Gluten-Free Vegan Black Forest Cake

Gluten-Free Vegan Black Forest Cake

This Gluten-Free Vegan Black Forest Cake is super chocolatey, rich and creamy, and filled with sweet, juicy cherries. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Keyword gluten-free black forest cake, vegan black forest cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 521kcal
Author Rhian Williams


For the cake:

  • 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 12 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) *
  • 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

For the filling:

  • 400 g (14 oz) tin full-fat coconut milk **
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Splash liqueur of choice (kirsch, brandy or Amaretto would work well - ensure vegan/gluten-free if necessary)
  • 225 g (1 cup) cherries (fresh, tinned, jarred or frozen)

To decorate:

  • 225 g (1 cup) cherries (fresh, tinned, jarred or frozen)

For the chocolate sauce**:


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
  • Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
  • Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder
  • Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
  • Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
  • Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean
  • Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting

For the filling:

  • You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
  • Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
  • Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
  • Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract
  • Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
  • Pit and halve cherries and place in a bowl with a splash of liqueur of choice and mix well

To frost and decorate the cake:

  • Place one half of the cake onto a plate or cake stand, and spread just less than half of the frosting onto it
  • Scatter over the halved cherries
  • Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the frosting to spread on top
  • Decorate with the remaining cherries

For the chocolate sauce:

  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and melt either over a bain-marie or in the microwave, until mixed together well
  • Pour over the cake
  • Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days


*You can alternatively use almond flour
**You can alternatively use 200g (7oz) coconut yogurt 
**You can alternatively use melted dark chocolate (ensure vegan if necessary)


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 4mg