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  • Writer's pictureMadelaine

Black Forest Gateau

My husband's birthday was last weekend, and it was a lockdown birthday, meaning we couldn't celebrate with friends or family, so I wanted to make it a little more special somehow. I decided to make his birthday sweeter by baking his favourite cake. Yes, by now you have guessed it: Black Forest Gateau is my husband's favourite cake 🎂 He loves Morello cherries, cherry pies and all things sour cherry! 🍒 Yet, it is not that easy to find Morello cherries in the UK, so I needed to plan everything to get all the ingredients: frozen Morello cherries, candied cherries, dairy-free whipping cream (you can use your favourite one, I am just trying to avoid dairy as much as I can) and Kirschwasser. Oh, and I also needed a free Saturday morning to make the cake, but it was worth it!❤️

Nothing is perfect, though, and I had to compromise and use cooking rum instead of Kirschwasser (the original recipe calls for this), but it worked well. This Black Forest Gateau is dairy-free, reduced in added sugar, light and refreshing. The tartness of the Morello cherries is in harmony with the dark chocolate and the lightness of the cream makes you want another slice! 🍰

Black Forest Gateau on a cake stand decorated with chocolate shards and candied cherries with a bouquet of spring flowers at the background

Black Forest Gateau

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 10 min

SERVINGS: 10-12 slices



- 6 eggs, separated

- 6 tbsp sugar

- 3 heaped tbsp plain flour

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder

- 3 tbsp vegetable oil


- 350g frozen Morello cherries

- 40g cornstarch

- 300ml water

- 4 tbsp sugar

- vanilla essence


- 40ml water

- 60ml cooking rum

- 2tbsp sugar


- 200ml whipping cream

- 1 tbsp icing sugar (optional)

- 1 chocolate bar (dark)

- candied cherries



- Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas mark 6, and oil and line the base and sides of three 20cm cake tins with parchment paper.

- Add the egg whites to a large bowl and start whipping them with an electric mixer. Gradually, add the sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Next, add the egg yolks one by one, followed by the oil. Swap to a spatula, and gently fold in the flour mixed with cocoa and baking powder.

- Divide the cake batter between the three tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the tins and transferring them onto cooling racks.


- Add the cornstarch and sugar to a pot and mix in a few tablespoons of water until smooth paste forms. Gradually add the rest of the water, the frozen cherries and the vanilla essence.

- Place the pot onto medium heat and bring it to a boil, stirring regularly. Then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes until the filling has thickened to a jelly-like consistency and the cherries have cooked. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely before using.


- Add the water, cooking rum and sugar to a small pot and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove from the stove and let it cool.

Decoration prep:

- Add the whipping cream to a bowl and beat it on medium speed with an electric mixer. If using, mix in the icing sugar when about halfway through, then whip it until firm peaks form.

- Create chocolate curls by "shaving" the sides of the chocolate bar with a veggie peeler. Or finely chop the bar with a sharp knife to obtain shards.


- Thinly cut off the top of the sponge cakes - this will help the cakes absorb the syrup quickly. Next, spoon the syrup onto the cakes dividing it between the three.

- Pop the first layer onto a cake stand or plate and add half of the Morello cherry filling. Spread the filling from the middle towards the outer edges, leaving out an approx. 2 cm thick part to add some whipped cream. Repeat with the middle layer, then add the top one.

- Spread the rest of the whipped cream over the top and side of the cake evenly, then decorate with the chocolate shards/ curls and the candied cherries to your liking.

- Pop the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Keep the cake refrigerated and consume it within three days.

Close up picture of a Black Forest Gateau decorated with candied cherries and chocolate shards on a blue cakestand

Click on the below to download this recipe as a free, pdf recipe card:

Black Forest Gateau
Download PDF • 3.19MB
A slice of Black Forest Gateau being lifted with a spatula showing the three layers of sponge and the morello cherry filling
A close up photo of a slice od Black Forest Gateau on a plate next to a silver spoon with a bouquet of spring flowers at the background and a Black Forest Gateau

Have you tried this recipe or want to say hi?

I would love to hear from you 😊 Comment below and/or share a pic on Instagram with the tag: #madelaineskitchen

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