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Vegan Black Forest Gateau

Vegan Black Forest Gateau, rich chocolate sponge with layers of whipped vegan cream and cherry compote made with cherry brandy.

The name ‘Black Forest Gateau’ comes from the German name Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. No one is sure why it’s called a Black Forest Gateau however, one possibility is it’s named after Schwarzwälder Kirschwasser which is a liquor made from tart cherries which is also a main ingredient in the cake. 

We find frozen cherries work well in this recipe. They release a lot of juice during cooking which is ideal to mix in with the cherry brandy to then drizzle onto each sponge allowing them to take on the cherry flavours.

Vegan Black Forest Gateau

We chose to use individual pans to create each sponge layer but alternatively, you can use a deep cake pan and cut this into the desired number of sponges needed. 

We opted to use a double cream without the use of a stabiliser and it held up well, feel free to use what you find easiest to work with.

Vegan Black Forest Gateau

Rich chocolate sponge with layers of whipped vegan cream and cherry compote made with cherry brandy.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 1 Cake



  • 175 g plain flour sieved
  • 25 g cornflour sieved
  • 100 g golden caster sugar
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 7 g baking powder
  • 5 g bicarbonate of soda
  • 60 ml coconut oil melted
  • 200 ml soda water
  • 50 ml plant-based milk
  • 10 ml apple cider vinegar

Cherry Compote

  • 300 g frozen cherries
  • 50 g golden caster sugar
  • 60 ml cherry brandy*
  • 30 g cornflour


  • 30 ml cherry brandy*
  • 270 ml pot vegan cream suitable for whipping
  • 25 g icing sugar
  • 5 fresh cherries optional
  • Dark chocolate chilled



  • Prepare two or four 22cm cake pans with baking parchment.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Sieve the flour, cornflour and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add in the sugar and bicarbonate of soda, mix together thoroughly.
  • Add in the melted coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, plant-based milk and soda water
  • Add the baking powder and mix by hand using a whisk until smooth. Alternatively use a stand or hand mixer. Watch and not over mix at this stage.
  • Divide the mix into your two pans leaving enough mix for another 2 if you are only doing 2 at a time.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, using a knife or skewer, Insert into the sponge and if it’s clean when you remove it you know the sponge is ready.
  • Place the pan onto a cake wire rack for 5 mins to allow it to cool slightly.
  • Turn cakes out on the wire rack to cool completely.

Cherry Compote Filling

  • Mix 60ml of cherry brandy in a bowl with 30g of cornflour. Mix until there are no lumps then put to one side.
  • Add 300g of frozen cherries and 50g golden sugar to a pan over medium heat.
  • Once the cherries have defrosted slightly and released some liquid remove 2 tablespoons of the cherry liquid from the pot and place this to the side in a bowl with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of cherry brandy. This will be used to pour onto the sponges.
  • Add the cornflour and brandy mix to the pot and bring to a boil, turn the heat off when it has thickened.
  • Pour the compote into a container and set it aside.


  • Whisk the cream with the icing sugar until it is thick, you can use a stabiliser if needed, depending on the cream you use.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the reserved cherry juice and brandy liquid over each sponge and let it soak in.
  • On the bottom sponge pipe on the cream around the edge leaving a space in the middle to spread out your cherry compote. Alternatively, you can spread the cream on.
  • Place the 2nd sponge on top of the bottom one and repeat this process with the cream and compote until you reach the top of the cake.
  • Using a sharp knife carefully scrape along the bar of chilled chocolate to make chocolate shards or rolls.
  • Sprinkle these on the top and decorate with more cream and fresh cherries.


If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can use cherry juice or just skip soaking the sponge.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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