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vegan black forest cake on a white cake stand topped with whole cherries and a chocolate ganache drip

Vegan Black Forest Cake


How to make THE BEST Vegan Blackforest Cake, which is small batch – perfect for all to enjoy! 



Ingredients for the cake

  • 240ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 210g of self-raising flour
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 40g of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g of vegetable oil / melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoons of cherry flavouring (optional)

Ingredients for the buttercream

  • 140g of dairy-free butter
  • 60ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)*
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Ingredients for the ganache

  • 50g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 50g of dairy-free cream*


  • Cherry conserve / jam
  • Handful of fresh cherries
  • Small dairy-free dark chocolate bar (shavings)
  • A cherry / Amaretto liqueur 


Method (cake)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line two, 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper
  2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine.
  4. Add the oil and cherry flavouring (optional) into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
  6. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins. Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
  7. Pop the cakes into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes. You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.
  8. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully.  Whilst the cakes are warm, brush over some cherry liqueur / amaretto and allow it to soak into the sponges. Don’t add too much or the cakes could end up very soggy.  Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.

Method (buttercream)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.
  3. Pour in the aquafaba and vanilla extract and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it’s thick and creamy. The buttercream should be airy and light. You might need to add in some more butter to get it to the right consistency.
  4. Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a patisserie nozzle. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Pipe small stars of buttercream around the outer edge of the cake, then fill in the middle with more buttercream (as seen in the photos above). Place the chopped cherries on top of the buttercream, then spread over 2 tablespoons of cherry jam / conserve.
  5. Place the second chocolate cake layer ontop. Press it down gently so it sticks.
  6. Pipe some left over buttercream around the top edge of the cake, and press on some whole, fresh cherries.
  7. Spoon 2 / 3 tablespoons of cherry jam / conserve into the middle of the buttercream circle and spread out. Decorate with some dairy-free dark chocolate shavings and a drizzle of chocolate ganache.

Method (ganache)

  1. Place the dairy-free cream into a saucepan. Gently heat until it comes to a light simmer then turn off the heat.
  2. Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot cream, stir to combine. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Transfer the ganache into a piping bag and pipe over the top of the cake. Alternatively, you should drizzle it over the top of the cake using a spoon.
  4. Ta dah, the perfect Vegan Black Forest Cake. Enjoy!


To store: Keep this cake stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days of making. Un-iced cakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days.

What cream can I use? When it comes to ganache, any cream will work from coconut cream, to dairy-free single + double cream. 

What vegan block butter to use? As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.

What is aquafaba? Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc. You can also buy it in a carton.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan black forest cake, black forest, blackforest cake, chocolate cake, layer cake, cherry cake