I find all-purpose flour or spelt flour alone to be a bit too cakey. I haven’t tested this with any other nut or seed flour but it probably would work just as well (affecting the flavor a bit of course).
I’ve yet to test a vegan gluten-free black forest cake, but will test it soon so I can share it with you! I think I’m opting for a gluten-free white all-purpose flour and almond flour, but the measurements won’t be the same as in this recipe. Gluten-free baking usually requires a little adjustment to the other ingredients to make it work.
What to use in place of butter?
I think these two ingredients are a winning combination when it comes to giving vegan chocolate cakes a rich flavor:
- almond butter
- melted dark chocolate
These two ingredients together are a winner in every way, not just in baking. I think cashew butter would work too, but almond butter goes better together with the almond flour in the cake.
Which plant-based milk would be best?
My number one rule for using plant-based milk in baking is this: use a sweet milk to enhance the sweet flavor of the cake. I usually use oat drink for coffee (such as AITO Barista), which is naturally sweet and also a bit thicker than regular milk. Sometimes a flavored milk works too, vanilla or chocolate.
Which sugar is best when baking a vegan cake?
There’s no denying that caster sugar works amazingly in cakes. Sugar is not just for sweetness, it also affects the texture of the cake! Caster sugar is very fine table sugar, which dissolves easily into the cake batter. It makes cakes fluffier.
Coconut sugar, which I’ve used in this recipe is perhaps not the best texture wise, but the flavor is amazing. It’s caramell-y and warm and pairs well with chocolate. If you want to make your coconut sugar finer for better texture, you can blend / grind it for a few seconds.
I wouldn’t recommend using dates or syrup in this cake recipe. They work okay, but this would turn into an entirely different cake. The crumb would be denser, but you would need to make adjustments to other ingredients as well.
I hope this little baking guide was helpful! If you have any other vegan baking questions, please leave a comment on the blog or send me a DM via Instagram 🙂
Vegan Black Forest cherry cream cake
- 3,5 oz (100 grams) vegan chocolate I use 70% vegan dark chocolate
- 2,5 tbsp
- 1 cup plant-based milk such as oat milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 0,8 cups (100 g or ~200 ml) spelt flour
- 0,4 cups (45 g or ~100 ml) almond flour
- 0,8 cups (140 g or 200 ml) coconut sugar
- 1,5 tsp baking powder
- 0,5 tsp baking soda
- 0,5 tsp salt
- 4 cups plant-based whipped cream
- 1 cup cherries or 1/2 cup cherry jam
- If your whipped cream is not sweetened add sweetener of choice.
For the cake
- ~4 tbsp cherry juice
- 1 cup cherries for decoration
- you can also use shaved chocolate inside the cake and for decoration to enhance the chocolate flavor
- Preheat oven to 360 F / 180 C.
- Melt chocolate in a water bath (or any method you prefer) and swirl in the almond butter.
- In a bowl whisk together plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar.
- In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients: flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Pour chocolate + almond butter mix and milk + ACV mix to the dry ingredients and mix it well.
- Pour the batter into a brownie pan (or other baking tin you prefer) and bake in the oven for 30 min. Let cool.
- For the cherry cream: chop pitted cherries. Mix whipped cream with chopped cherries either in a blender or just in a bowl (if you like the cherry bits in the cream)
Decorating the cake
- Cut the cake in two pieces (if using a rectangle shaped brownie pan, you would get about two square pieces of cake.
- Brush first cake layer with cherry juice until it's moist.
- Spread cherry cream generously on top of the first cake layer. Optional: Add a layer of shaved chocolate.
- Place the second layer of cake on top, brush with cherry juice and decorate the top layer with cherry cream.
- Decorate with more cherries and shaved chocolate if you want. Enjoy!